Dragon M4 75mm w/Deep Wading kit Normandy

Kit #7367

Review by Elliott Winthrop marder38(at)xtra(dot)co(dot)nz
Edited by Rob Haelterman


Finally Dragon has brought out the standard M4, the most common US version, but it’s not that simple. The way the kit is built, it is restricted to a wader version only. More on that later.

The Turret A sprue is the same as all the other 75mm gun turret kits Dragon does, including the cheek armour.

The other half of sprue A gives the hull details (as seen on the M4A1 kit), with exhaust, air filters, grousers & rear doors. The transmission housing is the one piece round type most likely to have been fitted to “Cannonball” (the vehicle on the box top artwork). If you decide to make a ‘non-wader’ version, the vent cover is still included to help with the reconstruction. Also included are the appliqué armour with weld seams. This is from the M4A1 cast hull & not to be used. There are other parts for appliqué armour supplied on the next sprue.

This sprue (originally made for the M4A4 & Firefly kit) contains the correct appliqué armour, plus a spare 3-piece transmission housing if you decide to build a different version of the M4.

Sprue E is also originally from the Firefly kit and contains the hull rear and Appliqué Armour for the Co-drivers hood, plus the bolt strip that sits above the transmission housing. This one has raised bolt details (rather than recessed bolts, which is a spare item on another sprue if your option needs it). You also get a spare Firefly radio box with this sprue. I'm not really sure why this whole sprue was included, as all the parts needed are actually on others sprues? So it can go straight to the spares box!

Another generic sprue seen in nearly all the Dragon Sherman kits. This contains the MG, lamps & visor guards, tow & lifting hooks, barrel cradle & spade.

Standard wheels which are correct for ‘Cannonball’ with 2 styles of sprocket .

Here is where the issues start. The hull front has strips where the lifting hooks go, which are seen on Sherman III’s but not so common on M4’s; BUT “Cannonball” does have those strips so they are correct for that model.

The rear is the problem child here. Instead of a modular system on the engine deck were you could have a standard M4 filter cover or a wader stack base, it is just a moulded on wader stack. So, if you want to build a standard M4, some surgery is needed (unless you wait and see if Dragon brings out a Standard “non-wader” M4 kit).

Keith Buntting has solved the problem by cutting the whole engine deck out & replacing it with the Trumpeter engine deck (in the lighter grey plastic). The Trumpeter kit also has open spoke wheels for a Sherman if you want to model “H-2, Hurricane” another Famous M4 with waders. (This tank is not supplied in the kit decals, but Bison decals have it in their US Shermans in Normandie set ). http://www.angelfire.com/pro/bison/72009.html

The kit also has the T48 “rubber chevron” tracks (the most common tracks for US Shermans in Normandy) and also a metal tow cable.

The “cherry on the top” for this kit is the full etch waders, but on further inspection it looks like there are no tabs on the edges to glue together, I would recommend gluing flat or ‘L’ shaped strips along some of the larger edges to have something to glue against. Also if you are adding the Waders, don’t add the air filters to the rear of the tank as they will get in the way when you start to installing the rear wader.

The Decals are for 3 vehicles
1. Co. C (“Cannonball”) 70th Tank Battalion, Utah beach, Normandy, France, D-Day 1944. This is the only one that carried the waders.
Timothy Lau points out that decal 24 is wrong and that decal 26 is to be used on both sides of Cannon Ball 2.
2. Co. C 756th Tank Battalion, Monte Cassino, Italy 1944.
3. 37th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division, Brittany, France, 1944.

A nice touch with the decals is that there are also green stars to give the impression of over-painted white stars with fresh OD paint. Also for the Monte Cassino version they have added white unit markings & another decal you put over the top with a ‘speckled’ OD green to create chipped or worn out markings.
Lastly, if you are building “Cannonball”, there are some additional brackets that you will need to scratch as this particular vehicle was originally fitted with a “wiz bang” rocket so the brackets on the turret sides need to be still there as are two suspension drums on the hull front.

Pro’s – All the usual nice details & no scale issues.
Con’s – If you don’t like etch, there are no alternative plastic waders. (With the new slide mould technology I think the wader in plastic would have been a better option.) So, surgery will be needed. The rocket fittings are missing for Cannonball.
Overall another great and recommended kit. If you are wanting a standard ‘non-wader’ M4 then you would be best to wait and hope Dragon brings out a standard M4 later. Now bring on the Jumbo M4A3E2!

Two pictures of “Cannonball” and details of the rocket fittings can be seen on the Allied Missing Lynx site. See the two links below (Thanks to Filipe Cunha and Steve Zaloga).
http://www.network54.com/Forum/47208/message/1182632314/T40+mounting and

Another good reference is Cheehong Ahn’s 1/35th M4 kit.

Good reference books for this Sherman kit are:
‘Shermans in Action’, Squadron/Signal publications Armor No. 16 (This book also includes a picture of the Monte Cassino Sherman decal option).
Concords ‘US Tank Battles – France’ and ‘D-day Tank Warfare’. Zaloga/Balin (Good selection of Shermans with waders).

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Article Last Updated: 13 February 2009