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Academy 1/72 Dragon Wagon Model Kit

In 1942 a new 40 ton semi-trailer tank transporter was required. This was to offer better off-road performance than the M9 24-small-wheel trailer, and greater capacity than the 30 ton 8-large-wheel Shelvoke and Drewry semi-trailers, then in use with the Diamond T tractor unit. This new trailer was designed by the Fruehauf Trailer Company (based in Detroit, MI). A new tractor unit was required, as this heavier trailer was more than the Diamond T could cope with.  The M26 tractor was designed by the San Francisco-based Knuckey Truck Company. When Knuckey’s production capacity proved insufficient the army awarded production to the Pacific Car & Foundry Co. of Seattle, Washington. Designated TR-1 by Pacific Car, the 12-ton 6×6 M26 tractor was powered by a Type 440 240 bhp 6-cylinder gasoline engine developed exclusively for it by Hall-Scott (although also used to uprate the Diamond T). Some 2,100 Type 440s were built.

Unusually, the tractor unit was fitted with both an armored cab and two winches with a combined pull of 60 tons. The intention was that as well as hauling the tank transporter semi-trailer, the tractor unit could itself be used for battlefield light recovery work. A later unarmored version of the M26 tractor was designated the M26A1. An experimental ballast tractor conversion was experimented with by the British.

Academy 1/72 Dragon Wagon

As promised barely a week ago, here is the finished 1:72 Dragon Wagon Transport from Academy Models. I decided to put this model kit on top of my queue and bring it here asap. Although I can declare this kit finished, I’m still expecting some miniature chain to be used on the ramps. Most of the parts are crisply molded with not too much flash to deal with. This kit is built basically out-of-the-box ,but certainly, with some TLC you can improve it more as the kit provides a nice base to work with. There are plenty of ejection pin marks many of them will not be seen.

The cabin interior is filled with them but they wont be seen that’s unless if you want to detail the cabin a little further. I went on-line looking for some good pictures of the real thing, and came across this website with useful pictures of the M26. After seeing the interior pictures, I noticed that I had in my stash a nice set in 1/72 scale of accessories like jerry cans. Unfortunately all the walls were glued together and getting rid of those sink marks would have been hard to fill and sand. Should you decide to detail the cabin interior, good news. It does fit so well to the cabin floor can be left unglued for you to show of. In fact, I didn’t glue mine and from the close-up pictures you wouldn’t tell unless I told you.

The Dragon Tank Transport kits does not include any clear parts so for the front windshields, I always have Clear Plastic Sheet .015, 9 x 12″(3) available and that did the trick. One of the things that amazed me was the fact of how well gearboxes and drive shafts matched in length with no problems. Dry fit tests over and over was the key The only mayor fit problem on this model kit was the radiator.

Seemed a bit long and when presented to the model chassis, it wouldn’t let the cabin get to its place. I did a clean cut on the radiator and problem solved. There are a few extra parts marked as optional but the instructions are a bit vague on them so keep the box cover handy if you want to use this parts.

The kits was painted using Model Master Acryl Dark Green 4726 in my AZTEK A470 Airbrush. It was then dry brushed with Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow and some XF-52 Flat Earth was airbrushed using the Tan Nozzle on the Aztek airbrush. This is a fun model kit to work with with great potential for scratch building and super detailing. A nice addition to your armor collection either in your showcase or at your office desk.

Yes, I highly recommend this kit!

George Collazo
George Collazo

George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.

  • @JCOM_TO

    hello sir 🙂 this model has 3 fabricants TAMYA, TRUMPETER, ACADEMY if I were to build RC of these kits would you suyggest what 1/35 scale kit you would recommend?