Construction of the M47G tanks begins where else but the suspension and the lower hull. Each side gets mirrored parts as applicable and gives very detailed results once everything is added. Suspension bits are added in two steps. The first adding the hangers and such to hold everything, and the second pass adding all the actual suspension arms. The really cool thing that Takom does is include positioning jigs to make sure that all the arms lines up perfectly to avoid any odd sitting later on.
Once all the suspension arms were attached the final drive gearboxes were built up and added to each side. along with pin for the return roller at the rear of the tank. With that done the lower hull was done. Not bad for an hour and a half or so of work.
Work then proceeds to the chunky piece of the upper hull by building up the bow machine gun and installing it. Grab handles are then added and are where the first build option is presented. With either rounded or squared grabs can be added. I opted for the rounded version not knowing which should be used on the markings I'm going with. Continuing on the upper hull things like lift points and air filters also get added before building up of the sponsons.
The sponsons were warped out of the box which worried me when it was time to fit them to the body of the tank, however with the way Takom designed their mounting tabs it ended up being a non-issue. On the sponsons, though before attaching them to the body I added toolboxes and braces where a bunch of handles and grab are added first. Once those were attached I was able to add the remaining detail to the rear of the tank as well as at the front.
Starting on the turret the bracket for the barrel gets added to the bottom side plate and then the top and bottom half are glued together. A pair of what I'm assuming are light units or cameras are added to the sides at the front. More lifting points and grab handles are added across the surface as well. A storage box is built up from 4 pieces and glued onto the rear of the turret at this point. I added Jerry cans to it and there are more in the box to sprinkle across the tank later. Also included is a very nicely built up and details 50 cal machine gun and mount to attach next to the commander's cupola. Building the support for it was a bit fiddly and I'm not happy with it but I think it will do its job just fine as the locating nub for one half was very vague.
The kit provides multiple options for the barrel itself and the muzzle brake, I opted to go with the tarp variant with the T-muzzle on the front. The only drawback of using this one is the barrel is not movable once built which I didn't know at the time so I opted to leave it off to make painting easier later. With the commander's cupola attached assemble was finished on this one, now onto painting!
As is pretty typical with tank models these days this kit ships with link-and-length tracks. with the upper and lower runs being one long piece and the curves having individual links. This greatly speeds up the building process and still looks just as good as all single links in the end. Takom thoughtfully included multi-purpose jigs to make forming the tracks super easy so that when fitted to the model would slide on and fit just fine! This is much appreciated. Once the tracks were built up they received a coating of rubber black from Tamiya. After that dried, I brushed on Vallejo metal colors steel for the end pins and the guide horns in the center before finally fitting these up to the chassis. It wasn't till I installed them to the model that I realized I assembled the one side entirely backward! Doh! However I don't really mind, I don't go for competition-grade, I do this for fun so rather than getting frustrated I moved on, I love the model anyways!
Paint / Decals
The painting of the model is very straight forward and easy to accomplished. Takom includes color callouts for Ammo by Mig but I opted to stick with the old standby of Tamiya. For this one, the color choice was XF-58 Olive green. The entire tank received this color with some variations naturally throughout. The material shroud I mixed with a little bit of white to lighten it up slightly.
From their things like the exhaust were first painted a flat black, then followed by rusty colors to replicate the way they would look. There are tools to be painted up as well, iron is the color of the day for those.
Once all the paint was all finished I applied a coat of future and let this set up for a few days before I applied the few decals there are to this model. How many exactly? 4 stars, 3 numbers, and 2 side markers. That's it! Took me all of maybe 5 minutes to do and they sat down great.
With all the painting and decals done and out of the way I was able to fit the tools and other little detail accessories to the tank, with the goal being a clear coat being added before doing some weathering.
I only did minor weathering of this model, with some rust and chipping here and there across the model. It was really nothing special and having no real technique doesn't look very well, but it does have rust!