This kit follows Takom’s two earlier m60 releases, the M60A1 w/Explosive Reactive Armor (No.2113) and the M60A1 U.S. Army Main Battle Tank (No. 2132). This kit represents an M60A3 TTS (Tank Thermal Sights) which was the last version built for the U.S. Army

 

By comparison to the AFV M60A3, this kit contains less parts but with no loss of detail. Starting with the lower hull there are none of the annoying motorization holes found in some other kits. The whole hull has a subtle cast texture with all visible weld lines and casting marks. The torsion bar mounts are molded as part of the hull with excellent detail due to slide molding techniques. The remainder of the lower hull builds up with final drive housings, bump stops, suspension swing arms, tail lights and tow pintle. There are also 4 heavy duty tie-downs (2 per side) typical of most M60A3’s. The drive sprockets are slide molded allowing for the 3 mud evacuation holes in the outer sprocket. Road wheels are made with the outer tire as a separate part but the outer rim is molded with the tire meaning masking will still be needed for painting. The tracks are one piece T142 with a steel wire that slides through the ends to connect the track.

 

Now on to the upper hull. The center section consists of front glacis, turret ring and engine deck with all grills. The cast texture is well done. To this is added headlights and guards, lifting rings, driver’s hatch, sump drain, fuel cap and gun crutch. Rear engine grills are added as the top and bottom hull parts are joined. The right fender is one piece and the left fender has to be cut to add the rear piece with the reinforced section to hold the hydraulic reservoir for the blade kit. Tool boxes with separate lids and top loading armored air cleaners are added.

 

The turret again has the same subtle cast texture as the rest of the kit. Smoke grenade launchers, grenade boxes, sights, handrails and wind sensor are installed. Two steel fuel cans are added to either side of the turret although late tanks usually carried plastic fuel or water cans which can be found on sprue Q. The commander’s cupula is well detailed on the outside but nothing inside making leaving the hatch open problematic unless a commander figure is added to block the opening. The barrel is two piece split down the middle with a 3 piece mantlet cover. The turret basket has a two piece photo etch screen with a plastic form to aid in bending the PE to correct shape. There is no search light as these were deleted when the upgrade to TTS took place. An interesting item is that the turret top still has the interrupter bar that prevented the commander from firing the MG into the searchlight. These were not removed when the searchlight was deleted but was sometimes removed by the crew.

 

Now for the Bulldozer, the real M9 Bulldozer is a self-contained kit made to be added to any M60 tank. Takom gives you all the hardware and associated plumbing to build an exact 1/35 copy of the prototype. All previous M9 Bulldozer kits required scratch building the under tank plumbing or were Israeli prototypes not US equipment.

 

 

By leaving off the blade hardware a straight M60A3 can be built and the M9 Bulldozer kit can be added to another M60 kit. There is an additional barrel with no thermal shield if you want to build an M60A1 but you would need to source a searchlight and the searchlight storage hardware for the rear of the turret plus correct sights and drivers hatch but that would be a waste as Takom already makes an excellent M60A1 kit. The extra barrel could be used to replace the undersized barrel in the Dragon M60 kit.

 

The kit does not contain any crew figures or external storage other than a couple fuel cans. Overall this is a very good kit with no real negatives.

M60A3 w/M9 Bulldozer    Tamkom kit N. 2137   by Tom Owens