M4A2 Sherman III
Edited by Rob Haelterman
The M4A2, or Sherman III to the UK forces, was a diesel engine variant of the M4 Medium tank, and actually the first welded hull variant of the M4 to be produced.
This kit is intended for the wargaming market, not for display modelers, so cannot necessarily be judged with the same criteria. Still we should expect some degree of historical accuracy despite simplification of construction and assembly.
In the box are two identical sprues for two M4A2 tanks. This is a wargaming kit of 15 injection molded, styrene plastic parts per vehicle; no etched brass or resin.
The tanks are finished in a three-color
camouflage seen on UK British and Polish M4A2s in North Africa and
Italy. There are no markings visible.
At top is the upper hull with molded on tools and an accurate engine deck for a diesel engine M4A2. At the bow are the two cast steel driver hoods with the small hatches and ventilation domes on either side. At the nose is depicted a three-piece bolted differential cover but lacking bolt detail due to the molding and assembly simplification. The side skirts are molded onto the upper hull.
At upper right is the low bustle turret; along with on the hull, all crew hatches are molded shut. The rotor shield (gun mantlet) is the narrow M34 style. At lower right is the lower rear plate with a reasonably accurate pair of muffler and exhaust pipes for the diesel engines. At lower right is the optional storage box for the turret rear; this box is a British addition also used on M4s they supplied to Polish armored forces.
At lower left are the two sets of one-piece
tracks with VVSS bogies and 5-spoke open roadwheels. This suspension
and tracks is where this Italeri models fails where it did not have
to. The tracks have no guide teeth which Italeri could have rectified
by molding the suspension and tracks like Zvezda and Plastic Soldier
Company does. The face of the track look like narrow bars similar
to Panzer III and Panzer IV tank tracks; I think it would have been
just as easy reproduce a flat rubber block T41 or T51 style Sherman
SHERMAN MEDIUM TANK 1942-1945, by Steve Zaloga & Peter Sarson, Osprey New Vanguard 3 (1993). ISBN 185532 296 X. A nice concise historical reference on the 75-mm gun armed M4 Medium tank.