T29 Heavy Tank
Introduction: The U.S. Army did not prioritize addressing the need for heavily armored tanks until very late in World War II, when the losses of Allied armor were increasing due to enemy anti–tank guns. The T29 was developed to solve this problem. The first concept of the T29 was initiated on 1 August 1944 with a proposal of what was essentially an enlarged T26 heavy tank sporting a 105 mm cannon. Two pilot tanks were constructed by the Pressed Steel Car Company in March 1945. The T29 was planned for production with as many as 1,200 units, with 2 pilots to become available earlier for preliminary testing. With the end of hostilities in Europe in May 1945, the production of T29s was suspended as the heavily armored opposition the T29 was designed to combat had already been defeated, leaving Japan as the sole threat. After the end of the Pacific War, production was terminated, with one pilot tank completed and a second partially finished. All materials for the completion of 10 production tanks, including one partially finished pilot tank, were transferred to Detroit Arsenal for post-WWII development studies. The first production T29 arrived at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) in October 1947. By this time, there was no longer any requirement for production of these heavy tanks and the test program was limited to evaluating the various power train components for application to new tank designs. A total of ten T29s were built, two of which were the pilot vehicles and eight production tanks. Some of these ten T29s were modified to mount various experimental components such as new engine, fire control system, and stereoscopic rangefinder. This resulted in the development of T29E1, T29E2, and T29E3 heavy tanks that would test these new modifications.
What’s in the Box: This kit contains eight grey plastic sprues, a lower hull and upper turret shell, one plastic clear sprue, one length of wire cable, one decal sheet, and a 16-page instruction booklet. The molding details on this model are excellent and, in some cases, very delicate. This kit includes an updated and retooled the M sprue adding the 105mm barrel and muzzle brake. These parts can be used to update or modify the T29E3 kit. The decals include markings for four different US Army T29s. The first profile represents the first production T29 that was tested at APG and the second profile is for T29 tested by the Army Field Forces Test Board at Fort Knox. Both of these markings are based on information from the Hunnicutt Firepower book. The decal sheet also includes stencils which can be utilized for modeling the entire T Series - T29/29E3/30/34. Takom did not include a track assembly gigs like the ones included in their T29E3 and T30/34 kits. However, I saved the one from my T29E3 project so I’ll use it in this build.
The following are pictures of what’s included in the box:
C Sprues (2), Suspension and road wheels
J and M Sprues and turret, Turret detail parts
E and H Sprues and hull tub, Hull details
G Sprue, Fender details
L Sprue, Track
I Sprue, Clear parts, decal sheet and wire cable
Aftermarket upgrades: I may replace the .50 cal and .30 cal barrels with barrels from RB Models.
Tiger Model Designs, T29/30/34 detail sets (7111-7117).
Voyager Model, US T-29 Super Heavy Tank detail set (PE351129).
Firepower A History of the American Heavy Tank, R.P. Hunnicutt, Presidio Press, 1988.
Conclusion: I enjoy building post WWII US heavy tanks. Although most were designed to counter late WWII German armor threats, some were used during the Cold War. I’m very excited to be able to build this kit, as I believe Takom is one of the best armored vehicle model companies currently in business. The detail provided in this kit is excellent. While I’ve not started the building process, it looks like this kit is designed for intermediate and advanced skill level modelers.
Highly Recommended for Intermediate to Advanced skill level modelers.
Thanks goes out to TAKOM for this review kit.
Reviewed by Mike Petty
AMPS Central Virginia
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