Home > Gallery > USA > M4A1 (Mid-Production) Tasca Kit 35-010

M4A1 Mid-Production

Tasca, 1/35 scale

by Steve Zaloga


Tasca has followed their Sherman Firefly with a superb new kit of the M4A1. The two kits share the peripheral detail sprues such as suspension and small details, but the hull, turret, gun mount and so on are completely new. The Tasca kit is a fundamental improvement over the old Dragon M4A1 which is very dated by today's standard's and had some shape issues. The Tasca kit is much more refined in basic shape and outline, and incomparably better in small detail. It is a joy to build and I built mine largely out of the box. The turret is a marvelous rendition of this complex shape, and the cast upper hull is every bit as good.


The Tasca kit is not without its faults, but they are mostly minor and most will only be appreciated by a hard-core Sherman nut. To begin with, there is a mismatch between the content of the kit and the decal selections. The kit depicts a M4A1 manufactured by Pressed Steel in 1942 with its characteristic riveted lower hull. However, some of the decal options are of Lima or Pacific Car M4A1. This was certainly the case for Major Jim, from 2/13th Armored which I built, and for "Comic" of the 752nd Tank Battalion. In the case of Henry III and the 2nd Armored Division M4A1, the photos are not conclusive but Henry III does not appear to have a rivetted lower hull. This is not simply a matter of trimming off the rivets as the transition point between the hull bottom and rear plate on the welded hulls was rounded where as on the Pressed Steel it is hard angled. This doesn't take a lot of effort to fix, but modelers should be aware of this issue. There are a number of other details that are inappropriate for M4A1s as early as Henry III and Major Jim. This includes the driver/BOG hatches which should not have the spring/catch assembly. The .50 cal machine gun is stunning, but the two pintles provided are not the ideal choice for tanks like Major Jim and Henry III which should have the D69820 pintle and the .50 round box. The kit has the same bogie assembly as the Firefly and the separate suspenion release. Although this is an excellent heavy-duty bogie, it is a slightly later configuration than Major Jim/Henry III which should not have the spacer between the return roller axle and the roller arm. The turret has the mountings for the searchlight which would not be present on Major Jim/Henry III.


I should make very clear that these are not errors in the kit but rather are mismatches between the kit configuration and the subjects selected for the decals. The model will build into a very accurate Pressed Steel M4A1 out of the box. It's up to the modeler to match the kit configuration to an appropriate tank, or to modify the kit parts to reflect the tank selected.

The kit comes with a two-piece vinyl track. This is quite good as vinyl track go, but there is a distinct mold seam running down through the center of the end connectors. I used the kit track, but more fastidious modelers may want to use an after-market link-to-link option. Surprisingly, the M4A1 does not include PE brush-guards as did the Firefly. It does include a very nice screen under the air intake cover, but I would have rather gotten a set of brush-guards than the screen which can hardly seen on the completed model. The kit brush-guards, although very delicate by injection-plastic standards, are still too thick.


This is a splendid model. Tasca's M4A1 kit sets the current standard for Shermans with superb renditions of many common components such as hatches, gun mounts, headlights and tools.



Some assemblies are marked as M4/M4A1, so we can only hope that this kit is followed by a M4 to replace the ragged old Tamiya kit. It would be especially welcome if it came with a welded lower hull so that it could be swapped out for the bolted hull where desired.

Model, Images and Text by Steven J. Zaloga
Page Created 03 November, 2007
Page Last Updated 04 November, 2007