75mm Sherman

Kit #: 7518
Preview by Peter Van Kempen - P(dot)Kempen5(at)chello(dot)nl
Edited by Marc Mercier

This weekend I ran into the Italeri fast assembly kit 7518 and decided to pick it up.

Costing less than halve the price of a Dragon kit (if I can find them, as they are not easy available, over here in Europe!) and containing two Shermans instead of one for that price, means better value for money to begin with.

Before buying it in the shop, I asked for a peek in the box and already saw a very well detailed upper fuselage and turret. Of course, I could not tell the "scale correctness", but sometimes a braille scale modeller must follow his instinct and this was a good deal.

This picture shows one nice detailed model, just putting it together within minutes, without glue to show you the result.

I decided to get the Dragon M4A3 from my stash and compare both upper hulls.
This picture shows them to be a perfect match and after measuring the dimensions they turned out to be exactly the same!

Next I added the turrets, both kits having the small loaders hatch.
This picture here shows the Italeri turret looks fine, compared to the Dragon one, which I consider being the standard.

Yes, I know, the hatches are closed, but some challenging "cut and paste" work and we could open this one up (us being modellers), can't we?

I also do not mind the solid lifting rings and headlight protecting frames; it's a child's play to shave them off and make new ones with some wire! We even could get the modelling feel back one might lose when just assembling all those perfect Dragon kits. I apologise if you'd sense some frustration from not being able to buy them at a decent price over here in Holland, but there it is. I need some alternatives and feel Italeri can provide my one.

These pictures show the Italeri details are much on the same level as Dragon. Turret and hull heights profiles shown here are also identical. Using some tricks and a bit of thick groundwork, we can put dirt on the tracks. This Italeri kit has potential for a nice showpiece in your diorama, depicting this type very well.
This picture, showing the hull side of the Italeri frame before pushing the track units onto locating pins, show us some more conversion/improvement potential. These track units, I must admit, are the weakest point in this set. However, the running gear itself looks OK; one could cut off all the tracks, clean the bogey units and add drive sprockets and idlers from the spare box. You only need to find some decent tracks. There are spares in many a kit or rejected 1/76 kits can offer "near sized" specimens. Many cutting and filing sessions later, even the Italeri idler wheels could be used.
I already found a set of suitable tracks from Fujimi and if you have a remaining set of Dragon tracks from a kit containing two types, you are a winner. It springs to my mind that a liable resource of good Sherman tracks could conquer the market; maybe Dragon would consider selling them apart? Nah, I’m too optimistic, as always.
To conclude this review, why not spend some of your scarce modelling money on this Italeri kit and become an old fashioned modeller again, who has to do more than just follow the instructions, just for the kick of it!


Review sample purchased by the author.


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Review updated: 27 December 2013