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M103A1 Heavy Tank

This is the 1/35 Scale M103A1 Heavy Tank Plastic Model Kit from the Black Label Series by Dragon. Suitable for Ages 14 & Older.

DML M103A1 Heavy Tank Plastic Model Military Vehicle Kit 1/35 Scale #3548
 Dragon Models # dml3548
Retail $82.95  SAVE 20% !
Dragon Models Item # dml3548
Specifications :
  • Scale: 1/35
  • Parts: 300+
Out of Stock
Discontinued - No longer available for purchase
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Spotlight Review

"Very nice model, some accuracy issues"
The M103A1 is a very nice model. It goes together well and would be a good build for anyone from beginner to advanced skills. The only reason I would not give it 5 stars is the front of the hull, turret and main gun tube length are not quite right. This model looks like a M103A1 and will pass muster with most builders. It has been a long wait to get one of these in 1/35 scale and in plastic.

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  • Highly detailed plastic pieces molded in grey, tan and clear.
  • Turret possesses irregular shape with appropriate cast textur as per original.
  • Authentic .50-cal MG with photo-etched detail.
  • Brand new M103A1 Heavy Tank rendered.
  • Mantlet accurately detailed and shaped.
  • One-piece slide-molded gun barrel.
  • Upper hull produced with correct shape.
  • Lower hull molded with cast pattern.
  • Newly designed gun travel lock present.
  • Jerry cans included.
  • Well-defined turret with antenna mounts and crisply detaile handrails.
  • M14 coincidence rangefinders mounted on turret sides.
  • Fenders feature excellent detail.
  • Glacis rendered with correct profile and shape.
  • Headlights with subtle detail realistically produced.
  • Engine deck and exhaust pipes produced with highly intricate detail.
  • Tow cable and photo-etched guard for tool storage.
  • Cupola hatch can be assembled open/closed.
  • Excellent detail on hull rear plate.
  • Highly detailed suspension system, including accurate sprockets idler wheels and road wheels.
  • Outlet pipes for crew compartment heater and bilge pump.
  • Loader's hatch on turret is accurately depicted.
  • Periscope is well represented.
  • Intricately detailed OVM.
  • Newly tooled one-piece DS tacks.
  • Waterslide decals.
  • Illustrated instructions.


  • Scale: 1/35
  • Parts: 300+


One plastic model

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"Had to do a lot of fiddling..."
I started this M103A1 about four months ago. I had to set it aside as the frustration level got to the point where I was wishing for my childhood BB-gun, a few M80's and a hour of immaturity. However, a cooler head prevailed. As other reviewers pointed out-- building this version means that the exhaust stack located under the turret bustle interferes with the traverse of the turret-- it just doesn't fit. The M103A2 version of this kit by Dragon (which a lot of the parts are in this kit, except the top of the engine deck,grrr) has the exhaust assemblies located on the fenders like an M48 Patton. I decided to modify mine and ditched the original exhaust assembly on the tank and went with the side exhausts. There are few M103's left in the world as gate guards or wrecks, so I'm not to buzzed about perfect accuracy-- especially at this point. There are a LOT of parts even for a simplified kit. What led me to near-violence with this wasn't the number of parts but the amount of extra tabs of plastic on many, many of those parts. This led to a lot of cutting, sanding and trimming-- very, very time consuming. I had a lot of minor slices on the fingers as I'm not as dextrous as I used to be. What I did like is this kit separates the rubber part of the road wheels from the metal. While it's an extra step, it made painting much, much easier and it looks sharp when done. There's also an extra sprue with more machine guns and accessories that seems to be from another kit. the Ma deuce is very detailed and tops it off well. It has rubber band tracks in tan(?!?) that fit well on the suspension. They painted up nicely when done. No figures with it, or baggage. Be prepared to add some if needed. There are some good photos online of the M103 in various state of operation showing baggage and typical wear points. Would I recommend this kit? It was a challenge, frustrating, but it's also (with the Dragon M103A2), the only game in town for this rare hunk of Cold War RHA with a big honkin' gun. For that reason alone it's worth having in a collection. Be prepared to take time, do a lot of sanding and cutting and modify as needed.

"Not at all accurate, OK fit, turret can't traverse fully OOB"
Sadly this is the only M103A1 in plastic. Nearly the entire kit is inaccurate; almost everything would need to be replaced to make it accurate. The turret won't fully traverse built OOB and is completely inaccurate. The bulge under the turret for the commander interferes with a part on the engine deck.It fits well though and looks like a M103A1 when finished. Looks OK but not recommended at all.

"Not perfect but still a cool looking tank"
The M103 was a heavy tank built in small numbers during the 1950's. Dragon's new kit is large and impressive. The general parts fit and quality are quite good. Though the kit claims to be an M103A1, it is really closer to being a T43E1 pre service variant if the sight bulge on the turret is removed. Some details on the kit could have been better such as the turret profile. The barrel is too short but an aftermarket replacement is available. Those counting on accuracy may feel let down by this one but the average builder will have an enjoyable build.


  • One decal sheet with markings for 2 versions
  • 1) E Company, 34th Armor, 24th Infantry Division, Germany 1959
  • 2) Unidentified Unit, Germany 1959


Due to small parts that could cause a choking hazard please kee away from children 3 years of age and younger.

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