Wee Vehicles


75mm M4 Sherman High Bustle Early Turret

Kit #: WVC72046 Preview by Stephen Brezinski - sbrez1(at)comcast(dot)net
Edited by Al Magnus

My review is from the viewpoint of a display modeler looking at historical accuracy as well a quality of the casting and the parts.

The parts come in a small plastic bag with no boxart or assembly directions. This resin aftermarket Sherman turret is described as representing an "early-production high-bustle" Sherman turret with the 75mm M3 medium velocity gun. The bustle is the rear part of the turret that overhangs the Sherman's engine deck, with the "high bustle" the bustle was raised several inches to clear the hinges of the driver's hatches resulting in a shallower slope to the bustle roof. I apologize for the quality of the photo, this Wee Vehicles turret is cast in a very light resin that did not show the shadows and details well. Below is a scan of the Wee Vehicles parts at left, next to a Dragon Models late production 75mm turret for comparison.

Below the turret is the resin M34A1 rotor shield and the 10 cast white metal parts: a choice of a split hatch cupola, an optional all-round vision cupola & hatch, the AA machine gun mount, machine gun storage brackets for the rear of the bustle, and a metal 75mm gun barrel.

The gun barrel is white metal, not turned aluminum so it is a little soft and the muzzle needs to be drilled out. I also recommend running fine sandpaper down the barrel to remove the molding seam and smooth the surface.

The identifying features of this turret are:
  • The cast-in cheek armor indicating mid to late production turret circa 1944 to 1945.
  • The high bustle and the smoke ejector indicating a D78461 late production turret.
  • A pistol port on the left side.
  • Two lifting rings along the top edge of the M34A1 gun mount which is an unusual feature considering that these two lifting rings in this position were characteristic of a much earlier Sherman turret with the initial introduction of the wide M34A1 mantlet. These two lifting rings were soon removed from production turrets and I have never seen on a turret with cast in cheek armor or an all-round vision cupola (Son of Sherman page 242).
  • The gunner's periscope has no cover on it. A high bustle turret with cast-in cheek armor was supposed to be produced with the cover around and over the gunner's sight as depicted on turret WVC72012 and the Dragon turret.
  • Early high bustle turrets were fitted with the split hatch cupola and later the all-round vision cupola as production caught up; but ALL high-bustle turrets came with the oval loader's hatch. The Dragon turret at right portrays the oval loader's hatch while this loader's hatch was left off the Wee Vehicle's resin turret. Fortunately I have an etched brass fret that has a thin oval hatch part I can mount on the turret roof to fix this.

[1] Son of Sherman Volume 1, The Sherman Design and Development, Ampersand Group (2013)
[2] Sherman Minutia


After contacting Ian at Wee Friends he agreed that the loader's hatch should be present on the turret so he would be changing and re-releasing this conversion kit to include the loader's hatch. Resin casting is good and defect free. The surface texture is good and the cast metal texture not overdone. The turret roof periscopes are molded open which I like. Most all plastic Sherman models portray the periscopes closed, but set in a diorama how is the crew to see with the hatches and periscopes closed? Like with other small scale Shermans, etched brass detail parts would be very helpful for a good display model.

Preview sample purchased by the author.

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Article Last Updated: 17 August 2015