This M60 of the US Army's 7th Corps in 1970s Germany is a turret swap job:
the hull is from Esci's M60A1, while the turret comes from the Academy M48A5.
This is just the start, though, as a lot of detail work was involved in trying to build an accurate M60.
First of all, the rear of the turret was built up with epoxy putty, then filed, scraped and sanded to the
M60's near-vertical profile (the M48's turret has an almost spherical turret rear). The main reference I used for the turret shape was Vasco Barbic's article â€śA Little Known Pattonâ€ť in the August 1985 issue of
Military Modelling magazine, but unfortunately the drawing of the turret roof supplied there is inaccurate; as I discovered when I thought I was finished shaping it... A more careful comparison to photographs,
though, showed that the roof curves down behind the commander's cupola, and isn't flat like the drawing suggests. The turret bustle rack needed to be adapted to this new shape as well, and though some gaps were
left, I managed to hide those later on with stowage. The M48 commander's cupola was replaced by the one from the M60A1 kit, with extra details added such as better lifting eyes and the bearing for the gun shield.
On the hull, the first job was to remove the second shock absorber on each side, as the M60 only had them for the front and rear wheels, not on the second roadwheel as well. The drive sprocket was replaced by an
"old" one from a Tamiya M60 kit, to get rid of the ring molded into it by Esci, which is a feature of later-model sprockets. Each of the three mud holes was cut into the outer sprocket halves by first
drilling two holes next to each other and the connecting them with a sharp knife blade. The tracks are AFV Club, which unfortunately hang a bit too loose on the model, making it look in dire need of tensioning...
The headlight guards were filed flat and had a plastic strip glued behind them to represent the angle iron from which they are made on the real tank; being careful to remember that the M60's were different from
those of the M60A1 and later. Bolt heads were also added in lots of places, especially the fender braces (which were thinned down as well). The infantry telephone box, on the right rear fender, was replaced by a
Verlinden item glued straight onto the fender, as there was no shelf for it on the M60.
The tank is supposed to be wearing the 7th Corps four-color camouflage adopted in 1976, but I'm not sure it's correct
(enough). I used the drawing in Vasco Barbic's aforementioned article to paint this, as I had few other references on it except a few photos that showed too little of it, but once I was done painting it just looked
too different from what those photos did show... The paints are all Tamiya acrylics: XF60 Dark Yellow airbrushed on for the base, followed by hand-painted XF5 Green, XF64 Red Brown and XF1 Black to create the
hard-edged camouflage pattern. I'm not too thrilled by the way the weathering came out, which is too light and "artsy" for my taste. I feel it looks like I attempted to shade the model, which is something
I normally try to avoid. But I also didn't exactly feel like painting it all again.
The crew were assembled from different bits and pieces. The commander is the loader figure from Tamiya's M60A1+, but with his
head removed and replaced by one from Hornet, wearing a 1960s/'70s American tank helmet. The loader has legs from Tamiya's â€śU.S. Modern Infantry Setâ€ť, an upper body from the Academy M113A2 kit, a Hornet head,
and arms whose origin I can't remember. The water bottle also comes from the Academy M113A2, by the way. Most of the turret stoware is bits and pieces from the spare box, mostly from a variety of Academy, Italeri
and Tamiya accessory sets.
The antenna, by the way, is 0.3 mm steel spring wire, flexible enough to be bent as shown here (and a lot further, if need be) without breaking or distorting — if the string
holding it down were cut, it would snap back to the vertical without a problem. (And yes, I know US tank crews are supposed to tie antennas down to two points on the turret, not just to one like I did on this model