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M48A5 Korea, Early '80s

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  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
M48A5 Korea, Early '80s
Posted by HeavyArty on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 8:37 PM

My next build is an M48A5 in Korea during the early '80s.  The Korea-based M48A5s had a .50 cal mounted on the Urdan cupola, as opposed to an M60D as on stateside M48A5 tanks had.

Here is an example of what I am building, minus the dozer blade.

A few unique features of the Korea M48A5s were added smoke grenade dischargers and storage boxes and the aforementioned .50 cal and its mount.  The mount is taken from an M551 Sheridan.  Here is a better image of it.

I am still waiting on the Sheridan mount to arrive.  I found the sprue that contains it (C sprue) from the new Tamiya M551 on eBay.  It should arrive later this week.

To build it, I started with the left over hull from the Dragon M48 AVLB kit.  You may remember I used the bridge parts on a Takom CM-11 hull to make my M60 AVLB (long before Dragon announced their M60 AVLB).  I swapped out the upper hull for one left over from one of the many M48 multi-kits so I would have a 5 return roller hull as that is what M48A5s were built on.  The turret is also left over from the Takom CM-11 kit.  They married together quite well.  The gun pintles and smoke launchers and their storage boxes are also from the Takom kit.   I used the D Vision metal 105mm M68 barrel on it in the Takom mantlet with baffles cut from the D Vision resin mantlet.  I didn't use the D Vision mantlet as it didn't fit well and the kit one looked much better.  It looks like a copy of the Tamiya M48A3 chunky mantlet.  The search light is from the old Legend M48A3 update set, modified with a Dragon mount.

Here it is so far.

I used the Def Model sprockets with mud release holes molded in them.  They fit the rest of the Dragon sprocket parts perfectly.

These are the guns.  The .50 cal is from the Takom CM-11 kit and the M60D is from Dragon's Vietnam Helicopter crew set.  The M60 mount is from an Academy HMMWV, I think.

More to come once I get the Sheridan .50 cal mount in.

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
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 9:45 PM

Very cool! Is the .50 mount off a Sheridan or a M113 cupola? 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 8:04 AM

Thanks Stik.  The .50 cal mount is from an M551 Sheridan.

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
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 11:24 AM

Oh very cool! Love seeing all these M48 and M60s around the forum lately. I'm getting a real education on Cold War armour. 

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

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 12:04 PM
Looks good, I have fond memories of this tank and shot my first gunnery on one.
  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 8:20 PM

This is going to be awesome! Following with alacrity.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 8:40 PM

Thanks guys.  It has been fun so far.

I had a surprise when I got home tonight.  The M551 C sprue containing the gun mount piece was supposed to come in on Fri.  It was at my door today though.  Here it is installed and the actual to compare it to.

I fixed the M60D as well.  I had the bipod legs too far back.

I hope to get some paint on it by the weekend.

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
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Thursday, October 31, 2019 2:06 AM

Really, really cool!

I'm getting itchy!

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Thursday, October 31, 2019 8:57 AM

Thanks Mike.  I'm glad you are enjoying it.

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
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, October 31, 2019 11:16 AM

Cool! Looking forward to seeing her with paint. 

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

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Dripping Springs, TX, USA
Posted by RBaer on Thursday, October 31, 2019 6:36 PM

Dang it, I do so love a good kit bash.

Is it just me, or does the Urdan cupola and the M551 MG mount look a whole lot like the original Chrysler cupola on the M48?

Apprentice rivet counter.

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, October 31, 2019 7:04 PM

RBaer

Dang it, I do so love a good kit bash.

Is it just me, or does the Urdan cupola and the M551 MG mount look a whole lot like the original Chrysler cupola on the M48?

 

Its not just you...

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Thursday, October 31, 2019 8:56 PM

Thanks for checking in guys.  The original Chrysler cupola was similar to the Urdan cupola.  Here is the Chrysler cupola.  It was supposed to allow the gun to be fired remotely from inside the turret, but wasn't very effective.  The enclosed M1 cupola was preferred and accepted over it.

The Urdan seems to be the next iteration and more streemlined.  It abandoned the under cover firing though for a free .50 cal.

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
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Friday, November 1, 2019 1:12 AM

Looking sweet!

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Friday, November 1, 2019 10:36 AM

The scissor mount for the TC's M60D was deadly if your fingers were near the mount when it was lowered or collasped.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Friday, November 1, 2019 11:28 AM

Hmmm very interesting. Just starting to think I know a little about different versions of the M4 Sherman and all this about M48 and M60s just blows my mind... 

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

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Friday, November 1, 2019 11:56 AM

Gamera

Hmmm very interesting. Just starting to think I know a little about different versions of the M4 Sherman and all this about M48 and M60s just blows my mind... 

 

The M48A5 is a very late tank, even later than the early M60A1 tanks. There was a vacuum formed when the M60A2 with it's gun/missile launcher failed and the tank was removed from Active Army service. It was never fielded to the Reserve Component.

Those tanks were replaced by the later M60A1 RISE/Passive tanks in the Active Army. Those tanks were intended to round out the USAR and ARNG tank battalions. So now there is a shortage of medium tanks.

So older M48A3 tanks were upgunned and upgraded to M60A1 fire control standards and called the M48A5. The tanks were fielded to a few National Guard divisions, 49th AD, 50th AD and 40th Infantry Division, perhaps some more. The Regular Army used them in Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division.

As the Regular Army transitioned to the M60A3TTS, it freed up M60A1 tanks and those tanks went into the USAR and ARNG to replace the plain M60s and M48A5s. The two tank battalions in Korea went straight to the M60A3TTS. The battalions liked the loader's M60D the M48A5 had and cut the mounts off the tanks and placed them on the M60A3TTS.

So during a time in the late 1980s, the Total Army Armor Force used M60, M60A1, M48A5, M60A3TTS, M1IP and M1A1 tanks, with a lone M551A1 Sheridan battalion. I worked for the Directorate of the Total Army Armor Force at Fort Knox for a few months in 1991 and remember one of my tasks was trying to determine which version of tank each battalion used. It was a very big spreadsheet.

As a post note, the failure of the M60A2 led to the cancellation of the proposed M48A4. If the M60A2 was successful, older straight M60 tanks were to be converted into M60A2 tanks by removing the original style turret. Those original style M60 turrets were then going to be mated to M48A3 hulls thus creating the M48A4.

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Rifle, CO. USA
Posted by M1GarandFan on Friday, November 1, 2019 11:58 AM

Ditto on Gamera's post. This is really interesting stuff. Glad there are so many people around who really know about this firsthand.

  • Member since
    October 2015
  • From: Tacoma, WA.
Posted by M60_ tanker on Friday, November 1, 2019 3:26 PM
There were also two types of M48A5's. Block one was all M48A3 with the addition of top loading air filters and the 105MM main gun. Block two had the urdan style of cupola. Also, due to the October war, all the M60A1 (AOS) tanks the were fielded in 1973 were sent to Israel. I did not draw my M60A1(AOS) tank until the summer of 1975 in W.Germany. Because of the high volume of wrecked and destroyed tanks, in the October war, the US Army had depleted any reserve war stock. Thus the M48A5 was born. One a side note, getting ready to build an M48A4.

Nothing is impossible as long as somebody else has to do it.

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, November 1, 2019 3:36 PM

Ok, so now I am curious about the Taiwanese M48H variant. I know that it is not a US tank, but it seems like something of a step backwards. M48 turret with the 105mm gun on a M60 hull. Anybody know the story of why?

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    October 2015
  • From: Tacoma, WA.
Posted by M60_ tanker on Friday, November 1, 2019 3:45 PM

stikpusher

Ok, so now I am curious about the Taiwanese M48H variant. I know that it is not a US tank, but it seems like something of a step backwards. M48 turret with the 105mm gun on a M60 hull. Anybody know the story of why?

 

I'm also courious, did the Taiwanese pull the M60A3 turrets and add the M48 ones, or did they just buy the hulls. And if so, were are the M60A3 turrets at? Same with the M60A2 turrets.

Nothing is impossible as long as somebody else has to do it.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Friday, November 1, 2019 5:07 PM

M60_ tanker
 
stikpusher

Ok, so now I am curious about the Taiwanese M48H variant. I know that it is not a US tank, but it seems like something of a step backwards. M48 turret with the 105mm gun on a M60 hull. Anybody know the story of why? 

I'm also courious, did the Taiwanese pull the M60A3 turrets and add the M48 ones, or did they just buy the hulls. And if so, were are the M60A3 turrets at? Same with the M60A2 turrets.

 

Glad you guys are getting a lot out of this build and it is generating some great discussions.  

 

As to the ROC M48H / CM-11:

"The Republic of China (Taiwan) established the Armored Vehicle Development Center in 1980, and was tasked to develop military armored vehicles, and had cooperated with General Dynamics to develop the CM-11. The development of the tank has two main purposes, first was to avoid the limitations set by the US-PRC Joint Communique (17 August Communique), and second was to allow the ROCA to acquire Second Generation MBTs.

The CM-11 is a hybrid tank using the M48A3 turret with the M60A3 tank hull, combined with the new M1 Abrams tank's Fire-Control System (FCS). The United States designated it as M48H, where the "H" means Hybrid, and the Republic of China designated it CM-11 and named it Brave Tiger."

 

No idea what happened to the other tank parts, but it sounds like they were built in the US and my guess is they were left to the boneyard or melted down.

 

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
    October 2015
  • From: Tacoma, WA.
Posted by M60_ tanker on Friday, November 1, 2019 5:25 PM

As a sub post, I had a friend who served in the California National Guard on M48A3 tanks back in the 70's.

They did their two week training at Camp Irwin, now the NTC. Because the M48's had blank rounds, they would take cases of softballs and grease them up and fire at each other. Lot of fun until you had to punch the gun tubes. He said they were Amazingly  accurate at 1000 meters.

Nothing is impossible as long as somebody else has to do it.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, November 2, 2019 12:15 AM

stikpusher

Ok, so now I am curious about the Taiwanese M48H variant. I know that it is not a US tank, but it seems like something of a step backwards. M48 turret with the 105mm gun on a M60 hull. Anybody know the story of why?

 

Yes, the M48 turrets that were excess after some of the M48A3s were converted into M48 AVLBs that were not made into M48A5s. So there were extra M48 turrets.

Then when the M60A2 was cancelled, the Army decided to use those excess A2 hulls to become M60 AVLBs. The A2 hulls were newer so they were better bases for the AVLBs.

So the excess straight M60 (aka "Slick 60s") that were going to be made into M60A2s no longer had a use and the hulls were extra.

Now there are excess M48 turrets because the hulls were made into AVLBs and there are excess M60 hulls that were going to be made into M60A2s, but were cancelled.

So, you mate the excess M48 turret to the excess M60 hull and sell it to Taiwan. The turrets were brought up to M60A3 standards and the hulls were as well.

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Saturday, November 2, 2019 12:22 AM

Well that explains that.

More info I didn't have. Thank you.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, November 2, 2019 12:28 AM
It's not like there are a whole lot of them, several hundred only. Probably the equivalent of a US Army armor division worth of tanks. The Texas National Guard probably has a larger armored force.
  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, November 2, 2019 7:50 AM

Rob Gronovius

 

 
stikpusher

Ok, so now I am curious about the Taiwanese M48H variant. I know that it is not a US tank, but it seems like something of a step backwards. M48 turret with the 105mm gun on a M60 hull. Anybody know the story of why?

 

 

 

Yes, the M48 turrets that were excess after some of the M48A3s were converted into M48 AVLBs that were not made into M48A5s. So there were extra M48 turrets.

Then when the M60A2 was cancelled, the Army decided to use those excess A2 hulls to become M60 AVLBs. The A2 hulls were newer so they were better bases for the AVLBs.

So the excess straight M60 (aka "Slick 60s") that were going to be made into M60A2s no longer had a use and the hulls were extra.

Now there are excess M48 turrets because the hulls were made into AVLBs and there are excess M60 hulls that were going to be made into M60A2s, but were cancelled.

So, you mate the excess M48 turret to the excess M60 hull and sell it to Taiwan. The turrets were brought up to M60A3 standards and the hulls were as well.

 

Now that all makes sense, rebuilding and combining the surplus inventory old turrets and hulls. And then adding the newer gun and fire control systems. Thank you for the backstory.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, November 2, 2019 10:19 AM
You also have to remember, some of these tank combinations were in case the Cold War got hot and we had to slap them together and equip follow on National Guard and Reserve divisions with actual tanks. Those types of units didn't really have dedicated tanks to equip the entire division. Just a token set of equipment at a training base that they trained with.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Sunday, November 3, 2019 9:06 PM

I was able to get some paint on it this weekend.  It will be in the MERDC Winter Verdant scheme.  The green and tan are airbrushed.  The sand and black squiggles are by hand.

I also painted the road wheels alternating tan and green as they will alternate on the hull.

Next up is some detail painting, adding the accessories, and weathering.

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
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Sunday, November 3, 2019 9:54 PM

Oh cool, I was wondering if she's get MERDC or a more bland scheme.

 

Went and dragged out the Dragon M48A3 from the stash Friday.

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

 

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