Pershing Korean Tiger!

Introduction & Assembly

This kit has intrigued me since I saw a picture of it online. As a tanker the thought of painting my tank with the face of a tiger, bright yellow and all, was crazy, until I took the context into account. We had taken horrendous losses in Korea and the end was not in sight when the Pershing M-46 tank was deployed. With its 90 MM gun and good armor, it was more than a match for the T-34/85’s that the Chinese put up against it.

It was the year of the tiger, so they thought, "What the hell, let’s scare the hell out of the Commies!" The Pershing “Tiger” was the result. Though the painting on the tank had little result, it is a classic. In my recent researching of armor in Vietnam I have found at least one case of the painting of a large cat or tiger face (it is hard to tell) on the front of an M48-A3.

The Dragon kit was the only one around until the Tamiya kit came out, but is a great kit and full of good details and is finely molded. I had some problems with the separate track links, but I got them on OK. The running gear is quite detailed and went together without a hitch (note that I have also built the T-26E5 Dragon kit, which helped with this). I then assembled the deck and put it on the chassis. The fit was not perfect and I had to super-glue the hull together at the front. The turret was next and I ended up gluing the hatches shut as there is no interior other than the gun breach and I was building it stand-alone without figures. I filled the seam on the turret a little and sanded it down and you cannot even see the seam on the finished tank. The rest of the turret went together alright except for the fit of the gun and the mantlet. It was a little funny but I finally got it all to hold together after some adjustments.

The kit has a lot of small details and I put them on next. There are separate sponson cover handles and grab-rails too. The headlights are small and there are 3 pieces, which caused me all sorts of grief, since the connecting spots are hard to find and align. The guards went on well, considering their flimsy appearance. I missed the rear fender braces and had to add them after painting, but they are easy to do. Be careful taking these off the srues as they are very thin. I broke one and had to fix it.

Copyright ©2002 - Text and Photos by Lance Mertz (2-2dragoon). All Rights Reserved.

Project Photos

About the Author

About Lance Mertz (2-2dragoon)

Former Army Reserve Major. Served in the 2nd ACR 1978-80.


Lance, that's a good job on the article and kit. You say you agonized all night over doing that paint job-good on you for even trying it. I'm not even sure I'd attempt an intricate paint job like that. Keep up the good work.
AUG 05, 2002 - 09:30 PM
Lance, Outstanding work. You have a study hand Buddy. I looked at that article and did a bit of aginizing myself. Then moved on to something else. Thanks for sharing your work. You're a braver man than I am...
AUG 05, 2002 - 10:12 PM
Lance-nice work. You have a steadier hand than this man. DJ
AUG 06, 2002 - 06:37 AM