Dragon’s legendary 1/35 scale range of plastic kits has just benefitted
from the arrival of a novel post-WWII American medium tank. The new kit
is a T54 (of course, not to be mistaken for the famous Soviet T-54
tank). Development of the type was initiated in 1951, with the T54
representing a series of three prototypes that featured new 105mm-gunned
turrets on the existing M48 Patton chassis.
The original T54 had a conventional turret with an autoloader; the
T54E1 had an oscillating turret with autoloader, and the T54E2 was
conventional with a human loader. It is the second one, the T54E1, which
is depicted in this brand new kit. The turret had a nine-round drum
autoloader under the 105mm T140E2 gun.
After releasing several successful kits of the M48 Patton tank,
Dragon has now turned its attention to the prototypical T54E1. Of
course, the kit benefits from the research done on the M48,
but the upper hull has actually been completely redone because it bears
different details compared to the M48A1. Naturally, the turret is
completely new, and the complex shape with both rounded and flat
surfaces has been particularly well done. The canvas used to protect the
oscillating design of the turret is portrayed in DS so that it
accurately mimics the real thing.
The T54E1 has been produced
with modeling convenience in mind too, with such features as
easy-fitting DS tracks. Building on the success of the M48 family, this
kit continues to set the bar high in terms of Dragon quality. In terms
of novelty, an actual plastic kit of a T54 is something modelers would
not have dared dream of either!