Tamiya vs. Academy: 1/35 M60A1 with ERA Comparison Build

Hey all today was a bit of a rainy day here in T or C, NM (surprising) and I didnt feel like working on my TUA when I happened to look at my old Academy M60 I built about a month prior to joining kitmaker and I thought “It looks passable but it would be fun to see if I can do better now.” when I realized I have the Tamiya M60 sent to me a few months ago by @Armor_Buff. Thanks Wade!

So over the next few weeks Im planning on building this up to compare if my skills have somewhat improved. I will be building it OOB just like the Academy kit with the only addition being some armor texture.

I started the build with the hull. It was a joy to build and took a total of around two and a half hours to get to this point. The road wheels are removable for painting.

EDIT: after taking theses pics I realized I need to sand down the mold lines on the headlight guards.

I have no idea what paint scheme I want to display it as yet. Possibly MERDC with ERA in tan. (Image on right)

Next up I will start on the turret.


Turret built up. Minus the mesh which I somehow misplaced…

Almost seems a shame to cover it up with the ERA…


Since you’re going with the ERA you’ll need to raise the grenade launchers off of their mounts with round bar. Tamiya did not allow for that modification.

Ooh… I wish I knew this 10 min ago, they are currently glued hard as a rock to the turret…

You can always build it with no ERA.

Ive considered it Ryan, but I wanted to do it with ERA so I can compare it to the one I built about a year ago. Right now Im struggling to cut the mesh for the turret basket.

Wow! Ezra, your Tamiya M60A1 ERA is off to a rocking start! The armor texture looks great! Some of it will still show with the ERA in place. Excellent workmanship on the lower hull & upper hull. The pipe on the right side front fender could have the end drilled out.

BTW - here’s a few pics of our local M60A1 on display. Pretty sure the tank has been sitting out in weather for at least 12 years so colors probably well weathered.

End of pipe appears open

Another random shot.


Thanks Wade! I wondered about that hole and I will drill it out but would it disqualify me from OOB categories in shows?

Unless the IPMS contest rules have changed drastically it should be OK to drill out a machine gun barrel or exhaust port/pipe.

I’ve not read them in several years so maybe someone else can say for sure.

Wade is correct, you can drill out the pipe and gun barrels without running afoul of the rules.

Out-of-the-Box (OOB), Specific Guidelines: Those entries will be governed
by the following rules:
A. Kits. Any commercially available kit may be used. Any parts provided in
the kit may be used, regardless of their material (e.g., brass, resin, plastic,
etc.). Generally, only parts that are included with the kit and found in the
bag or box may be used. As provided above in Rule III.1.B & C,
exemptions may be allowed but must be approved by the respective Head
Judge in advance of the judging.
B. Finish. All finishing techniques are allowed. Decals other than those
included with the kit may be used. Insignia, markings, and instrument
panels may be hand-painted instead of decaled. Weathering is permitted.
C. Construction. The modeler may fill seams and gaps; sand off rivets; drill
out gun ports, exhaust pipes, or other appropriate openings; thin to scale
such parts as trailing edges, flaps, and doors; re-scribe panel lines lost in
construction; and add rigging and antennas.
D. Exclusions. It is not permitted to vacuum-form, manufacture, or replace
any part, or substitute parts from another kit; cut or separate canopies,
surfaces, hatches, doors, etc. (no major surgery); combine a standard kit
with a conversion kit; add anything other than specified on the instruction
sheet, except as shown in Section C above or specifically exempted by the
respective Head Judge.
E. Instruction Sheets. Modelers must attach at least the first page of the kit
instruction sheet to the entry form and have the rest of the instruction sheet
accessible to the judges for review during judging (preferably, directly
under the table from the model). Models entered without an attached kit
instruction sheet cannot be considered for an Out-of-the-Box award, since
judges then cannot verify if the builder used only kit-supplied parts.

Thanks guys! Just drilled the hole. :grin:

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These are the 3 bars that attach between the grenade launcher and the mount to move the launchers out far enough to clear the ERA.

However Tamiya just made the launcher longer to compensate.

If this is an “official OOB” then adding the 3 bars would probably be a violation.


This is a great comparison. As for changing the bars ,it will depend on the local IPMS, some will be hard core about that rule and some will let it go . At the end of the day remember this …it will be on a contest table for a few hours and on your shelf for years . Build it the way you want.


I’d be inclined to view raising the smoke dischargers slightly as “using filler” to fix the “gap” between the smoke dischargers and the tank. Filling seams, gaps and raw opening is normally allowed.

In my contest days, I would have raised it by adding tiny droplets of superglue to the attachment points to build it up to correct height. Oh it just “happened” to align correctly.

I knew modelers that got away adding weld seams to stock builds with careful applications of liquid cement and carefully squeezing parts together. The IPMS judges never gigged (didn’t notice it) him over it the models typically placed in the harshest of competitions. Likewise those Archer “decal” weld seams were used in a similar way :slight_smile:

Out of the box building can get about as creative on following the rules as the best NASCAR teams were back in the day :grinning:

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:joy: Yes, if sticking to the rules, adding sprue for the posts would be “illegal” for OOB. At a local or regional contests logistics for judging it will probably be over looked unless a judge built the kit recently and addressed the issue themselves. At the Nationals they have more time and yes probably more kits to review and it might be harder to hide. Honestly at a local or regional contest if your not blatant about it, you could get it by with many little tweaks that are not in the spirit of the OOB.

Adding weld seams would be a gray area, if hand made I see no issue with it as it’s a skill set, it would be like scribing which is allowed as I recall. Archer welds would be more gray as it’s a “decal” which are allowed but not in the spirit of OOB.


I’m illegal everyday, please drill sprocket wheels and replace fenders supports…

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For personal builds and competing in the general armor category those rules don’t apply, only for OOB category.

I don’t think adding the 3 bars will gain you any points in the OOB. If you are building for yourself then you can add the bars and remove part of the grenade launchers back side to compensate for the bars length.

Speaking of OOB tricks of the trade what are some of the ones we can think of to share with Ezra?

Like hiding the Tamiya Rubber band tracks joint by placing it on top of the sprocket or idler under the fender or under a road wheel. Whichever leaves the joint in the most obscurity.