189 parts (160 in grey styrene,
27 etched brass, 2 tan DS plastic track runs)
retail price estimated at US $14.95
Very nicely done kit with both general
options and specific options for "Thunderbolt VII"
Highly Recommended for all Shermaholics and
US armor fans
DML continues to rock with their small-scale Sherman line, and in
this case it appears they have done a very commendable job of it.
The model builds up as an early production M4A3 with the "Wet"
stowage hull, a 76mm M1A1C gun with muzzle brake, the "split ring"
loader's hatch, HVSS suspension, and T66 single pin cast track. It
also comes with a sprue of additional parts to correctly represent
Colonel Creighton Abrams' "Thunderbolt VII" command tank when he was
commanding Combat Command B of the 4th Armored Division in early
The model is of the normal "mix and match" sprue provision of most
DML kits, and in this case provides the early T23 type turret sprue,
an apparently updated HVSS suspension sprue with a great deal of
details present, a generic Sherman detail sprue, the aforementioned
supplemental parts sprue, a small fret of etched brass, and the two
DS glueable plastic track runs.
The hull and turret details look very good, and as it is a generic
sprue it also has the M1 gun barrel (no muzzle brake) and M1A1 with
thread protector on it. The .50 caliber now has a set of spade grips
but they come on another sprue; at least DML has been listening to
complaints about such details being missing on early members of the
The suspension consists of the six bogies for the HVSS suspension
with each bogie requiring eight parts – a "bicycle" formed by two
wheels and the bogie frame, two outer wheels, two spring sections, a
joiner for the articulated sections of the bogie, and a mounting to
attach them to the hull. Wheels are detailed on both sides – this is
quite a nice touch in 1/72 as it was only recently those features
made it to 1/35 scale kits! Ditto for the idlers.
The tracks are very nicely done T66 tracks with acceptable levels of
detail; they may be a bit thin but once installed and painted it
should not be too noticeable.
The supplemental parts sprue provides a matched armor array for
"Thunderbolt VII" of applique panels for the bow and turret, but as
is too often the case DML's directions don't highlight which parts
are for which tank and show all four offerings for finishing with
the same parts. The parts are all marked with the ambigious
"optional" blue arrow favored by DML so the modeler is left up in
the air unless he has good reference. (For "Thunderbolt" use all of
them.) Note this also includes a .30 caliber in front of the
The brass parts cover new front fender tips, the luggage rack at the
rear of the hull, and headlight guards. Also note that before
cementing the hull together you have to drill out several holes to
mount the OVM on the rear of the hull and this is shown in Step 4.
The drawing isn't too clear but it is from the inside of the hull
and you can see the indentations to drill when inverted.
As noted, there are four finishing options, all in plain olive drab:
37th Tank Battalion, 4th Tank Division, Germany 1945 (as already
noted it was CCB 4th Armored); generic 4th Armored Division, Germany
1945; 35th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division, Bastogne 1945; and
41st Tank Battalion, 11th Armored Division, Germany 1945. The latter
is the well-known "Flat Foot Floogie" and it is rendered correctly
(it's from a song of the period – "Flat foot floogie with the floy
Overall this is a much better kit than the unfortunate 105mm
howitzer version whose gun and mantelet let it down, but I wish DML
would use better instructions and keyed references when there are
A 36 T23 early style turret
B 40 Sherman hull details
D 66 HVSS suspension
G 2 M4A3 Wet Stowage hull
E 16 M4A3 HVSS details and applique armor
MA 27 etched brass
Y 2 DS tracks - T66