Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Cold War Workhorse, the PSC M-60A3

     Plastic Soldier Company have released another one of the great workhorse tanks of the Cold War era; the U.S. M-60A3. The kit presents the M-60A3 which is probably the most common version of this iconic tank, serving with the U.S. forces from the late seventies until 2005. This kit provides five examples of the standard M-60A3 that served NATO forces and a dozen other countries. 

     The models are molded in hard gray plastic that takes detail well and are devoid of flash and have nearly invisible mold lines. Overall detail is excellent and the models are crisply cast with no sign of warping or shrinkage. The only thing missing (as in all PSC kits) is a set of decals, although this can be forgiven due to the variations in U.S. marking systems over time and the sheer number of countries that the M-60 has served with. 

     While very well detailed these models are intended for wargamers and are very straightforward in regard to assembly with no tiny fiddly parts to attach (and have broken off during play). The finished kits are sturdy and will hold up well during use being considerably less fragile that corresponding lead or epoxy resin kits.

back of the box has painting suggestions

the contents; five sprues and a very clear instruction sheet

side A

side B

an interesting way of getting two rows of road wheels without having lots of tiny parts to assemble
this promises to be quite durable

detail of the engine grates and turret are quite good
the only fiddly parts on the model are the headlight arrays

I do like the crew figures, very natural poses and nicely detailed

     I consider this kit to be of the usual superb standard of prior Plastic Soldier Company models and an excellent value for the wargamer looking to establish a NATO tank force at a reasonable cost. I highly recommend this model.

                                                                                                John Thull 

Building the PSC M-60A3

I truly love nice clear instructions

these are do good that you don't really need words

the upper and lower halves of the hull

the model is devoid of locating pins so be very careful to get things lined up exactly

double check the alignment at both ends of the hull as the glue sets

because if things are misaligned the next step becomes very difficult 
(don't ask how I know) the parts fit is perfect if you have things as they should be

the only truly "fiddly bits" in the entire kit are the headlamps
these could benefit from locating holes on the hull

but they are easy enough to install if you look at the illustrations carefully

track assemblies are straightforward
I tried to assemble them incorrectly just as a test and found it impossible

the hull and track sub-assemblies ready to be joined

again, there is no way to get these assembled incorrectly

the cupola parts, care must be taken when cutting the machine gun barrel free from the sprue

the hatch can be assembled open or closed

the turret parts, again a locating pin or two would be welcome but the parts fit is superb 
and things can only be put together one way

be sure the the lower half of the turret is aligned with the upper half 
lateral slippage is possible which would lead to an unsightly seam along the edge

the turret storage bin 
(because we Americans love our stuff!)

again, the parts fit is perfect

pay attention to the handrails, they are side-specific
 as one is marginally longer than the other 

smoke grenade launchers are side-specific as well and would really benefit from a locating hole or a scribed line showing the proper position on the turret side

I spent several minutes looking at photos of real M-60A3s 
before I was happy with where I placed these 

finished and assembled with the crew in position

the model certainly captures the look of the thing

a (very basic) paint job  

a black wash and a bit of dry-brushing helps

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