ARM: Review - Revell Germany 1/35 scale M48A2/A2C Medium Tank

Kit Review: Revell (Germany) 1/35 scale Kit No. 03206; M48A2/A2C; 185 parts (182 in medium green styrene, 2 black vinyl track runs, 1 length of wire);
retail price US$39.95
Advantages: first new kit in this scale of this variant in 56 years; clever molding minimizes the number of parts needed to complete the kit
Disadvantages: parts breakdown oddly replicates the Monogram kit of 1958; " pebble" finish on not only the cast parts of the hull and turret but some p lates as well; some "soft" details
Recommendation: Recommended
Recommendation: for any '48 or American armor fans
    Some kits take a long time to get to the market. Monogram first released i ts M48A2 "Big Pat" kit back in 1958, and it was quite some time before Tami ya released its M48A3 Mod B kit (No. 35120) in 1981. The Tamiya was a quant um leap ahead of the older kit in both details and assembly but had its own quirks such as being 4" too high and having all of the motorization ports in the hull to close up.
    In 2013 DML began to release a new line of M48 kits with the M48A3 Mod B a nd a straight M48A3 kit as well as an M103A1 and M103A2 which share some of the same parts. But before they could get to the M48A2 Revell Germany beat them to the punch with two new kits, an M48A2GA2 and an M48A2/A2C. While the former kit is of a specific German variant, the latter kit also can be built as the earlier US model A2. The external differences between the A2 a nd upgraded A2C are a slightly larger bore evacuator (nearly impossible to see in 1/35 scale) and the deletion of the return roller based tension roll er between road wheel number 6 and the drivers. (This is reflected in the d irections - surprise!)
    The kit corrects many of the problems with the older Monogram and Tamiya k its, but has some odd bits of its own. For reasons best known to the German s it uses basically a very similar hull breakdown to the old Monogram kit w ith an upper and two lower sections to the lower hull and separate stern pl ates. The shapes appear closer to the profile of the actual cast hull of th e 48, but also for reasons best known to themselves much of the hull surfac e is cast with a "pebble" finish to include the rear deck access plates, th e stern access plates, and the hatches. This is too enhanced and will have to be smoothed down, which is a shame as it makes a lot of extra work for t he modeler.
    The details themselves are reasonably well done, and R-G has come up with an interesting way of doing the OVM tool set by molding it in one piece but with a hollow base so it then attaches to the fender to give a more three- dimensional effect than the molded-on tool sets do. It also makes it easy t o replace them as you do not have to mill molded on tools off the fenders.
    The canvas mantlet for the .50 caliber machine gun is nicely done, but the main mantlet appears way too taut. This will be difficult to correct witho ut an aftermarket part as there is no "drum" to hold the gun in place and i t cements directly to the turret via the mantlet cover. A Dremel Mototool m ay be able to put a bit of "accordion" flex into the kit's mantlet cover if care is used. The cupola also has the early model non-domed hatch cover (a lbeit with the "pebble" finish).
    The turret bustle rack is composed of five parts - two ends, two brackets and a center section, and while molded looks the part as it is much finer t han either of the previous two kits in this area.
    The wire in the kit (taped to the directions) is for antennas, but the kit indicates that the antennas are to be 75mm long or about 99 inches. That i s close for an AN/VRC-47 transmit antenna but the receive antenna is 118" o r about 85mm. The good news is the wire is 160mm long so you can make both antennas, but the transmit whip is actually tapered.
    Note that the two jerry cans for the turret are closer to the German style ones (flip-tops) than the US ones with screw caps.
    The kit provides finishing directions for five different tanks: M48A2C 3rd Company, Panzer Battalion 24, Panzerbrigade 2, Braunschweig 1962 (OD, cros ses, markings, black 335); M48A2 2nd Company, Panzer Lehr Battalion 93, Pan zerbrigade 9, Munster 1959 (OD, crosses, markings, black 213); M48A2, 3-40 Armor Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, Korea 1963 (OD, white stars, yellow triangle, B-22); M48A2, 1/14 Armored Cavalry, Fulda 1962 (OD, stars, red tr iangle, C-40); Magach (M48A2C), IDF Rafah, Sinai, Six-Day War June 1967 (sa nd, white barrel bands, white arrowheads on turret, IDF registration number 817648). The decals are from Italy and I assume they are Cartograf.
    Overall this kit is two steps forward and one back, and anyone interested in getting a really good A2 may want to cross-kit this model with a DML M48 A3 to get a show quality result.     
Cookie Sewell
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