M4 mid-production

Kit # 22119 Preview by Stephen Brezinski
Edited by Rob Haelterman


This is an etched metal detail set designed for the 1/72 scale mid-production M4 Sherman kit #7223 produced by Trumpeter company. The mid production M4 variants are typically identified by the heavy duty VVSS bogies, 75-mm M3 gun with M34 or M34A1 mantlet, appliqué armor plates and 57 degree glacis with either cast or protruding welded hoods for the small driver hatches.

  • The instructions for this etched set are black & white exploded view type and cover both sides of a sheet of paper. The directions look detailed and not too crowded with information. The plastic kit parts are drawn in a dark bold line and the etched metal parts are in a fainter line. I would prefer it the other way around, as the metal part’s numbers and drawings are too faint and small for my middle-age eyes.
  • I counted about 108 etched metal parts all on one fret. I used the term etched “metal” as it is steel colored metal rather than the typical brass.
  • The set has a lot of good usable parts with few superfluous parts. The important parts are: the front fenders (parts 6 & 7) at upper left, the long strips for attaching side skirts (parts 1 thru 4 and 42 & 43) at far left, the periscope brushguards (parts 24) in the center, and the light and horn brushguards (parts 8, 9, 16, 17, 37,) and the aiming sights on the turret roof (parts 48 and 56).
  • Less important parts for me are many of the handtools such as the shovel (part 28), the hammer (part 38), and the lifting rings (parts 21, 31 and 33). The handtools are just too flat and my assessment is that the kit’s molded-on plastic tools look better. The lifting rings are also too flat and can be better replicated with thick copper wire.
  • Additional nice parts are the spare track brackets (parts 61) common to British Shermans. The detail parts for the 50-cal. AA machine gun (parts 14, 44, 45, 50, 54, 57, etc.) are very helpful. The MG will be very delicate when done though.
  • The replacement track skids are common to etched brass sets for 1/72 scale Shermans but I don’t see them used often; with the tracks and/or side skirts mounted we cannot see much of the skids. If you wish to try them, there is a nifty jig in UM Sherman kits for bending the skids into a consistent and correct shape.


  1. This detail set looks very good and is usable not only on the Trumpeter M4 but on many early or mid-production M4, M4A2, M4A3 and M4A4 kits and conversions from UM, LEVA Productions and many other resin manufacturers.
  2. Prior to using the parts I have been advised that soaking them in vinegar for a while causes the acidity to slightly etch the metal surface so the parts hold paint better. Some modelers recommend heating the fret up hot to make the metal more bendable when cooled, called annealing.
  3. Coating some parts like the lifting rings and tool handles with multiple layers of white glue can give the parts some thickness and rounded edges.
  4. I have become fond of Mr. Surfacer products as a primer for metal parts and to add texture and thickness. Mr. Surfacer is a solvent-based lacquer so dries quickly and adheres well. Mr. Surfacer 1000 is good for priming and I like the thicker Mr. Surfacer 500 for simulating a cast metal texture and blending in seams, almost like a thin putty.
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Article Last Updated: 08 December 2012