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In-Box Review
M-46 Patton
M-46 Patton
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Atlantis 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 History
M-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.
The Kit
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, decals
Atlantis 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.

Atlantis 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 Armorama.
Highs: Armor texturing. Positionable crew hatches.
Lows: Thick parts, some simplified detail. Some ejector marks, some minor sinkholes, and flash.
Verdict: This model has 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.
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: A301
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Nov 10, 2019
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Atlantis Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.


Hadn't heard of Atlantis Models until today, when I saw this kit at Hobby Lobby. I thought it looked familiar, and looked them up on line. My wife bought me an egg crate full of vintage tank kits in various scales for $25 not too long ago, and one of them was the Aurora Centurion. Has actually been kind of fun just building, without getting wrapped around the axle about trying to make sure everything is just right on them.
NOV 09, 2019 - 06:12 PM
I saw this in my local Hobby Lobby. When they bought the old Revell/Monogram/Aurora/Renwal molds Atlantis said they were reissuing kits that hadn't been seen in 30+ years. This one was never reissued when Monogram had the molds. It's marginally worse than the Lindberg 1/32 one but that's in a larger scale and the lack of detail is much more apparent. I built this back in the 1970s as an Aurora kit. Atlantis is also planning on reissuing the Aurora IS-3 later this year. That kit is infamous as being based on s handful of fuzzy photos and serving as the basis of the Lindberg 1/64, Airfix 1/76 and Roco 1/87 kits.
NOV 09, 2019 - 11:00 PM
L-R, I think you summed up the appeal of these old kits, the fun factor. That and the "simpler time" nostalgia. Don't get me wrong, I still buy some 'latest-greatest superkits' but I am finding more fun with older kits. I used to have an article by someone who made the Aurora Stalin as accurate as possible but the amount of scratchbuilding, filling/reshaping and all, my hat is off to him but I think about how many kits I could build for such effort on one model? I am glad these old kits are being re-released.
NOV 10, 2019 - 06:37 AM
I have the Atlantis site bookmarked and will be following their schedule. They have reissued the 1/500 Renwal ships, maybe one day we'll see some of the Aurora 1/600.
NOV 10, 2019 - 09:52 AM
I too have fond memories of these kits - I bought them in the 70s as a kid in my local Rickles store! (That alone dates me...). As long as the price is right they do make fine nostalgia builds to "clear the pipes" after too many hours super-detailing the latest uberkit. The JS III was definitely up there with the Centurion!
NOV 10, 2019 - 10:50 AM
Simpler times when ours was a true pocket money hobby.
NOV 10, 2019 - 07:37 PM
The kit has a retail of $19.99. Most stuff kids want cost three times that. Twenty bucks is "pocket money" in the second decade of the 21st century. Add paint and glue and it's a full dinner at a chain restaurant or a couple of days' worth of lattes. BTW, another announced military release is the Aurora 1/48 8 inch howitzer. This was one of more detailed and intricate of Aurora's kits and a far cry from the M46. In case it matters the best Aurora 1/48 armor kits were the Shinto Chi-ha, M109 and Churchill III.
NOV 10, 2019 - 09:09 PM
I just love these old kits, warts and all, and refer to them as "Nostalgia Builds" for that reason; they're easy and fun to build and a great way to spend time with my nephew who is just starting out, or my grandson when he gets to that pre-discover- girls stage. I grieve accordingly for those that haven't yet been re-released (I don't count such update-kits as Dragon's current series of "2-in1 kits). I could really get into Monogram's (?) 1/48 TBF, for example that I only vaguely remember from the 1960s.
NOV 11, 2019 - 07:26 AM

What's Your Opinion?

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