90mm M3/L53 M26 Pershing Barrel
RB Model Set 48B20
1:48th Scale

Review by Terry Ashley

The set:
TamiyaRB Models have as well as the extensive range of 1:35 metal replacement barrel also produced a number of metal barrels for 1:48 armour kits with this set providing the 90mm M3/L53 Barrel designed for the Tamiya M26 Pershing (kit #32537).

The set has the aluminium barrel tube plus four machined parts for the distinctive M26 muzzle brake with the parts cleanly produced without ant clean-up required before assembly.

The barrel tube has the muzzle hollowed out but there is no rifling included which you couldn't see in any case with the muzzle brake in place so is not a problem. The muzzle brake has the full brake in one large part with a separate circular end cap and the inner ring also as a separate part along with the muzzle brake retaining collar.

Brass and aluminium barrel and muzzle brake parts
RB Model

Assembly of the muzzle brake is a little different than most in that the inner ring is inserted through the end of the muzzle brake and you have to ensure this is seated evenly. A small dab of super glue or solder will then hold this in place and then the end cap is inserted into the recess provided to seal up the muzzle brake.

There is a small join seam around the cap to be eliminated and if you solder the cap in place this will fill the seam with just light filing.

Close ups of the muzzle brake parts
RB Model
Views of the barrel with collar (left), the inner ring fitted inside the muzzle brake (middle)
and the end cap fitted with the small join line eliminated (right).

RB Model

There are a couple of small dimensional issues with the set in that the barrel length is a little short when compared to the 1:48 plans in the Hunnicut Pershing book, but at 1mm is probable nothing to get too excited about.
The other is the muzzle brake is also shorter than shown in the plans by about 2mm and the end is too flat without the pronounced bulge contours of the actual muzzle brake. Again this is something that may not be that noticeable when the barrel is fitted to the kit but is there in any case.

Comparison of the RB Model and Tamiya kit muzzle brakes
note the end bulge missing for the metal barrel

RB Model
The assembled RB Model barrel/muzzle brake fitted to the Tamiya Pershing kit mantlet
RB Model

Fitting the metal barrel to the Tamiya kit is very straightforward as the barrel simply replaces the kit barrel and fits snugly into the same locating hole in the Mantlet neck without any alterations required.

This is quite an impressive barrel in the smaller 1:48 scale despite the small dimensional issues mentioned above and adds crispness to the muzzle brake and will appeal to those who prefer metal barrels on their kits.

Highly recommended

Pershing: A History of the Medium Tank T20 Series
Presidio Press
Richard P. Hunnicutt
M26 Pershing Walk Around
Squadron/Signal books #5706
David Doyle.
ISBN 978-0-89747-566-2
Thanks to Leo at LionMarc Model Designs who now carry the full range of RB Models barrels for the review set.

Page created March 3, 2009