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M36 Kit

Academy 1/35 M36 Jackson Tank Destroyer Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2005 Manufacturer Academy
Subject M36 Jackson Tank Destroyer Scale 1/35
Kit Number 1395 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Excellent exterior detailing Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $45.00

First Look

M36 Kit
M36 Kit
M36 Kit
M36 Kit
M36 Kit
M36 Kit

The M36 Jackson was introduced into the European theater in late 1944 to answer one of the main limitations of the M10 - armor piercing firepower. While the M10 had been relatively effective against the earlier Panzers, its 76mm gun was limited against the heavier armor of the newer Panther and Tiger tanks. The M36 addressed this limitation with a combination of a longer range 90mm main gun and the introduction of armor-piercing rounds. In fact, during the Battle of the Bulge, the M36 was one of the few armored vehicles that could hold its own against the Tiger and Panther.

The M36 would go on to serve in the Korean War, the Indo-Pakistan wars and even in the Balkans conflicts. Two other versions of the M36 were fielded, the M36B1 that was really an M36 turret on an M4A3 chassis, and the M36B2 which was an M36 turret mounted on a reconditioned M10 chassis.

If you've read the M10 Duckbill review also in this issue, you'll notice a great detail of similarity between the M10 and M36 kits. The M36 shares many components with the earlier M10, and fittingly the folks at Academy were able to replace a few parts trees in the M10 kit and replace the turret in order to render the M36 Jackson.

The kit features a very detailed driver's and radioman's compartment, inner hull stowage, and even fuel tanks that can't even be seen once the model is assembled. The turret is also beautifully detailed with the 90mm main gun, secondary armament, and turret stowage. The suspension and road wheels are very nicely executed.

Unlike the recent M10 Duckbill release, this kit does not have an engine compartment included. We'll have to look to Verlinden or one of the other resin aftermarket shops to fill in this void.

Options provided in this kit include two styles of drive wheels and return rollers, two different type of transmission covers, two different styles of towing loops, two different types of towing hitches, positionable driver's and radioman's hatches (complete with periscopes), and even an additional 30 caliber machine gun to augment the 50 caliber. A complete set of ammunition is provided (stored in tubes in the hull and stored at the ready in the turret).

Numerous other details are also provided including canteens, lanterns, and a complete set of pioneering tools. The only minor drawback that I can find in this kit involves the pioneering tools, well actually where they mount. The rear of the hull has silhouettes molded to show where to place the tools, and while this might be helpful for some, it will need to be removed with a little light sanding.

Markings are provided for two US WW2 examples, one US Korean war example, and one French Indochina example.

Academy continues to push the bar in what the modeler should expect in terms of detail and quality for the price. This kit is highly recommended!

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!

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