T26E1 (later re-named T26E4) "Super Pershing" prototype n° 1 , from Hobby Boss, in 1/35 scale.
The T26 Pershing was the culmination of a series of tank prototypes which began with the T20 in 1942 and represented a significant design departure from the previous line of U.S. Army tanks that had ended with the M4 Sherman. A number of design features were tested in the various prototypes, some of which were experimental dead-ends, but many of which would become permanent characteristics of subsequent modern U.S. Army tanks. The prototype series began as a medium tank upgrade of the M4 Sherman and ended as the U.S. Army's first operational heavy tank. The T26 was introduced late into World War II and saw only a limited amount of combat. Controversy continues to exist as to why the production of the Pershing was so delayed.
Regardless of how it came about, production finally began in November 1944. Ten (10) T26E3 tanks were produced that month at the Fisher Tank Arsenal, 30 in December, 70 in January 1945, and 132 in February. The Detroit Tank Arsenal also started production in March 1945, and the combined output was 194 tanks for that month. Production continued through the end of the war, and over 2,000 were produced by the end of 1945. Following its introduction into combat in Europe, the T26E3 tanks were redesignated as the M26 in March 1945.
The 90-mm M3 gun of the Pershing was similar to the German 88 mm KwK 36 used on the Tiger I. In an effort to match the firepower of the Tiger II's more powerful 88 mm KwK43, the T15E1 90 mm gun was developed and mounted in a T26E1 in January 1945. This tank was designated T26E1-1.
The T15E1 gun was 73 calibers in length and had a much longer high capacity chamber. This gave it a muzzle velocity of 3,750 ft/s (1,140 m/s) with the T30E16 APCR shot and could penetrate the Panther's frontal armor at up to 2,600 yd (2,400 m). This model used a single piece 50 in (1,300 mm) long ammunition and was the only Super Pershing sent to Europe. After the tank arrived in Europe, maintenance units in the Third Armor Division added extra armor to the front of the tank. The Pershing's gun mantlet was a known weak point in the armor, and so an 80mm piece from a Panther tank was added in front of the mantlet and another Panther´s scrap armour was added in the front of the Pershing´s hull.
|T26E1 Super Pershing. Notice the Panther´s armour|
in the front of hull and front of the mantlet.
|T26E1 with Panther´s armour, but without "ears".|
T26E1 with Panther´s armour and "ears".
The kit presents the marks of the Super-Pershing when she was in a warehouse of surplus at the end of the war. The A and the 2 were post-war markings. The picture of the Osprey book shows this configuration, which I consider wrong.
The Osprey Book pic.
Notice the "A" and "2" marks (Discussion Only)
I modified the picture of the Osprey, adding the stars of recognition, because in my opinion, a different unmarked machine as this could attract friendly fire. This girl also is called T26E4 Super Pershing Prototype.
Osprey pic modified (Discussion only) .
I'll mark my kit like this ...
T26E1 Super Pershing, ready for action.
A second pilot tank was converted from a T26E3 and used a modified T15E2 gun that used a two piece ammunition. A total of 25 of these tanks were built and designated as the T26E4. An improved mounting removed the need for stabilizer springs.
|T26E4 Production Pershing|
On April 4, 1945, near Dessau, a "Super Pershing" destroyed one King Tiger hitting him on the bottom, also crippled another tank (probably a Panther), with a hit in his side. This is its only known combat engagement.The kit:
A little comparison: Side by side with Dragons Pershing T26E3.
|Two huge girls...|
Starting by the wheels...
As the tank is the prototype with additional front armour, I will lowering the front suspension to simulate the weight.
|Torsion bars simulating weight in the front.|
|Dry-run - Final aspect...|
During the weekend, the project's progress is always faster. A contribuition of RB Models:
The hull under construction:
After that, I can finish the turret. Improvements in the .50 caliber:
|Upper hull and front glacis built. Notice the Browning .30 MG|
|The extra-armour of the front hull|
|The HobbyBoss PE....very delicate|
|Starting the turret. Notice the frames of photo-etched|
in front and rear mudguards...
|The Girl is huge, indeed...|
This Girl use a very, very long gun. Another problem of balancing, solved with a metal rod and a small lead weight that slides along the rod. With that, I can adjust the balance of the gun until the end of the build.
|The gun in equilibrium...|
|A wonderfull PE from RB Models, for the .50 caliber|
|The turret is ready. Ears and long nose.|
Notice the two cilinders above the mantlet: Movable too...
|The .50 Browning|
|Size comparison between the "normal" and "Super" Pershing|
Olive drab + black stripes:
|The gloss aspect is gloss varnish, to prevent silvering in the decals|
And the decals. The original numbers plus white stars:
The wheels in position. Next step: weathering...
|Note the tank front suspension lowered because the armour´s weight|
Tracks and weathering. I used the vinyl tracks. Good in detail, but the drive sprockets are slightly wider than the tracks (vinyl or LBL). I compress the teeth in the inner portion of the wheel and pushed against the other side. With that, reduces the thickness and the tracks fit together.
|With vinyl shoes...|
|The filters and washes are drying...|
|Side by side with "normal" Pershie...|
This beauty is ready...The wash and weathering slow to dry, but were ready ...
|Super-Pershing 1st prototype - T26E1|
|Left side - Notice the front suspension lowered|
|With Kojak, to compare the size|
|Side by side with normal T26E3|
Well, there this, Folks...The HobbyBoss kit is amazing. A delight to build, with clear instructions and parts with an excellent fit.
I recommend, with no restrictions. Tons of fun !!!!