M4A3E8 (T66 Track)
By Simon Barnes Kit #07225

The fourth Sherman and finally a HVSS version although this has the T66 track and so can only be used for the WWII period. As with other trumpeter releases it includes a set of Easy suspension although with this kit you do not get two full sets and you will need to buy two kits to get three sets of suspension, although this will mean using the easy option on two of the vehicles.

As with the other Sherman's the kit is not as refined as Dragons but it is certainly usable and at the moment it is the only viable HVSS suspensioned Sherman in Plastic. The suspension is correct in size and although slightly simplified in some areas, it is perfectly usable.

The lower hull is the same as used on the M4A3 75mm kit and has the same fit problems if care is not taken when affixing the two parts.

The hull is the same as the A3 but has the hull extensions to cover the wider track moulded on, this means that the supports for these are solid and not bars like they should be. The rear hull around the exhausts differ in build than on the A3 kit.

The kit has the correct turret for the type with the oval loader hatch and a choice of barrels with or without muzzle brake although the barrel with muzzle brake seems slightly short when compared to the Dragon barrel. Also included are the optional .50 and .30 cal weapons, although the .30 suffers from the same ammo box as the A3 kit mainly it is lying when it should be standing.

The suspension. The suspension is correct in size according to the dimensions given in Dougs Article Sherman HVSS

The easy suspension with the front wheels fitted, the rear wheels have to be added hence the need for two kits for a third set.

The kit has the T66 tracks, these have fine detail and are very thin and fragile so that care needs to be taken when gluing and fixing them so they do not snap (like one set of mine has done)

As with all Trumpeter kits only one scheme is shown in the instructions but the decal sheet includes more, including "Flatfootfloogie" there was a debate about the name a while ago, about whether it was floogie or floozie? as the only picture that I have seen of it the end of the name is covered by dust it is hard to make out what it should be, the debate ended with a 50/50 split and no definitive answer. My personal opinion is that it should be Floogie as this was a dance at the time.

A nice kit that measures out to 1/72, easier to build than the Dragon kits but also missing the refinements of the Dragon kits, still nothing that can't be rectified.


M4 Sherman in Action Squadron/Signal Armour No 16

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