I admit, I’m quite new to the American tank designs, and my introduction to this subject was from playing World of Tanks. (Everyone has to start somewhere.) Aside from the confusing names and designations, I find these armored fighting vehicles very fascinating, and the Super Pershing has a special place in my heart –along with the T2 Light Tank. Once I got familiar with them, I found it very interesting to follow the evolution of American tanks. There are so many strange-looking pre-war and early war tanks, which, nevertheless, clearly point towards the more known (and more successful) designs, like the M3 or M4 medium tanks. And there are the late-war tanks, which came too late to make a difference in the war, their development was marred by infighting between generals with altogether too great egos, and clashing opinions, but which were displaying a much more advanced design philosophy than their contemporary German counterparts.
The M26 series of heavy tanks (later reclassified as mediums) already look as if they were designed in the Cold War. Although they had technical problems (the transmission and low engine power were particularly problematic), the testament of the success of the design is that the very successful Patton series was designed on the basis of this tank. (Which, ironically, were used as props for German tanks in Hollywood war movies made in the ‘50s-‘60s, but that’s a different story altogether.)
The tank most commonly referred to as Super Pershing is a modification of the basic T26A1 which was armed with the very long T15E1 90mm gun. This gun was comparable to the German KwK43 gun. Only one of these tanks was sent over to Europe, and it was supplied with appliqué armor before deployment. The hull was protected by an added 40mm boiler plate, and the mantle was protected by an 80mm armor plate taken from a Panther tank. The Super Pershing only took part in one engagement, on the 4th of April 1945, when it knocked out a Tiger (or Panther) at a range of 1500 yards. (The book Another River, Another Town, by John P. Irwin provides details about this engagement.)
What you get
The conversion kit comes in a zip lock bag stapled to a paper. This might look like a bit risky way to package resin, but fortunately the delicate parts were not damaged during shipping. The conversion consists of 8 parts cast in butter-colored resin. The resin is not brittle, and easy to work with. There are no instructions included, but it’s not unusual in resin kits, and certainly not a problem with a simple one as this.
You get a replacement turret, counterbalance, the balance springs for the gun, the frontal armor, additional armor for the gun mantle, and the two armor-flaps protecting the turret. The details are generally crisp, the turret has some flaking on one side and one of the hatch openings has a lot of extra resin, but none of this is difficult to remedy. (Unless you want to picture the hatch open. Since the turret is one solid resin piece, it’s probably better to close the hatches. Should you decide to use a Dremel to clean the extra resin off, please remember that resin dust is toxic; work in a booth and wear a mask).
The only real issue I have with the casting is the balance springs; one spring has a casting error on the end, which is going to be very difficult to correct. (For me at least.) I might try to scratch build another one, which should be quite simple, though. There are two missing parts from the conversion: there is no hatch given. It's simply missing from the conversion, and there are no hatches of this kind provided with the Trumpeter base kit. The other prominent feature missing are the extra track links mounted on the side of the turret, which are very visible on photos.
It is a very simple conversion using Trumpeter’s 1/72 T26E4 kit.
Highs: Easy, quick conversion, good detail.Lows: Missing parts, casting problems in hard-to correct areasVerdict: An inexpensive and easy conversion to make a very unique-looking vehicle.
I am a biologist by trade, and as a hobby I've been building scale models for the last twenty years. Recently I started to write reviews of the models I bought. These reviews are written from the point of view of an average model builder; hence the focus is on quality of the model, how easy it is to...