IntroductionAtlantis Model Company
is releasing oldie-but-goodie kits near and dear to many modelers, and this 1/48 M-46 Patton
, kit A301
, is their first release in their Military Models series. Atlantis'
motto is Preserving the Past while Building the Future.
You can read a detailed history of Atlantis
on their website.
Kit HistoryM-46 Patton
was originally kitted by Aurora. Aurora was a major player back in the early days and they can claim some notable firsts. These models have great nostalgic value to modelers of a certain generation.
Aurora was one of the pioneers of plastic modeling. Their large series of standardized 1/48 scale models of aircraft and armor evolved from toy models into models as miniature prototypes that we expect today. However, Auroraís star dimmed and some of their models were issued under the K&B logo. Eventually Aurora died. Some of their molds were acquired and reissued by other companies. Monogramís 1/48 F-111, A-7, Fokker D.VII, Sopwith Camel and Se-5a are Aurora models. It was reported that Monogram bought the lionís share of the Aurora tooling but that most molds were destroyed in a train wreck in the late 1970s.
Aurora has never been considered in the same league as Tamiya but some of their 1/48 armor produced in the 1960s was as good, if not better, than what Tamiya released at that time, i.e., their S-Tank is considered a better model than the 1/48 Tamiya S-Tank. Atlantis
writes of this kit:
1/48 scale M-46 Patton Tank. In the 1970's most of the Aurora 1/48 Armor went through upgrades. 2 antennas were added to the turret, machine gun was moved to the front of the turret, parts numbers were added to the sprues and the the tank had surface details removed and added.
Let's see the past and future become the now.
I'll try to describe this un-vintaged kit in words and to let the photos do the talking.
The kit consists of 128 parts of hard dark olive styrene (including four figures), a pair of vinyl rubber band tracks, and a sheet of decals.
Molding is generally crisp. Many suffer from ejector marks, some minor sinkholes, and flash. Parts are over-scale. Armor surfaces feature texture but no weld seams are simulated.
The figures are poor humanoid lumps of plastic, with soft detail and mold marks; judge their detail quality with the pictures. In the late 1960s Aurora made vacuform terrain display bases but this kit does not feature one. I have no information whether Atlantis
owns the tooling for them.
Aurora created their models with a mix of separate pieces and molded-on detail for items like pioneer tools, gun cradle, and engine hatches. The crew hatches are separate parts. The M2 .50 cal. part is a poor representation of that tank AA gun.
Instructions, painting, decalsAtlantis
uses line art and half-tones for graphics, ŗ la Aurora. The illustrated steps are supported with text.
Painting guidance is basic.
Decals for only one vehicle are supplied.
is a major player in the retro kits market. Their M-46 Patton
is a good start to their series of military models. High points include armor texturing and positionable crew hatches, and molding is generally crisp.
On the low side, pieces are thick. Many suffer from ejector marks, some minor sinkholes, and flash. Some detail is simplified. Some components are molded on, e.g., main gun travel lock, pioneer tools. Many suffer from ejector marks, some minor sinkholes, and flash.
Ultimately, this model is not meant to complete with the latest models by Tamiya, Dragon, Bronco, etc. These are for great nostalgic value for modelers of a certain generation and taste. I am one of those modelers and plan to build my Atlantis M-46 Patton
Please remember to mention to Atlantis and vendors that you saw this model here - on