M4A3 105mmVVSS Sherman
Review by Simon barnes Kit No. 7271

Yet another Sherman Release from Dragon, this time the 105mm version using the early VVSS suspension. This is actually the third release in 1/72nd scale of this vehicle, the other two releases being from Eduar and Hat. So how does this release measure up to the other two releases ?Obvoiously it is better detailed than the Hat kit with each being designed for opposite ends of the market, hat also has the problem of being slightly too long in the hull rear. the eduard kit has good detail, separate tools but is too short in the hull. Of course it has been well mentioned that the gun mantlet is too small which has been made out to be a henious crime, but what of the other two that nobody has mentioned, we shall see !

The kit hull is exactly the same as the earlier M4A3 with all the same fittings for the hull and suspension

The new sprue is for the turret and the dreaded mantlet, but how bad is it?? Given that the mantlet is 1033mm wide and that the measurement wasn't messed up when measuring or when enlarging the originals then the mantlet should be 14.333333 wide, the three measure as such

Hat = 14.8mm

Dragon = 13.6mm

Eduard = 13.1mm

So the Hat one is the closest but too large, the Dragon one is 0.7mm too short but looks the best and the Eduard is even smaller and probably the worst detailed of the 3, with the release of the UM M4 105mm HVSS we shouldn't have long to wait to see what theirs is like and how it measures to the other 3.

For those that want to be exact and feel that this site should be more about Shermans and seem critical because I haven't got the Hunnicut book, good news it is to be re-released so you can go and buy your own.

The extra turret ventilator is supplied as a separate part, the commander has the later all round vision cupola, one item missed in the Eduard kit, was that the MG has a different mount so it clears the extra ventilator, Dragon have included this mount.

The rest of the kit is the same as the M4A3 with the exception of the rear exhaust grill included from an M4A1 or what I presume will be the M4A1 (76)W and the early M4A1 has a PE grill.

The PE set is the same as provided in the M4A3 (76)W kit

A length of twisted wire has been included for the tow rope

Decals are provided for 3 vehicles 2 from the 6th Tank division in winter camouflage and one from the 8th Tank Btn of the 4th Armd Div in a curiuos two tone scheme.

Above is a quick comparison between the hulls Unfortunately I don't have the Eduard for a complete comparison and the Trumpeter is the E8 version with the wider track guards, but it is easy to see the extra length on the Hat kit and that the Trumpeter and Dragon kits are very similar with Dragon being the better of the two in my opinion, but given that the Trumpeter kits are 2/3rds the price of the Dragon, they work for me !

References

M4 Sherman in Action Squadron/Signal Armour No 16

 

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