M26E4 Pershings Trumpeter 1/72nd – Project ’46 and SABOT Tank vrs Tank gaming wip3

Trumpeter Pershings ….

And the Pershings are now at the same stage as the Easy8 Shermans, basic assembly is complete and now it’s replacing the solid moulded on lift rings and adding most of the details, leaving the final fragile stuff to be added after painting.

I’m also contemplating making a few improvements to the pilot model vehicles, a couple easy, a couple not so. Firstly the pilot models had thinner fenders, cut back to the width of the stowage boxes, easy to do. They also didn’t have the pistol port fitted on the left hand turret side, again easy enough to sand off.

One of the harder things to change is that the turret used had the split loaders hatch. As I don’t have any spares in the stash box I probably wont be able to change those. And the pilot model used the standard shorter turret and had a temporary stack of weights strapped mounted at the back to counterbalance the heavier gun weight and help turret rotation. This requires cutting off the production extended bustle and a fair bit of filling and faffing. If I had split loaders hatches it probably would be worth it but at present they will likely stay as is ….

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M4A3E8 Shermans Trumpeter 1/72nd – Project ’46 and SABOT Tank vrs Tank gaming wip2

Trumpeter Easy8s . . .

I’ve got the Sherman builds to the point where they’ll probably wait for stowage before progressing much further, we’ll before paint anyway. I’ve got the lift rings to cut off and replace and some of the small details can be added although MGs, open hatches etc will be left off until most of the paint is done.

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M26E4 Pershings Trumpeter 1/72nd – Project ’46 and SABOT Tank vrs Tank gaming wip2

Some kit building action …

Firstly why M26E4s and not the other more common Korean War or WW2 variants? Basically it’s because I prefer to model and game using my alternative war Project ’46 scenarios and vehicles.

For several reasons but primarily because it frees up my modelling allowing variations in camouflage and designs that can’t be picked at by “specialists”. If I want camo on Pershings I’ll add it. If I want to use early Centurions along with Shermans I can. And of course I’m free to convert and construct my own alternate designs. So the E4s (of which only 25 were modified) easily fits into my Project ’46 framework. As a bonus the E4 was fitted with the impressive T15 gun (90mm T15E1) and gives the medium weight Pershings some much needed firepower against the German heavies …

And so like with the Shermans I was a little unsure what to expect from the Trumpeter Pershings. In box they look good having nice sharp moulded detail. They suffer from solid lifting rings like the Shermans but they’re easily replaced. The TC hatch is open but no other so at a later date I’ll pick up another one to take the platoon numbers upto 5 and I’ll open all the hatches (scratchbuilding replacements) and fit a full crew.

Assembly went without issues although some care is required to align and level the suspension arms which are separate pieces. I fitted them first allowed the glue to almost harden attached the wheels and then adjusted them by bending until everything sat level. They were then put aside overnight to harden up.

The tracks were fitted using my normal method of bending/stretching and attaching in stages with superglue. They went on easy enough but watch the front/first roadwheel which is a reasonably weak unit and can be bent easily …. turret finishing next 🙂

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M26E4 Pilot Model

I decided to convert two of the Pershings to the pilot-model produced in WW2 and with the distinctive additional armour and gun balance cylinders. While the turret isn’t strictly correct as it should be a production M26 with additional counterbalance weights stacked on the rear, it’ll be close enough for me lol

Pics of my quick conversion (measurements, shapes and sizes done by eye) and a few pictures of the real thing …. (from various web sources and for discussion only)

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M26E4 Pershings Trumpeter 1/72nd – Project ’46 and SABOT Tank vrs Tank gaming wip1

Trumpeter M26E4 Pershings …..

And yes there’s another unit for use with our SABOT rules on the way, 4x M26 Pershings (2x M26E4 and 2x M26E4 Pilot Models). But before the styrene pics we have some inspirational M26 pics (from Web sources and posted for discussion purposes only).

And yes, I know some vehicles pictured are M46s, but as they’re the son of the M26 so I think they still count. So what is the difference between the M26 and the later M46? Basically the M46 is an improved M26. The visual differences are engine deck, fender mounted exhausts and fume extractor on the muzzle brake end of the gun tube. The big chance was repowering the M26 (underpowered for it’s entire production run as it used the same Ford V8 as the Sherman) with the Continental AV-1790-5A V12, air-cooled Twin-turbo gasoline engine and a new transmission. They look so similar that many Korean war pictures captioned as M26s are actually M46s ……

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m26r 007  USMC m46 Korea m26r 008  m46korea m26r 009 M26-Pershing-Korea m26r 010 usmc patrol north korea m26r 020 m26_pershing_05_of_14 m26r 021 m26_pershing_07_of_14 m26r 022 m26_pershing_11_of_14 m26r 023 m26_pershing_13_of_14

M4A3E8 Shermans Trumpeter 1/72nd – Project ’46 and SABOT Tank vrs Tank gaming wip1

Trumpeter M4A3E8 Shermans …..

Recently we’ve been working on another of our rulesets called SABOT designed for Tank vrs Tank skirmish gaming. Based around a home written WWII ruleset which we’ve been using since …. um …. paper was invented, but updated with some newer ideas and game mechanisms. It uses a first principles vehicle generator that allows us to create vehicle stats, tables and relative points values for everything from WWI MkIV and A7Vs to the ultra-modern M1A2 Aim/Sep/Tusk and T14 Armata.

Anyway enough blathering as the point is it’s given a long term plan plan to update our 20mm collection a much needed dose of impetus. A major part of the game-play involves deploying platoons and so we’ve adjusted our building plan to suit, which is a major change from the sporadic building of single vehicles based on pretty much a whim 🙂

So here’s one of our first platoons under construction 4x “1946” M4A3E8s, 1/72nd Trumpeter kits with some conversions using some left over Dragon kits.

Surprisingly these are the first Trumpeter kits I’ve ever assembled and wasn’t sure what to expect. Overall detail is very nice, sharp and fine. To offset this the kits have some basic features, all tools are moulded on and the lifting hooks and loops are all moulded as solid pieces and will have to be replaced. I was most worried about the tracks though as I’d heard some horror stories about “ungluable” Trumpeter tracks but fortunately I found no problems fitting or gluing them.

Two Trumpeter hulls have been cross-kitted using Dragon hulls from the spares box. One now has open drivers and radio operators hull hatches and a large split loaders hatch on the turret. The other vehicle has been modified to use a cast hull, which I think looks pretty gnarly.

And a few pics, including some inspirational ones filched from the net (for discussion purposes only of course).

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And some inspirational M4A3E8 HVSS Sherman pics …..

ref M4 with 76mm Toeven Holland1945

ref sherman-tank-old-baldy

ref congo m4

ref congo m4 -2

ref sher0022

ref kel01

Don "Wardaddy" Collier (Brad Pitt, centered) and his men Boyd Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), Trini Garcia (Michael Peña) and Grady Travis (Jon Bernthal) in Columbia Pictures' FURY.

Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt, centered) and his men Boyd Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), Trini Garcia (Michael Peña) and Grady Travis (Jon Bernthal) in Columbia Pictures’ FURY.