Let's build the latest release of Dragon, this monster which only two prototypes were built, a mix of assault gun and tank destroyer, called (rightly) Super Heavy Tank T-28.
|T-28 Super Heavy Tank|
The T28 super heavy tank (also called 105 mm Gun Motor Carriage T95) was a prototype heavily armored self-propelled gun designed for the United States Army during World War II. It was originally designed to be used to break through German defenses at the Siegfried Line, and was later considered as a possible participant in an invasion of the Japanese mainland. Sometimes referred to as a super-heavy tank, the T28 was re-designated as the 105 mm Gun Motor Carriage T95 in 1945 and then renamed a super heavy tank in 1946.
The T28/T95 was designed as a counter to the German heavy tanks, such as the Maus. It was also set to be used for attacking the heavy defences expected of the German Siegfried Line.
It was first conceived in the spring of 1945, but proved to be too late to be used in World War II. The original name for the project was to be T28/T95. The Pacific Car and Foundry Company designed it for the final push in Europe, but by the time the first tank was completed and ready for combat, the war was over. The original plans called for five prototype vehicles to be built, and eventually for a total of twenty-five tanks to be constructed.
|T-28 Super Heavy Tank - rear left view|
|T-28 Super Heavy Tank- right side|
|T-28 Super Heavy Tank- left side|
|T-28 Super Heavy Tank rear and front view|
As it did not have a turret, but a fixed casemate mount instead for its main armament, the T28/T95 more closely resembled a self-propelled gun, and was redesignated as the T95 Gun Motor Carriage in 1945, but in June 1946, the vehicle was redesignated again as Super Heavy Tank T28. It has been argued that it was neither a super-heavy tank nor a self-propelled gun, but that it was in fact a very heavy tank destroyer, more accurately as an American version of one of the German Jagdpanzer-style tank destroyers, intended to take on German heavy tanks.
Two prototypes of the T28 were built. They underwent evaluation at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds and the Fort Knox facilities until 1947.
|T-28 Super Heavy Tank under trials|
In 1947 one of the T28s was heavily damaged by an engine fire during trials at Yuma Proving Grounds and scrapped, and the other T28 was reported broken up and also sold for scrap. The T28 never went into service. This was because during the later stages of T28 development and evaluation were overtaken by that of the T29 and T30 turreted heavy tank design. The T29 mounted the same gun as the T28 in a conventional rotating turret. The T30 was developed with a larger-caliber gun and more powerful engine. Due to this the T28 program was terminated in October 1947.
In 1974 the last prototype was discovered abandoned in a back field at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. It is unknown where it spent the intervening 27 years. It is the sole remaining example of these tanks and was exhibited at the Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor in Kentucky. It is currently being prepared for shipment to its new home at Fort Benning, Georgia.
|T-28 Super Heavy Tank - only survivor vehicle in display|
The T28 was designed and manufactured by Pacific Car and Foundry. The mechanical superstructure was taken from a T23. The original plan was to build five prototype vehicles, with a production total of 25. Its total weight when fully equipped would have reached 95 short tons (86 tonnes). To carry this weight, it used four tracks instead of two, each 12.9 inches (328 mm) wide. The outer tracks could be detached for easier transport. After removal they could be fixed together to make a unit that could be towed behind the tank.
|T-28 Super Heavy Tank - without outer tracks|
|T-28 Super Heavy Tank towing the pair of outer tracks|
|T-28 Super Heavy Tank outer tracks in detail|
|T-28 Super Heavy Tank - towing arrangement|
Due to its extreme weight and low engine power, the T28 had extremely limited obstacle-crossing ability and could not cross any of the portable bridges available at the time, and so was considered impractical in the field and not suitable for production.
The T28 had no conventional turret, with a casemate style hull instead, giving it a comparatively low profile. Its main armament was a 105 mm T5E1 gun, in a ball-shaped gun mantlet set into the hull front. Although it was technically a part of a gun mantlet it was really attached to the hull. Due to this it was not a true tank at all, but a "Gun Motor Carriage". The traverse was limited to 10° right and 11° left, and elevation from 19.5° to −5°.
When traveling, the gun was locked at the maximum elevation. It also had a .50 inch (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine gun mounted above the commander's hatch. The main gun had a muzzle velocity of 3,700 feet per second (1,130 m/s), with a range of up to 12 miles (19 km).
The armor was very thick compared to other tanks of the time, up to 12 inches (300 mm) thick on the front. This was considered heavy enough to provide protection from the German 88mm gun used as tank gun and anti-tank guns. The lower hull front had 5.25 in (130 mm) of armor, and the sides 2.5 in (64 mm). The suspension system and lower hull were covered with 4-in (100 mm) thick steel skirts. The engine was a gasoline-powered Ford GAF V-8, delivering 500 hp, which left the vehicle underpowered with a top speed of about 8 mph (13 km/h) and greatly limited its obstacle-climbing capability.
Comparison with other countries' designs
|Specifications||T28||A39 Tortoise||Jagdtiger Henschel|
|Weight||86.2 metric tons||79.2 metric tons||71.7 metric tons|
|Crew||4 men||7 men||6 men|
|Engine||Ford GAF V-8 / 500 hp (373 kW)||Rolls-Royce Meteor V12 / 600 hp (447 kW)||V-12 Maybach HL 230 P30|
700 PS (690 hp, 515 kW)
|Speed||13 km/h||19 km/h||34 km/h|
|Maximum armor thickness||305 mm||178 – 228 mm||250 mm|
|Length||11.10 m||10.0 m||10.65 m|
|Width||4.39 m||3.90 m||3.60 m|
|Height||2.84 m||3.00 m||2.80 m|
|Armament||105 mm T5E1 gun||96 mm Ordnance QF 32 pounder||12.8 cm PaK 44 L/55|
|Secondary armament||.50 Caliber Machine Gun||3 × 7.92 mm Besa machine guns||7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 34|
|Ammunition||62 rounds||60 rounds||40 rounds|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Pacific Car and Foundry|
|Weight||95 short tons (86.2 metric tons)|
|Length||36 ft 6 in (11.1 m)|
|Width||14 ft 11 in (4.39 m)|
|Height||9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)|
|Elevation||19.5° to -5°|
|Traverse||10° right, 11° left|
|Maximum range||12 mi (19 km)|
|Armor||12 in (300 mm)|
|105 mm T5E1 gun, with 62 rounds|
|.50-cal machine gun, with 660 rounds|
|Engine||Ford GAF V-8 gasoline|
500 hp (372 kW)
|100 mi (160 km)|
|Speed||8 mph (13 km/h)|
The parts are in plastic bags, in a huge cardboard box (270 x 420 x 95mm) with an atractive cover box art. In the interior, lots of plastic parts, a booklet instructions, photo-etched sheet (2), decal, steel springs for the bogies, metal towing cable, 8 DS tracks and transparencies for cupola visors...
|Cover box art|
|Photo-etched and decl sheet (not in same scale...)|
Let´s start for the beginning... Dragon opted to build each wheel with a tread separated. Each bogie has 4 wheels ... And the vehicle has 16 bogies: 16x4 = 64 treads to remove the mark injection. To save time, I adapted each tread on a Dremel (like a mini-lathe), using the injection pin of the part. The burr removal with a scalpel it's much faster and easier!!
|The treads with and without burr.|
|A monk's job!!!|
After rectification of tread, it is time to cut the injection pins ...
|Cutting the injection pins...|
And removing the burrs of this surgery with Dremel's fine emery
|Chuck approves !!!|
|Notice the huge hull in background|
Well, it´s all for now !!!