by: Tom Cromwell [ ]
introductionOn 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!
contentsThe 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.
reviewThe 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.
conclusionWhile 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.