174 parts (142 in grey styrene, 29 etched
brass, 2 DS tan plastic track runs, 1 length twisted steel wire)
price about US $13.95
Very nice rendition of "big hatch" M4A1;
turret comes with all three gun barrel options; can be built as "In The
Highly Recommended for all Shermaholics and
1/72 scale modelers
After a bit of a pause DML has now released another in its nice
series of 1/72 scale Shermans, and happily this does not seem to
include any major faux pas in the kit.
Using "mix and match" sprues this kit takes the straight return
roller bracket suspension and combines it with a newly molded "big
hatch" wet stowage cast hull. It adds the turret sprue from kit No.
7271 (M4A3(76)W VVSS), the US T48 style tracks, and the normal DML
detail sprues for Shermans.
The new "big hatch" hull is as nice as their 1/35 effort and comes
with separate viewer mounts for the hatches and nicely done details.
Purists will be unhappy to learn that most of the pioneer tools are
molded in place, however. It is married up with the correct lower
hull for an A1. Weld beads are not found on this type, so that is
not an issue here.
The kit uses the earlier kit's T-23 style turret with commander's
vision cupola and loader's split hatch ring mount for the .50
caliber machine gun, but gives the modeler a choice of an M1 gun
with no muzzle brake threads, an M1A1 gun with thread protector or
the later M1A1C with muzzle brake; all of them are both of the
latter are "slide molded" so they have hollow bores.
The suspension remains unique, as it does not copy that of the
larger Sherman kits. The bogie assemblies consist of a VVSS spring
set, a bogie outer section with a straight return roller and bracket
molded in place, , a rear section, and a twin road wheel set with
the rear section of the articulating arms molded in place. Net
result is that with only four parts you get a nice, neat finished
bogie assembly. The wheels are the "cast" type with covers in place;
likewise it comes with solid (e.g. matching) idlers and "solid" ring
drivers. The tracks are T48 type with rubber chevrons.
The turret consists of a top and bottom with the pistol port molded
in place, but the cover left separate. This is again a "slide
molded" part to get the detail resolution. (Note that everything
with a casting number except the mantelet has one, even though you
will need a jeweler's loupe on some of them!) The turret is quite
complete, with a very nicely done machine gun with parallel heat
jacket at the rear of the barrel and separate spade grips.
The etched brass parts replace some of the detail parts provided in
styrene, such as the front fender tips, the rear luggage rack, and
some of the tool racks. The parts are called out on the directions
with blue for parts to be trimmed or removed and a mustard color for
the brass parts to be installed; this is quite helpful as the
directions are thankfully in black and white and parts are thus much
easier to see.
Markings and finishing instructions are provided for five vehicles:
"Elowee", 2nd Armored Division, France 1944; 2nd Armored Regiment,
1st Polish Armoured Division, Holland 1944; "Ferocious III", F
Company, 33rd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division, Belgium 1944;
"In the Mood", I Company, 32nd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored
Division, France 1944; "Duke", D Company, 66th Armored Regiment, 2nd
Armored Division, France 1944. All but the Polish tank wear black
patches over olive drab; the Pole is all OD. Note that in this time
frame the 2nd Armored Division still used T51 smooth rubber track
shoes (the 3rd came into France with the entire division equipped
with T48s) but that is a minor quibble, and if you have a deep stud
of Shermans in your kit stash it should be easy to swap them out.
Overall this is a nice job – Lafayette Pool's "In the Mood" being a
favorite of mine! – and fills another slot in the Sherman family.
Freddie Leung for the review sample.
A 36 T23
early style turret
B 41 M4 series detail parts
C 32 M4 straight roller VVSS suspension
a 26 M4A1 hull detail parts
E 7 M4A1 late hull
X 2 DS T48 track runs
Y 1 twisted steel wire
MA 29 etched brass