The first Black Label item to be released was a rendition of the 65-ton M103 Heavy Tank that served with the US Army and US Marine Corps (USMC) during the height of the Cold War from 1957-1974. That kit has now been joined by another variant – the modernized M103A2. The whole design of the M103 series was predicated on the need to counter Soviet heavy tanks, and thus the tank boasted a rifled 120mm M58 cannon for long-distance engagements. This gun fired a separate-loading round, which required two loaders, thus requiring five men in the crew. The armor was up to 180mm thick on the front of the turret. Some 300 T43E1 tanks were built, of which 219 were later converted to M103A1 standard. Of particular interest is the M103A2 version represented by this kit, with 153 rebuilt into this configuration for the USMC beginning in 1964.
Dragon’s kit of the M103A2 builds upon Black Label’s previous M103A1. New parts like rear panel, fender/bracket, traveling lock, storage boxes, turret handrails are incorporated onto this new plastic kit. The irregular form of the turret is modified accurately in shape. The cast texture on the hull is also beautifully recreated. This tank has been produced with modeling convenience in mind too, with such features as easy-fitting DS tracks. With Dragon’s know-how and technological skills applied to this subject, this M103A2 Heavy Tank continues with the high standards that the Black Label series has set.