BackgroundIn this project, I wanted to build a relatively simple, small diorama for the Remember Korea Campaign. I used the Dragon M26A1 Pershing kit and the Dragon Chosin Reservoir Marines figure set. The diorama was patterned after the box art on the figure set. As always, I try to include something new in each of my building projects. This one was no exception as I worked on Dragon individual link tracks for the first time. The official start date for this campaign was August 5, 2004. I finally got started on August 19, 2004. First on the table was the Pershing. Once I opened up the kit and washed the parts, I had some doubts about the "quality" of the molding as there was a considerable amount of flash and some of the larger parts just did not look "straight." These initial concerns were born out as the work commenced and progressed.
The Assembly of the Pershing.The suspension went together well, although the directions seemed to have some of the part numbers reversed, but it was easy enough to figure that out. However, the hull machine gun assembly just did not fit at all. That required serious sanding and even some carving with my hobby knife to finally get the machine gun assembly to fit properly. Even then, there were noticeable gaps that required filling with putty. There were also minor gaps on the rear top of the hull where the rear hull sub-assembly joined with the major hull assembly. These gaps were filled with Mr. Liquid Putty. There were major fit problems in the assembly of the turret. The top and bottom halves of the turret did not fit flush. In addition, the gun mantlet would not fit into the turret without some carving and serious sanding. I eventually got the mantlet to fit more or less flush to the turret opening.
Indi-TracksMy biggest worry going into this project was the individual link tracks. However, I found the process time consuming but really not difficult thanks to a great deal of internet research and the Fine Scale Modeler (FSM) article on Building a Korean War M46 tank. Following the articles suggestion, I removed the guidehorns from the sprues, cleaned them up and glued them to the track links while still attached to the sprues. I allowed these to dry overnight and then I clipped through the sprues to relieve the tension prior to removing the links.
Assembly: I placed a long piece of two-sided scotch tape down on a board and commenced to assemble the links. First, I sanded the "female" side of the link and then clipped the links together without applying any glue. I followed the FSM suggestion and built a run 86 links long. Once these had been clipped together, I applied Testor's liquid glue (from the glass bottle with a brush attached to the top) to each link. I allowed that to dry for a few minutes and then pulled up the tape and wrapped it around the running gear (including the drive wheel, which I had decided to glue before I started with the links) with the connecting spot on the bottom under a roadwheel. I discovered that the run was a bit too long so I ended up removing 3 links (so the side used a total of 83 links). Afterwards, I believe I probably should have waited a few more minutes before lifting the tape off the board. The following evening I repeated this process for the other side of the Pershing.
Final DetailsAfter finishing the turret, I sprayed the lower sides of the hull and the treads flat black as this area would be inaccessible with the fenders in place. The rest of the tank was then assembled without major difficulty, the only problem being Dragon's poorly drawn directions on the placement of certain parts. I added florist wire antennas and a tow rope made from thread/floss.
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