The Tank Destroyer doctrine adopted by the US Army prior to World War II required specialized units and weapons be specifically tasked with neutralizing enemy armored vehicles. The 90mm Gun Motor Carriage M36 was the final of the self-propelled Tank Destroyers ("TDs") fielded by the US Army during World War II. Its 90mm gun was adapted from an existing anti-aricraft weapon and was powerful enough to defeat the most heavily armored German behemoths. The M36 was officially nicknamed the "Jackson" by the US Army after the famous Civil War general of the same name.
Development of the M36 Tank Destroyer started in 1942, when it became apparaent that the existing M10 "Wolverine" Tank Destoyer's 3 inch gun would soon be obsolete against the Tiger tanks that began to appear on the Battlefields of North Africa and Europe. Demand for the more heavily armoed vehicle became urgent shortly after D-Day, when it became apparent that both M10 and the M4 Sherman Tank had extreme difficulty when faced with the heavily armoed Panther and Tiger tanks field by the German army. The first completed M36 TDs rolled off the assembly lines in June 1944 and began to arrive in Europe by August 1944. The M36 was urgently rushed to frontline units in France and quickly proved capable against even the heaviest vehicles it faced during the remaining months of the war in Europe. M36 also served with United Nations forces during the Korean War, where it proved capable of defeating any Soviet manufactured armored vehicles.
Like all American Tank Destroyer vehicles of World War II, the M36 had an open top fighting compartment. This was designed to both save weight and to give better all-around visibility for the TD commander and crew. The most predominant variation of the M36 was based on the very reliable M4A3 Sherman Tank chassis, but with the much lighter, slope-sided hull of its predasessor, the M10. The M36 carried 47 rounds of ammunition for its main gun and was given a single M2HB .50 caliber machine gun as secondary armorment, pintle-mounted on the counterweight/turret bustle.
More than 2300 M36 TDs were built during 1944-45, of which 157 were M36B1 variants (M36 turrent mounted on a modified M4A3 Sherman hull) and 287 of the M36B2 variant (M36 turret mounted in the diesel-powered M10 TD hull). Later modifications included a folding armor roof for the turret, a muzzle brake for the 90mm gun, and a hull mounted .30 caliber machine gun was added to the assitant driver's position in the years after World War II.
Features of the M36 Jackson 90mm Self-Propelled Tank Destroyer kit include:
- Three WWII custom minifigs with the charactoristic Tank Destroyer sleeve patch
- Authentic BrickArms: 1 M2HB machine gun, 1 M3 Grease gun, plus 2 Artillery Shells
- Fully articulated Brickmania Track Links
- Posable main gun and turret
- Posable main gun with adjustable elevation
- Includes 647 LEGO®, Brickmania™ and BrickArms® elements
- 1/35 scale matches other Brickmania models
- The over-all color scheme of this model is dark gray
- Advanced Skill Level (6-8 years experience with LEGO is recommended)
All Brickmania kits are made of new-condition LEGO elements. All kits come disassembled, and include complete full color printed building instructions, and packaged in a sealed box.