M4A2 Sherman III
|Kit #: 7511||
Edited by Francesco Giovagnorio
The kit contains two identical moulds depicting a couple of simplified mid production M4A2 with cast hoods; pistol port turret and M34 mount. The bow antenna bracket is similar to the type used by the M4A2 of Pullman Standard (this plant used also the "D" type), ALCO (but their M4A2 had only the direct vision hoods) and is quite similar to that used by Federal Machine & Welder. The difference with the original is in the cast base and in 1/72 is barely visible. It is also quite similar to those used in the M4 production by the Pullman, ALCO and PSC plants.
Each tank is composed of twelve pieces and an optional British turret bin (the type used in North Africa and in Italy). The generic dimensions are correct and there is a good amount of details already moulded in place. The kit's worst parts are the tracks and the sprockets. Every other part is useful as it is or with little work.
It's a good kit for beginners and war gamers. Being fundamentally correct, it can be used as a display model with some spare parts and detailing works. It is suitable also for conversions or other project (like replacement for the Trumpeter upper hull, for example) like an aftermarket item but having the advantage of the low price.
I've used it with good results (I think) to make two Sherman III, a Baldwin M4 and an ALCO/Pullman Standard M4. If a M4 deep wading set is used a spare engine deck and rear lower plate aren't needed.
Sources used: the Hunnicut book and this highly recommended site. The kit tanks, if used for display purpose, need to be detailed as follows to have a couple of M4A2:
Wheels and tracks
The single piece "wheels and tracks" sets aren't completely to be discarded. The sprockets are moulded in a way that makes them not furthermore useful and the ugly tracks are more or less the steel bar cleat type. However, the bogies are well done as well as the wheels, which are of the open spokes type. The only negative thing is their identical positions, which is the same defect of the better detailed (and valued) Dragon. So:
The decals provided are generic and not referred to specific tanks with the film thick and glossy. No divisional badge or Arm of Service numbers are provided for the British tanks, no troop numbers for the Squadron squares and triangles, black "T" numbers are in the Mk III range. There are four scorpion badges for a pair of Polish tanks in Italy (2nd Polish Armoured Brigade, 4th Armoured Regiment). For a couple of French tanks, only four "drapeau consulaire" (1ère D.B. and 5e D.B.) are provided. The U.S. serials 30103358/359 are in a 300 M4A3 105mm batch range, while 30471522/523 looks too high for any Sherman tank and are not present in the serial list of the sources consulted. Good for war gamers and better than nothing, not so good for a modeller if not joined with others and matted with a transparent finish.
Obviously there are better M4A2 (and M4) display kits and the declared finality of this kit is for war games, not to make a display model. Anyway it is fundamentally correct and in my opinion some details of this kit are better than some display models. In this sense this kit is suitable for some use if your spare parts box is packed with unused pieces, to obtain a pair of low cost (but still good) models with the right amount of elbow grease.
Review sample purchased by the author.