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75 Years Ago Tribute / On This Day

This article is part of a series:
  1. 75 Years Ago Tribute / On This Day
  2. "Forward To Destiny"

Hey All!
My second, personal, End of WW2, 75th Anniversary tribute build.

Also an "On This Day", March 6th, 1945 tribute as well.

March 6th marks the 75th anniversary of the famous tank battle that took place, in Cologne Germany, between a German Panther and US M26 (T26E3) Pershing. Last year at a book signing, I had the pleasure of meeting the Pershing's gunner, Mr. Clarence Smoyer and Spearhead book author, Mr. Adam Makos.

This tank is part of a diorama I am currently building to honor this battle.
So why I am posting the tank alone...Well, I have to admit that I had an “old farts” mental glitch. I thought the battle took place on March 26 and was planning to post the dio on that day, then I realized the battle occurred March 6. I was never going to finish the dio in time but to give credit when credit is due I'm posting the tank now.

The , , kit was built out of the box and was a pleasure to build. I did forgo the “workable” running gear, which made the build easier and quicker.
The tank's/crew's stowage is a combination of purchased resin bags and scratch built tarps, boxes, mantlet and machine gun covers.

I hope you like.
So, barring any more mental glitches I hope to post the diorama in the near future. Until then...KEEP IT FUN!

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

20 responses

  1. One mean looking machine , and a fine tribute.

  2. I look forward to seeing the completed project!

  3. Well done for posting on the actual day, Gary. It looks fantastic - a total winner! I love that you are going for the dio with this. Epic stuff!

  4. Wow Gary, the finish on the accessories is some of the best I've seen. Very realistic! Overall a great looking kit. Looking forward to the final reveal.


  5. Gary: Your Pershing tank is excellent. I read "Spearhead" a few months ago, and was very impressed with the story, and especially the intimate descriptions of the crew members. I usually build aircraft, but after seeing your tank, and reading about this tank in "Spearhead", I may have to try building a tank, or two.

    I anyone remotely interested in armor, especially WWII tanks, please read "Spearhead". The descriptions of tank battles, and tankers lives (and deaths), on the battlefield are all in there; author Makos even included some touching romantic elements, as the tankers moved into Cologne. The final tank engagement is absolutely riveting. At that time, the Pershing tank had just been introduced, and was the newest, most capable tank, in the US inventory. As described in Makos' book, sometimes having the newest equipment isn't the best situation, because it makes you stand out, and you become the target.
    Again, Gary, your Pershing model looks great,and thank you for moving up the timeline to get it in on time.

    • Thank you much, Marvin.
      If you enjoyed Spearhead please read Adam's other books as well. A Higher Call and Devotion. Both very compelling stories.

      Adam grew up in the area I reside so he comes to the local book store for signings. I've had the pleasure of meeting him several times.

      Actually up next on my bench will be the two subject Corsairs from his book, Devotion.

      Again, thanks Marvin. I hope you like my dio when I post it. Have a great day!

  6. Gary @gwskat
    This is an amazing story that needed to be told. You did a fine job of it too I must add... You model looks spot on, and as an older "Real life" US Army Tanker you got the look down to a science. What especially looks so realistic, ( and also makes your Pershing look so amazing), is the added crew member's gear and subtle weathering / dirt and grime. The large bullet hole in the left front fender and little other things like the missing fender skirts are what were actually present on Smoyer's Pershing.

    You definitely did your homework !
    Any thoughts about building the "Cologne Panther" at a later date ? You could build it as it might have looked prior to the encounter with the 90 MM main gun from the M-26. I have a few Panthers in the stash and it happens to be my all time favorite tank.

    You might have just given me some inspiration for a future build... I have a few Pershing's as well, but I am saving those for Korean War tribute builds for my Dad, who served in both the Sherman and the M-26 / 46 series of tanks in Korea.

    We must think alike, as I also have a future build planned that will hopefully be done on December 4th this year... I think you know what I'm talking about. Thanks to your friendly advice, I now have the proper decals to complete them... Thank you very much !

    Well done my friend and a great big "liked".

    Like the others, I too will be looking forward to seeing your final reveal...

  7. Well done Gary and an interesting combat story to boot. I'll have to check out Mako's book as his Higher Calling was an excellent read. The filming of this engagement is heart pounding, and most tankers will tell you they don't like to fight in urban or city environments. There is no room for maneuver and you're subject to attack from above by anti-tank weapons. Looking forward to seeing the finished dio.

  8. I’m really looking forward to the seeing this diorama. The Pershing is excellent; one of my favourite features is the contrast between the hardware and ‘soft furnishings’. Many tank models seem to me to have an ‘all-over’ finish, that flattens out the end result. On this build, the details seem more ‘real’.

    I admire Makos as an author. ‘Spearhead’ (and Higher Call) does a great job of dropping you in the action and making you care about the humanity and the shared tragedies of war. A deeply insightful book.



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