In 1942 design began on the M36, which was a replacement for the M10 Wolverine, which mounted the 3” gun. Prudent foresight showed that the M10 would have difficulty engaging the new generation German tanks (Panthers and Tigers) at long range. Most M36s used the same chassis as the M10, while a few - known as M36B1s - used the M4A3 chassis.
The M36 was lightly armored and had an open top, which provided its crews with better observation than standard close topped turrets. The new M3 90mm gun was capable of taking out heavier German tanks at much longer ranges than previous Tank Destroyers. The M36 first saw combat in September 1944 and served with US armed force into the Korean War. The M36 was exported to several other nations and even saw combat during the wars in the Balkans from 1991 to 1995.
These models are from the new US Cavlary Group Army Box. It includes four M36s and the security section. For those of you not interested in buying an entire army, you can also get the M36s in a platoon box. The new M36 box set from Battlefront and the Army Box includes everything you need to build four M36 Jackson Tank Destroyers. This includes a resin hull and turret, plastic tracks, metal crews and stowage, a decal sheet and 8 rare earth magnets. The M36 retails at about $45 USD MSRP, but you can pick it up from the War Store for about $40 USD.
The M36 model kit is a very nice kit. Metal bits had little to no flash and required minimal clean up. The same went for the resin. There were no major defects or issues with the cast.
One thing the platoon box set does not include, which the army box does is the Tank Destroyer Security Section. The security section is sold separately if you get the platoon box. It would be nice to have the security section included in the TD platoon box sets, but then the price would be about $60 USD and if you already had security sections from previous gaming acquisitions it might be a bit of a waste.
I have yet to field my M36s on the table, but have been on the receiving end of them. They are powerful with an AT 14, Firepower 3+. At long range they are nasty vicious and just gut light and medium armor. Even when facing heavier German Tigers and Panthers they are ferociously awesome. I know that when they appear on the table top they cause great consternation and become a priority target.
If you have any tips or strategies on how to use M36s or fight them off feel free to share them on the WWPD forums.
“Craig Baxter is the Director of the WWPD Northern Research center in Anchorage, AK. When he’s not contributing to WWPD.net he is busy blogging, painting, modeling and rolling dice. You can find more of his work and articles at frozengamerak.blogspot.com.”