In-Box Review
US Tank Conversions
US Tank Conversion Accessory; M48A2GA2, M48A5, M60A3
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by: Tom Cromwell [ BARKINGDIGGER ]

On a number of threads about M48 conversions I have seen mention of this Lo Models detail set. It offers parts for the German M48A2GA2, the M48A5, and M60A3. These include new turret cupolas, new main guns, and a few other details that would augment the Tamiya M48A3 or M60A1 kits that were current at the time. While most of the conversions have since come out as full kits by various manufacturers, there is surprisingly little information about the contents of the Lo Models set available on the web. I just had to take a good look inside the box!

The small end-opening box has two green sprues in plastic wrapping, as well as a sheet of instructions. The parts have a little flash, but are otherwise well-moulded. Some of the sprue gates are unfortunate, especially on the machine guns.

The detail is from a simpler age, with items like the barrel clamps on the German gun barely resembling the real thing. There are some inaccuracies too, such as the German cupola that has its hatch in the centre – the real thing is offset to the rear of the top surface. I had hoped that the Wegmann smoke launchers might be decent, but they are very simplistic and toy-like. The most interesting parts in this set are the Urdan cupola, the AN/VSS-3 searchlight, and the smoke-launchers for the M60A3, but again the detail is not up to modern standards. The pictures tell the story.

These days there are kits of the M60A3, M48A5, and M48A2GA2 out there, and they have better renditions of almost all the parts in this set.

While this set filled a purpose when first released, virtually all of it has since been made redundant by newer kits and aftermarket metal barrels. I may eventually find a use for some of the parts, but with better parts available now in recent kits I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to find this set if I was planning a conversion.
Highs: One of the few AM Urdan cupolas available. Can be found very cheap.
Lows: Old set. Detail is variable and can be crude. Some parts woefully inaccurate.
Verdict: Unless you really need something that cannot be found elsewhere, give this set a miss!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 3501
  PUBLISHED: Oct 17, 2015
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Tom Cromwell (barkingdigger)

A Yank living overseas on a long-term basis, I've been building tanks since the early '70s. I relish the challenges of older kits (remember when Tamiya was "new"?...) because I love to scratch-build.

Copyright ©2021 text by Tom Cromwell [ BARKINGDIGGER ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks for the review! I got one or two boxes of this set. What do you think of the air cleaners? Cheers, Christophe
OCT 18, 2015 - 02:47 AM
They aren't the best. The top and separate side are ok, but the rear end lacks the recessed bolts that secure the real thing, while the front should be overhung by the lip of the top, and the intake "elbow" pipes are moulded on as lumps. You could improve the rear ends by stealing parts from Tamiya's old M48A3, but the front will take a little creative surgery. I think there are better versions out there in plastic now...
OCT 18, 2015 - 03:49 PM
OCT 18, 2015 - 04:36 PM
I still grab them whenever they pop up at shows as I use the Urdan cupola. With a little added detail, it looks good. Neat thing is, these kits are going for a couple of bucks.
OCT 18, 2015 - 08:04 PM
I concur with your review as I'm just using the Urdan cupola on a model. The moulding is good but the detail is very "old school" and simplistic. The fit of the parts is OK, but the level of detail on the bits that make up the hinges and hatch are quite heavy handed. Still, it was on the shelf and that was what was important versus laying out more money on a replacement cupola sourced from somewhere else. Not unhappy with the Urdan, but not thrilled and I'm loathe to use many of the other parts in the box as they are so heavy handed. Good subject for a review, thanks. Paul
OCT 18, 2015 - 09:33 PM
I used this a couple of years ago to make the Bundeswehr M48A2GA2 version; I utilised the venerable Monogram base tank not least for the rear engine deck. I found it quite a useful kit back then not least as there wasn't anything else! I recall I replaced the Comd's MG3 and I think that was about it. Oh, I used different tracks which may have been from the Tamiya model. I stocked the stowage racks with gauze and used tea leaves for a cam net, and finished it in "Bundeswehr Brown", so all in all, a useful little conversion set although I acknowledge other kits have overtaken it.M Whatever happened to Lo model? I know they issued some pretty awful Soviet figures (although the weapons - AK 74s and an RPG were useful).
OCT 20, 2015 - 10:56 PM
I guess they weren't making enough profit to stay in business.
OCT 21, 2015 - 01:02 AM
I recently used the set to make the venerable Monogram M48A2 into a correct M48A2G with the Telefuncken searchlight, grenade launchers and modified turret basket. The Lo model headlights and the over thick guards are an exact drop fit into the Monogram hull. Seems someone intended these parts for the Monogram kit as well as the Tamiya M48A3.
OCT 21, 2015 - 01:28 AM

Click image to enlarge
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