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Takom- M103A1

Kit Number:
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Retail Price:
$58.00 <=> USD
Reviewed By:


By Takom Models

First LOOK


Designed to neutralize Soviet heavy tanks such as the Josef Stalin III tank or the T-10 on a potential WWIII battlefield, the U.S. Heavy tank M103 served the United States Army and Marine Corps during the height of the Cold War.  Derived from the T43 prototype, the 60-ton M103 was the heaviest tank in US service, until the development of the M1 Abrams MBT, making it the last American heavy tank.  The T43 was manufactured by Chrysler, with the first of 300 units being accepted for active service in 1957.  The last M103s were withdrawn from active service in 1974 and replaced by the M60 Patton MBT.

Sharing many elements with the M46, M47, M48 and the M60 Patton tanks, the M103A1 hull was armored with welded rolled and cast homogeneous steel components of varying thickness from 1 to 5 inches.  The M103A1 was underpowered by the Continental AV-1790 gasoline engine, variants of which had been mounted in the early M46, M47, and M48 Patton tanks.  The turret of the M103A1 was larger than that of the Patton tanks to make room for the massive 120mm M58 rifled main gun and the two loaders servicing it, in addition to the gunner and the tank commander.


What's in the Box??

This all styrene plastic model comes to you in approximately 1,541 parts.  There are only three non-styrene part sources in the box:  metal gun barrel, copper wire for the two cables and about 20 rubber polycaps for the mounting of the roadwheels.

This kit has multiple sprues that have the following part counts with (X) numbers of repetitive sprue trees as needed...

Sprue C     112 parts times (3) =  336 parts total

Sprue D       70 parts times (2) =  140 parts total

Sprue E      224 parts times (3) =  672 parts total

Sprue F        35 parts total

Sprue G       19 parts total

Sprue H       48 parts times (2) =    96 parts total

Sprue J        47 parts times (2) =    94 parts total

Sprue K        48 parts total

Sprue L         55 parts total

Sprue Q         6 parts total

Sprue T         15 parts total     (These are the clear parts)

1 Turret Top

1 Upper Hull Top

1 Lower Hull Bottom

1 turned Aluminum Main Gun metal barrel

1 length of copper wire for the tow cable

20 Plastic rubber Polycaps

1 decal sheet

1 instruction booklet

Total parts in the kit amount to 1,541 parts

The Instruction booklet contents are as follows...

Front of the Instruction booklet cover

Inside front cover of the instruction booklet

Page 2 of the instruction booklet

Page 3 of the instruction booklet

Page 4 of the instruction booklet

Page 5 of the instruction booklet

Page 6 of the instruction booklet

Page 7 of the instruction booklet

Page 8 of the instruction booklet

Page 9 of the instruction booklet

This is page 10 of the instruction booklet

This is page 11 of the instruction booklet

This is page 12 of the instruction booklet

This is page 13 of the Instruction booklet

This is page 14 of the instruction booklet

This is page 15 of the instruction booklet

Here are the Sprues....

Sprue C times three

Sprue D times two

Sprue E times three

Sprue F

Sprue G

Sprue H times two

Sprue J times two

Sprue K

Sprue L

Sprue Q

Sprue T - The Clear parts

The Decal Sheet.  I do not like to remove the protective sheet until I'm ready to apply the decals.

Polycaps for the wheels

The hull tub, the hull top and the turret roof

Main gun barrel in an extra turned aluminum offering, along with copper tow cable.


In opening this kit box, I was greeted with a very nice, thick box.  It was pretty heavy as there are a lot of sprue trees in the box.  Let's face it, at over 1500 parts, this thing is loaded with details.  In looking at the parts, they are very crisp and molded beautifully with details there that really pop.  The kit does come with individual link tracks and I am looking forward to construction of this monster tank.

In looking at the gun barrel selection, there are two types, one is the two piece kit supplied barrel.  The turned aluminum barrel is really nice to find in the kit.  I was not aware that the turned metal barrel would be in the box.  But, I am loving it!!!  In looking at the engine deck molding with the grates and engine access hatch doors, this screams for some scratch building to open up things and display an engine.

Takom provides clear parts with this model in the form of periscopes and other lenses needed.  The tools are there, very nicely molded as well.  And, I am enjoying that they got the heat shield provided in this kit for the turret bustle.  The turret basket on the rear bustle is nicely molded in my example that was sent to me.  That was a relief.

I really have no doubt that to take on this build, I will enjoy building this iconic heavy tank.

Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders, pending full build.

Thanks goes out to Takom for this review kit.

Reviewed by GLEN MARTIN


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