The M60 Patton series of tanks served the United States armed services beginning in 1959. Though no longer serving active duty for the United States, some are still in service with foreign nations today. The original M60 underwent a number of upgrades over the years to improve performance and reliability.
This variant, the M60A1 first went into service in 1962 with the US Army, but underwent a number of improvements in the late 1960ís and 1970ís. The M60A1 last saw active service with the United States Marines during the invasion of Kuwait for Desert Storm, shortly thereafter being replaced by the M1A1 for frontline units.
The kit contains seven separate sprues molded in a tan styrene, plus a sheet of decals. The instructions are 12 pages, including two pages of painting instructions. Decals provided are for four versions including a Desert Storm USMC one in tan, the Italian Army in Somalia circa 1993, a US Army V-2/11 Cavalry Regiment MERDC scheme, and an Austrian tank circa 1966. According to some of my references as the M60A1 was phased out of US service, some were supplied to Italy who used them in Somalia in 1993.
Admittedly this is not a recent release, but has been on the market for several years. This specific kit is not in the current Revell of Germany
catalog but is available through some outlets and retailers still. The most recent release is the M60A3 version that includes the M9 dozer blade (ERA Panels are not included). That said, most long-time Braille scale modelers would wonder how it stacks up by the much older Esci offerings.
First of all, the road wheels are not the finned aluminum type common on early M60A1 tanks, but rather the smooth steel wheels common to later usage. The good news is that inner and outer road wheels are provided while the Esci kit provided a single wheel that served as the inner and outer together. It made the Esci version quicker to assemble but looks like a steam roller drum!
The tracks are link and length, which at one time was considered top of the line for detail, but now has fallen into disfavor with some modelers as being difficult to assemble. The tracks are the later, M142 style with octagonal block pads. Also, the tracks feature outer and inner details including the guide horns. As a comparison the Esci kit provided a smooth surface facing the road wheels with no guide horn or relevant detail.
The hatches for the commander and gunner are molded separately, but the driverís hatch is not. Most of the external details are molded separately, but the air cleaners and stowage boxes are molded with the top of the hull. This results in an open void on the underside of the fenders. The air cleaners will present a special difficulty for modelers wanting to back date to an early M60A1. The turret and commanderís turret can be rotated, but the elevation of the main gun is fixed. Lifting eyes, headlight brackets and a number of other small details are molded separately.
The turret details include ERA panels, smoke grenade launchers, and a seven piece turret basket. The basket looks pretty well detailed for 1/72 scale. This could prove to be fiddly to deal with when assembled. Mounting locations for the ERA are molded into the turret surface and should be filled in for pre-ERA vehicles. Detailing for a tank without ERA panels installed would require adding all the mounting lugs.
Overall, details are crisp and sharp with plenty of small bits for the 1/72 builder. While Revell was kind enough to provide decals and painting instructions for earlier versions of the M60A1, builders who are sticklers for accuracy will have some work correcting roadwheels, tracks and some of the other bits. As molded, this kit is most accurate for the waning days of the M60 in active service in the US military.
This kit is a definite improvement over the aging ESCI offerings, with better and accurate details. Revell has taken the time to include painting and decals for earlier versions, but the kit as molded is technically not accurate for those time periods. The kit scales out well and is an excellent representation of the M60A1. Builders who donít prefer the length and link tracks might be put off, but the effort can be rewarding. The M9 dozer blade is available in the M60A3 kit (number 03175) but would be accurate for use in the M60A1 as well.
A review of an accessory set from Black Dog for this kit can be found Here on Armorama