Building a 1/6th scale R/C Pershing M26

Having successfully completed the Armortek Panther AusG I decided that I needed an Allied tank to interact with it. The tank concerned had to be the equal of the Panther which in my mind ruled out the basic Sherman, Churchill & T34. Yes, the Sherman & T34 were up gunned in order to destroy the Panther & Tiger, but the basic tank was still the same vulnerable machine. In fact the German tank crews in a one on one situation held them in contempt.

Armortek had introduced the Pershing into their range. Not being familiar with it I did some research and discovered that this had been introduced in February 1945 as a response to the American losses incurred during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 / January 1945. Thus the Pershing was a contemporary of the Panther.

The model is to be complated to represent a T26E3 from Company E, 32nd Armoured Regiment, 3rd Armoured Division. This was part of Task Force X.

The tank was serial number 26 & registration number 30119836. Why this one? Well it took part in an action outside Cologne Cathederal where it destroyed a Panther which had just ambushed and destroyed a Sherman. It so happened that a US Film Unit was there and recorded the action:

The ‘dual’ is at 6:20 if you wish to skip the background.

The Pershing’s gunner was Clarence Smoyer and he has written an interesting account of this action and his other experiences in WW2.

The building of this model has taken 4 months. It is quite a different design concept to the Panther, the Americans incorporated a lot of castings which are faithfully reproduced, making for a heavier model. Unlike the German design which had Panniers making for more room in the model hull to install the elctronics & batteries the Pershing has return wheels which preclude Panniers thus making for a narrower hull. To fit the same amount of equipment neatly into this model required some careful planning. On the other hand, there is no Zimmerit to add to the hull & the colour scheme is a simple Olive Drab.

These two slide shows illustrate the construction process:

This is the basic model completed. The next step is to add all the ‘gubbins’ that the Americans hung on the outside of their tanks. As it stands at the moment it looks too ‘factory fresh’!