M-36 Jackson GMC
1/35th Scale
Kit No.1395
In Box Review by Terry Ashley

The Vehicle:
The M36 with 90mm gunned open topped turret was produced in three basic types with the M36 based on the M10A1 gasoline powered hulls, the M36B1 with the 90mm turret mounted on the M4A3 Sherman hull and the M36B2 based on the diesel powered M10 hulls. There were also variations in the barrels with the early models having no muzzle break to the late war double baffle muzzle break and the post war M3A1 gun with single baffle muzzle break and bore extractor. Some M36s were built on late model M10A1 hulls without the bosses for the appliqué armour on the hull sides while others had a makeshift roof added over the open topped turret to provide some crew protection. Post war vehicles also had a .30cal MG port added to the front glacis plate and were still in service as late as 1996 during the Balkans war.

The kit:
The kit consists of 625 parts in dark green plastic plus a small decal sheet and length of twine for the tow rope, this equates to about 85% of the parts from the previously released M12/M10/Achilles kits and 15% new parts for the M36.

The inclusion of the previous kit parts with the new parts allows you to build any of the above variations except the M36B1 from the parts in the box, not a bad deal.

The quality of the mouldings is good as we know from the previous M10 kits with only a minimum of pin ejector marks on parts with detail on both sides but other than that just the normal cleanup needed for plastic parts.

The lower hull:
At the front of the conventional hull tub you have a choice of Type 2B or Type 2D 1-piece transmission covers which includes casting numbers but you will have to add the drain plugs underneath the final drive housings. The VVSS suspension bogies are the Type 2C-2 Intermediate raised roller with a choice of open spoked or solid spoked wheels and idler wheels with rear detail inserts as well as the grease plug and relief valve details while there is a choice of Type 2 revised or Type 3 Simple Plate drive sprockets.

The interior as with the other kits is quite complete with lower floor forward transmission bulkhead and gearbox, driver’s position with gear levers, foot pedals, instrument panel and seat plus the co-driver’s seat. The fighting compartment has the floor with rear engine compartment bulkhead which includes the oil cooler radiator details and side sponson mounted ammo racks and shell cases.

The rear hull has the new M4A3 type panels (upper and lower hull) and exhausts for the M36 while you still get the original M4A2 style panels for an M36B2 if you wish.

The Upper Hull:
Moulded in one piece the cut-out for hull MG is slightly larger than on the M10 hull and there is a choice of rear decking for the M36 (M4A3 style) or M36B2 (M4A2 style) both with separate engine bay doors and at the front are two separate glacis plates, one plain for WWII vehicles and the other with the .30cal MG mounting for post war vehicles, nothing like plenty of choices in one box.

The hull crew hatches are separate with additional separate periscopes, handles, hinge detail and internal fitting for nice little assemblies and all the fuel filler caps are separate which makes adding them in the right places for the M36 or M36B2 rear deck easy while you get the later style barrel support on the rear hull plus the usual array of pioneer tools.

One the hull sides are the moulded on bosses for the appliqué armour as seen on many M36s and can easily be removed if building a late model M36 without these present, the only parts that need any real work are the front and real light guards which are a little on the think side, but many will replace these with etched items anyway?

The Turret:
This is moulded in upper and lower halves with a separate half turret basket with tread plate pattern and central traverse motor included but there are some pin ejector marks around the turret ring which will need careful removal so as not to damage the bolt head details also there.
The upper turret has nice weld seam detail as well as flush screws, tie downs and other detail on top of the bustle and equally nice screw bolts along the top of the mantlet.
The execution of the weld seam along the turret sides is well done as it is moulded just above the join of the upper and lower turret halves and as the fit is very good the join virtually ‘disappears’ into the weld seam when fitted together but there is a minor mould seam around the turret bustle that will need careful removal.
The large mantlet includes the two lifting eyes with subtle cast texture on the surface and as mentioned there is a choice of three different barrel configurations depending on what vehicle you are building.

There are two barrels both split vertically as is normal with a choice of end thread protector for the early barrel without muzzle break or the late war double baffle muzzle break (similar to the M26), the early barrel without the tread protector could be depicted by using a piece of plastic tube the same diameter as the barrel although this option isn’t in the kit.

The other barrel is the post war M3A1 gun with single baffle muzzle break and bore extractor which was usually fitted in conjunction with the hull mounted .30cal MG.
On top is the two part cover fitted to some late war and to post war vehicles to provide some top cover for the crew and has the hinge details included.
The top mantlet plate is a separate part but does have some pin ejector marks to be removed due to it being moulded “backwards” on the sprue, which is with the detail facing what is the back of most other parts on the sprue.

On the interior is a three part breech with separate two part breech block and sight plus some other details such as the seats and ready round racks in the rear bustle, there is scope to add additional details here but the basics are there.
You have a choice of nice .50cal or .30cal MG for the pintle mount on the rear turret roof although the .50cal was the normal fit.

An additional sprue has a selection of .30cal and.50cal ammo boxes, some jerry cans, additional solid spoke road wheels, spare track links and a number of small sections with moulded on bolt heads, lettering etc which you can cut off and use as required.

The decals are well printed with thin carrier film and provide markings for four vehicles although they are fairly generic overall with no specific units identified in the instructions other than to say one is from Korea 1953, one from “Tonkin” Indochina 1953 and two from WWII, Germany March 1945 and France November 1944.
The instructions only deal with the construction of the M36 but it wouldn’t be too hard to work out where the extra M36B2 bits go and if you have the previous M10 kit even easier.

The tracks are continuous length vinyl T51 Rubber Block with the end connectors in the right place between the blocks, the securing bolt is also present on the connectors for what are very nicely detailed tracks in this medium.
Outside view
Inside view

Another very nice kit for allied fans with nice details and with the number of options included is very good value with three different versions able to be built from the parts in the box and the M36B1 with the use of the Tamiya M4A3 as a donor hull.
There are areas where extra details would enhance the kit details, but what kit hasn’t and overall this will build into a very nice long sought after Jackson.
It would also be possible to use the M36 hull as a basis for an M35 Prime Mover if the modifications needed on the AFV Club kit are a bit much to undertake.
This kit has been a while in coming having first been announced nearly two years back; let’s hope the M3 Lee/Grant series listed for 2004 don’t suffer the same delays.

Highly Recommended.

Extra detail bits

The Sprues:
Click on thumbnails for larger view
New Sprues
Detail Images
Academy AcademyAcademyAcademy
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M10 and M36 Tank
Destroyers 1942-53

New Vanguard No 57
Osprey Publishing
US Tank Detroyers
Walk Around

Squadron Signal Publications #5703
ISBN 0-89747-456-2
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.115
ISBN 83-7219-080-1
Wydawnictwo Militaria
Allied & Axis 12
Ampersand Publishing
Soft cover, 96 pages

Allied & Axis
US Tank Detroyers in action
Squadron Signal Publications No.2036
ISBN 0-89747-385-X
US Technical Manual
M36B1, M36B2 CD

Easy 1 Productions
Easy 1 Productions
US Tank Destroyers
of WWII photo CD

Enygma Graphics
Enygma Graphics
SHERMAN A History of the
American Medium Tank

R.P.Hunnicutt. Presidio Books ISBN 0-89141-080-5
Modeler's Guide to the Sherman
MMIR Special. Ampersand Publishing Company, Inc
Kit courtesy of my Credit Card and the excellent service from Rainbow Ten.

Page created 13 November 2003

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