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Tamiya M60A1 Upgrade to M60A3.

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  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: East Stroudsburg, PA
Tamiya M60A1 Upgrade to M60A3.
Posted by TigerII on Sunday, August 6, 2023 8:40 PM

Since there are a few tanks getting upgraded, I thought I'd stick my toe in the pond and try it myself, just for the heck of it. So I have a Tamiya M60A1 and I'm trying to upgrade it to a A3. I have the kit instructions for both tanks so that really helps. So I had to scratch build the turret cables, I used Verlinden AM resin 105mm two part main gun, with thermal shroud (US Army version), I used from my parts box parts the TC periscope, I used plumber's putty to form the turret mantlet cover and .50cal TC cover. PE was used for the smoke discharger anchors and their ammo boxes. I decided on using the kit tracks. I primed and silly puttied it for the camo paint. I'm going with Flat Green, Olive Green and Desert Yellow with splashes of Buff and Flat Black. Enjoy the WIP pics and as always all comments and critiques are greatly appreciated.

Achtung Panzer! Colonel General Heinz Guderian
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Sunday, August 6, 2023 9:15 PM

A Nice project,coming along nicely.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Monday, August 7, 2023 12:08 AM

Just a couple of issues, you're using the original side loading air cleaners that were not used on the M60A3.

I also believe you put the TTS doghouse on the TC cupola sight housing instead of the turret.

Here's a photo of me in my A3 back in 1988. You can see the curved doghouse in front of the cupola.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Monday, August 7, 2023 8:51 AM

TigerII
I decided on using the kit tracks.

I believe all M60A3s used T142 tracks with the elongated hexagonal pads.  The kit has older T97E2 tracks with chevron-shaped track pads.  In addition, the kit tracks have the inner center guide teeth molded incorectly in the middle of each pad, as opposed to connecting them.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/HeavyArty

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Monday, August 7, 2023 11:57 AM

HeavyArty

 

 
TigerII
I decided on using the kit tracks.

 

I believe all M60A3s used T142 tracks with the elongated hexagonal pads.  The kit has older T97E2 tracks with chevron-shaped track pads.  In addition, the kit tracks have the inner center guide teeth molded incorectly in the middle of each pad, as opposed to connecting them.

 

No, he's starting with the newer rebox kit that included the A3 parts are unused and molded in tan. I'm pretty sure he has the later tracks that first came out with the M247 Sgt. York (from his photo).

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Monday, August 7, 2023 2:15 PM

Disregard, those are T142 tracks.  I think they still have the center guide teeth issue though.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/HeavyArty

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Dripping Springs, TX, USA
Posted by RBaer on Monday, August 7, 2023 5:38 PM

Fun project! If you need any parts, PM me, I've got boxes full.

Apprentice rivet counter.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, August 7, 2023 8:10 PM

I don't know the specifics of different M60 versions but it looks cool to me! Yes

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Tuesday, August 8, 2023 12:24 AM

Gamera

I don't know the specifics of different M60 versions but it looks cool to me! Yes

It's not quite as complicated as German armor, but the M60 series consists of four basic versions; the original M60, also called the "Slick 60", M60A0 or "A-nothing".

That first version is very similar to the final version of the M48 series tanks with a 105 gun instead of the M48's 90 mm. A lot of people will mistake an M60A-nothing with an M48A5, including old 19E tankers.

The Slick 60 served for decades in USAR and ARNG units, so the tank continued to receive upgrades that appear on later versions of the M60A1 or M60A3.

The next version is the M60A1 which served even longer and received so many upgrades that it would take a book to list them all. The final version of the M60A1 used by the USMC was the M60A1 RISE/Passive which served during Desert Storm.

The M60A2 had the shortest life and used a funky looking turret that fired the 152 mm Shellelagh missle or a cansiter round. Most of those tanks had the turret removed and became AVLB bridge launchers.

The M60A3TTS was the final version used by the Army. They added a Tank Thermal Sight (TTS) that was very effective and a laser range finder (LRF). There are a few more upgrades, but mechanically it was virtually identical to the M60A1 RISE/Passive. The improvements were to the fire control system versus the automotive capabilities.

The main visual differences between the two main variants, the M60A1 and M60A3, are the thermal sight housing (aka "dog house"), the thermal shroud on the main gun, crosswind sensor mast, and the laser range finder housing.

In the little photo of me in my TC hatch, there is a round blister below the cupola. It is the LRF housing and has a small brass padlock on a little door flap. The laser range finder was considered a direct fire weapon and could blind people. The cover is to prevent it from being fired by some soldier just messing around. Yeah, that happened because they didn't treat it like the weapon it was.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, August 8, 2023 9:11 AM

Thanks Rob!!! That helps a LOT! 

 

I'm the guy that was confused for years by the M4-M4A4 because I thought they were numbered sequentially instead of refering to different engine and hull types. Huh? 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Tuesday, August 8, 2023 11:18 AM

Gamera

Thanks Rob!!! That helps a LOT! 

 

I'm the guy that was confused for years by the M4-M4A4 because I thought they were numbered sequentially instead of refering to different engine and hull types. Huh? 

Really though, in the US, only the M60A1 and M60A3 are the ones of importance.

And if you look closely at the turret of the A1 and A3, you can see the resembalance to the turret of the King Tiger that inspired the shape.

I remember telling the forum how to think about Sherman numbering way back when.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Friday, August 11, 2023 6:20 PM

You may have been the guy who opened my eyes to how the M4 numbering system actually works. I don't remember at this point. 

 

Anyway the M60 model designation system makes more sense than that of the T-72. I kinda regret going down that rabbit hole- the Russian models are enough to keep straight not to mention all the other versions modified by different national users... Dunce

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, August 12, 2023 11:27 AM

Gamera
model designation system makes more sense

An entirely true sentiment.

Not that German WWII designations were much better.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, August 12, 2023 12:28 PM

Yeah, definitely, the M60 series designations are probably the easiest to understand. The Slick 60 with its "M48 style" turret looks different than the A1/A3 turret.

The M60A2 stands out among all turrets. Too bad it was a failure. It had a lot of new fangled features.

Probably the most unusual fact is that there are models of early M60A1s when they were first fielded to the Regular Army and models of later Slick 60s used by the National Guard in the late 1980s that will have more modern features than those A1s.

You'll see Guard M60s with later style tracks, steel road wheels, top loading air cleaners and smoke grenade launchers versus the original M60A1 with early tracks, aluminum road wheels, side loading air cleaners, and no launchers.

  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: East Stroudsburg, PA
Posted by TigerII on Friday, August 25, 2023 6:27 PM

Rob Gronovius

Just a couple of issues, you're using the original side loading air cleaners that were not used on the M60A3.

I also believe you put the TTS doghouse on the TC cupola sight housing instead of the turret.

Here's a photo of me in my A3 back in 1988. You can see the curved doghouse in front of the cupola.

 

Hey Rob, thanks for the pic. I've been on vacation but I fixed up the discrepancies in my upgrade to the A3. Luckily I had some resin air cleaners so I popped off the side loading ones and replaced them with these, also I was able to put the TTS doghouse in its proper location and scratchbuilt a new vision sight(it still needs the lens cover). BTW thanks for the back up on the tracks. Now I can proceed with the upgrade.

Achtung Panzer! Colonel General Heinz Guderian
  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: East Stroudsburg, PA
Posted by TigerII on Monday, September 11, 2023 3:21 PM

It's been over two weeks since I've updated my post. Summer, friends and family will do that. I'm not complaining. I took liberties when it came to artistic license. The camo looks stark, but I'll be giving it a pin wash, a dark/grime wash, (hopefully to tone down the camo), and weathering for wear and tear. I haven't decided what decals/transfers to put on it, but definitely there won't be any white stars. Smile Then the tracks will be painted and added on, along with the figures. Here are couple of pics of the stark camo. Enjoy.

 

Achtung Panzer! Colonel General Heinz Guderian
  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Armpit of NY
Posted by MJames70 on Monday, September 11, 2023 8:49 PM

If it's a fantasy color scheme, that's one thing. But as far as the winter verdant MERDC scheme your colors are well off. Way too much black and sand, and the field drab would not impinge on the green. See - https://www.cybermodeler.com/armor/m60/m60_profile02.shtml

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Tuesday, September 12, 2023 12:30 AM

He's right, the black squiggles were more or less "seagull-shaped" and by 1987, we had virtually eliminated the sand colored spots on the tank. We just used field brown, NATO green and black.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, September 12, 2023 9:35 PM

Wow, I was about to say I like the camo, I wasn't aware the details of it are off. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 12:05 AM

This is the proper pattern, but remember, 18-20 year old kids are painting this, often with old paint brushes like you'd use on the exterior of your house.

The colors used varied based on the zone the tank operated in. We used "winter verdant" with the lighter green being replaced by the field brown.

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 2:50 AM

Hello!

Nice work on that M60!

Rob - I think we really need that MERDC group build... On that picure you posted a lot of attention goes to the hull sides - the space inside the tracks... That doesn't seem realistic to me... What would happen on those surfaces in real life? How about the underside of the tank? What would be under the dirt on the tank belly?

Good luck with your builds, have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 5:16 AM

I like the way your project is coming along,it's good to try different techniques like kit bashing.I appreciate that you stated you are using artistic license with your build,I get it,Sometimes we don't want to to be constrained by what something should look like or should be painted,sometimes we just decide to go rogue and have fun.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 11:57 PM

Pawel

Hello!

Nice work on that M60!

Rob - I think we really need that MERDC group build... On that picure you posted a lot of attention goes to the hull sides - the space inside the tracks... That doesn't seem realistic to me... What would happen on those surfaces in real life? How about the underside of the tank? What would be under the dirt on the tank belly?

Good luck with your builds, have a nice day

Paweł

 

At first, the camo pattern was continued on the sides of the hull (the belly isn't repainted).

Later, the sides were just painted forest green and we didn't bother making road wheels different colors, just the overall green.

In practice, the sides of the hull remained covered with dirt. The tank could probably be painted pink below the fenders and after a short while would just be dirt and mud colored.

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Thursday, September 14, 2023 6:34 AM

Thanks a lot for the good info here, Rob!

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Friday, September 15, 2023 12:44 AM

Pawel

Thanks a lot for the good info here, Rob!

Towards the end, we painted the A3s using the NATO 3-color scheme that you would see USAR and ARNG tanks in, but ours looked like lepers. Instead of the darker NATO brown, we used the field brown, but often had to mix it with the green and sand to make it last.

Our tanks were painted by the young men who crewed them.

  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: East Stroudsburg, PA
Posted by TigerII on Monday, September 18, 2023 12:18 PM

Hey Tojo, thanks for the comment. As you can see that is exactly where I went with the camouflage. Basically its still all the colors used in camo; Flat/Olive Green, Red Brown, Black, Desert Yellow and Buff. I guess Rob is correct that I went a bit overboard on the black, but I hope it works itself out after the washes and weathering are applied. To Rob and the rest of the forum; I appreciate all the info and comments. I'll post some WIP pics on my next post.

Achtung Panzer! Colonel General Heinz Guderian
  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: East Stroudsburg, PA
Posted by TigerII on Tuesday, September 26, 2023 10:00 PM

Well using an oil pin wash, an acrylic grime and tone down wash along with the weathering of the metal, I got a pretty decent look. The camo might be a bit off the deep end to some folks, but that's what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, the 'hexagonal' vinyl tracks were shorter than the original 'chevron' tracks and after painting them and trying to put them on, they snapped one of my sprockets. It has been repaired, but now I'm waiting on AFV Club individual tracks links. But while I wait, I'll tweak and paint what needs to be done, then I'll add equipment and figures. As always all comments and critiques are greatly appreciated.

 

Achtung Panzer! Colonel General Heinz Guderian
  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: East Stroudsburg, PA
Posted by TigerII on Saturday, October 7, 2023 10:49 PM

Well, I can honestly say that this M60 upgrade is 85% done. The AFV Club workable tracks went together great, but eventhough they look good, I'm not particularly happy, with their color. I'll be adding some 782 gear, MRE boxes, extra track links and whatever I feel should go on the tank. I'll be adding some figures, but I haven't decided if I'm going with two or three of them. Here are some 85% finished, WIP pics.

 

Achtung Panzer! Colonel General Heinz Guderian
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Sunday, October 8, 2023 11:33 AM

TigerII
I'll be adding ... MRE boxes...

Looking good.  One note though, for the timeframe, they would be C-Ration boxes, not MREs.  MREs were not fully introduced asross the US military until 1988.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/HeavyArty

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Sunday, October 8, 2023 1:51 PM

HeavyArty

 

 
TigerII
I'll be adding ... MRE boxes...

 

Looking good.  One note though, for the timeframe, they would be C-Ration boxes, not MREs.  MREs were not fully introduced asross the US military until 1988.

 

I beg to differ. We were getting C-Rats the fall of 1982, but by 1983, only MREs. I only saw C-Rats my freshman year in college (82-83 school year). By basic the summer of 1983, I only saw MREs and that's all we had in ROTC as well.

As a lieutenant in Germany in 1987, C-Rats were long gone and only MREs were around. Only a few old timers had a P-38 on their keychain or dog tags.

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