Long awaited by many a sherman fan, the release of the Sherman in plastic for a long time, until now the only kits were the Esci re-release Italeri kit, the old Revell kit and the Hasegawa kit, all of which had their problems, then came Extratech and Eduard with the release of the GMC and Shermans, still with problems and very expensive, so until now shermans have been the province of the Resin manufacturers, so I presume they are not to happy with Dragon.
The First Dragon Sherman is the M4A3, covered in Detail by Hat for wargamers already, now come a kit for the builder and is everybody happy ? No ! to me a dedicated non sherman fan, the kit looks to be a very good representation of the A3 and a complete kit as is becoming the norm for Dragon.
The Hull comes in too parts an upper and a lower with the Rear plate and the transmission housing to be added. The hatches are moulded open , unfortunately the tools are moulded on to the hull but are well detailed and only require some careful carving to bring them to life. Whilst dragon might flaunt the Slide mould technology, as I have said before it has been around for a long time, but I do believe that Dragon have taken it and adapted the technology to produce some amazing details, the details along the side of the hull are a testament to this.
The turret hatches are also open, moulded in two halves with the option of two guns with and without muzzle brakes, these are the most complete turrets I have seen with all the details provided as individual parts, the 0.5 cal is one of the best I have seen. All lifting eyes apart from the ones on the mantlet are separate pieces,
The amount of detail provided in the kit is amazing right down to the periscopes and periscope guards being moulded in Plastic, the guards for the lights both front and rear are also provided, the periscopes actually go through the hatch.
What most people have moaned about is the wheels and how they are attached to the suspension units, personally I don't have a problem with this, as knowing dragon they will release other wheel types later, which can then be swapped if need be
A small PE fret is included that provides new light guards and a stowage rack for the rear as well as new mud guards although the kit mudguards are just as good I find. The odd thing is that Dragon have provided PE lift rings, whereas the kit plastic ones are a lot better than the PE ones.
The tracks are the rubber chevron type in DS styrene, a lot of people don't like this, but i disagree although it does have some disadvantages it is easy to use glues with normal plastic cement, has very good detail and takes paint very well, after battling with the Revells Nashorn tracks of the link and length variety and adding a small amount of sag only to find that the track end don't meet ! As nice as revell tracks maybe, I don't like having tight tracks on vehicles, it is unnatural even on modern vehicles.
Decals are provided for 4 vehicles, including one "Beute Panzer" for Rob Haelterman. The decals are nice and thin and being only one colour there are no problems with register
I find this to be the most complete Sherman kit yet, and if the only thing people can find to moan about is the fact that the tools are moulded in place and that they can't change the wheels easily, they should count themselves lucky, not everybody has it so good. The kit measure to scale according to the dimension I have. if you are a sherman fan this is a kit worth getting.
M4 Sherman in Action Squadron/Signal Armour No 16