Wee Friends


75-mm M4 Sherman "Late Production" High Bustle Turret,

with pistol port

Kit : #WVC72012

Review by Stephen 'Tank Whisperer' Brezinski sbrez1(at)comcast(dot)net
Edited by Marc Mercier

This resin aftermarket Sherman turret represents a late production "high bustle" Sherman with the 75-mm M3 medium velocity gun, all-round vision cupola and oval loader's hatch as the main defining features. By "high bustle" we mean that the bustle at the rear of the turret for holding the radio was raised to make clearance for the larger driver hatches on the large-hatch Sherman hulls. The parts come in a small plastic bag with no boxart or assembly directions.

This turret would be at home on the M4A2(75) and M4A3(75) with the 47 degree glacis big-hatch hulls, the big -hatch M4A1(75), the big-hatch M4(75) Composite (Hybrid), and the M4A6(75). Below is a scan of the Wee Vehicles parts at right next to a LEVA Productions late production 75-mm turret with similar features for comparison.

My review is from the viewpoint of a display modeler looking at historical accuracy as well a quality of the casting and the parts. My primary references for this review are:
Son of Sherman Volume 1, The Sherman Design and Development, published by Ampersand Group (2013), and the Sherman Minutia website. Sherman Minutia website is the best on-line reference for details of the Sherman tank variants; not as much about vehicle combat history though: http://the.shadock.free.fr/sherman_minutia/index.html

Wee Vehicles is part of the Wee Friends family of small scale figures and models. Wee Vehicles describes this particular conversion turret as an "old HQ72 (company turret) reworked". The conversion included two resin parts (turret and M34A1 gun mount). Below the turret are 10 cast white metal parts: two hatches, the machine gun mount, machine gun storage brackets, and a metal 75-mm gun barrel. The hatches have good detail on the underside as well.

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.

A close-up shows a heavy cast metal texture on the cast turret. To me the cast texture appears a bit too prominent. I notice some air bubbles needing to be filled on the gunsight periscope, on the edge of the ventilator, and on the lower right side. The turret is missing the additional cheek armor. If this particular turret model is a new production it would have the cast-in cheek armor on the forward right side; if it is a recycled turret, it should have welded-on appliqué armor.

The large hole to the left of the ventilator is for the spotlight but I do not think it is in the correct location, the bump to the left of this hole is for the spotlight cable. At far left is the hole for the smoke mortar.

The commander's cupola is the all-round vision type introduced about January 1944 and re-fitted on "recycled", older rebuilt turrets. This cupola and white metal hatch look pretty well done. The rod like thing between the two hatches is the folded-down bracket for the AA machine gun barrel. I find the pistol port on the left side is a little simplified but acceptable. The turret lifting ring locations are marked with little dimples.

Though listed as a 75-mm gun armed Sherman turret I think with modifying the gun mount, this turret could be built to a 105-mm howitzer armed turret.

Etched brass detail parts would be very helpful for a good display model.

Preview sample purchased by the author.

This model can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 06 August 2015