Eduard #35054 Sheridan
Matthew MalogorskiMost of us who build modern American armor know what a dog the Academy Sheridan kits are. The kit requires all kinds of modifications that have been made to the base vehicle over the years, as well as details that need replaced or reworked because of the kits age. Eduard has produced this set to help rectify some of those shortcomings. While not complete enough to fix all problems, this set will go a long way to improving the basic appearance and detail of the kit.
Rather than getting bogged down in a lengthy article on the problem areas of the kit, and the required fixes, I would rather provide a run down of this sets content and let you decide if its worth pursuing.
Upon examining the front and back of the instruction sheet, you will find 57 pieces of photo etched brass on 2 separate frets to detail the hull and turret of the Academy Sheridan. These parts add more finesse to the model, so have your references handy.
Most standard Eduard items are present; Front Light Guards & Mounts, Front and Rear Hull Lift Rings, External Stowage Mounting Brackets, Engine Access Plates & Lifting Handles, and Head Light/Tail Light Details. Additional items unique to the Sheridan are added all over the front, back & sides of the hull. These include: Fuel Filler Cap Details, Bilge Pump Outlet Mounting Plate, External Fire Extinguisher Pull Handle, Flotation Screen Mounting Plates, as well as Flotation Screen Hinges. After using all the parts, almost every surface of the hull gets detailed.
While I like the parts for the Hull, I really got this set for the Turret details. The Loaders position gets a new Periscope Cover & Bullet SplashGuard, as well as a Lifting Handle for the Loaders Hatch. The Turret Fan is modified, and you also get a new, two piece, Missile Guidance Box with optional open/closed front. The Gunners sight is replaced, and can be either open or closed, and when I saw that the "Crows Nest" armored shields for the Commanders cupola was included, that was the clincher. This assembly includes both side shields, as well as rear shield with separate fold down armor plate. All mounting points are separate, and the shields are made from multiple bends that will require care and a lot of patience to assemble. Three parts are added to the machine gun mount, which completes assembly of the Commanders cupola. Unfortunately, the Turret Basket is not included, and will have to be scratch-built.
I like this kit. It is a very useful detailing set that is etched to Eduards usual high standards and is well detailed. I can only recommend this set to any modeler who has previous experience using photo etch, as the "Crows Nest" makes this set a little more difficult to assemble. If you have an Academy Sheridan get this set.
M-551 Sheridan In Action, Squadron/Signal Publications
US Light Tanks, Osprey Publications
Blitzkrieg in the Gulf, Concord Publications
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