USA > Dragon Models
Limited 1/35 Scale ‘39-‘45; M4A2 Tarawa (6062)
by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description
||Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale ‘39-‘45
Kit Number 6062; M4A2 Tarawa
|Media and Contents:
||395 parts (329 parts in grey styrene, 43
etched brass, 20 clear styrene, 2 DS plastic track runs, 1 length of
twisted steel wire)
USD$34.99 available online from Mission Models
||First integrated and accurate
mid-production Sherman kit on the market; very nicely done "low bustle"
turret; track problems appear solved
||Will not assemble itself (okay, no model
||Recommended for all "Shermaholics" and USMC
Dragon's 1/35 scale M4A2
is available online from Mission Models
Also see Steve
Zaloga's build in Missing-Lynx's Gallery!
For many years the earlier models
(early being defined as "Direct Vision" 56 degree hulls and
mid-production as non-"direct vision" 56 degree hulls) of the M4
series of US medium tanks have been ill served as model kits. There
was an ancient Airfix M4 kit of a mid-production M4 but it was not
really very good. Most of the early kits were limited to M4A1 cast
hull types, and not the M4, M4A2 or M4A3 types.
Some years ago Tamiya offered an "Early Production" M4 but it was
basically little more than a new hull top for its older M4A3 47
degree late production hull with a slightly modified turret. The
lower hull was still that of the M4A3 with late production bogies
and also no sponson floors.
The M4A2 has been very poorly served, as all kits offered thus far
have been the 47 degree (late model or "wet stowage") hulls but with
numerous errors in the Academy kits and an original Italeri one
which was actually an M4A3. So far the best M4A2, albeit the late
production 76mm one with the 47 degree hull, was the one from DML as
its Soviet offering.
DML has finally – after many years of advertising the M4A2
mid-production tank in its catalogue – delivered, and the model is
one of their best. Building on their recent M4A1 and M4A3 kits, this
one uses the "A" or detail sprue from those kits (labeled as
"M4A2/A3"), the "C" or clear parts sprue, and the two "V" sprues
from the M4A1 76mm kit with a new hull, turret and other details.
What the modeler gets is a mid-production 56 degree hull M4A2 with
welded drivers' hoods and the "low bustle" turret (no loader's
hatch) with the M34A1 gun mount with wide cast mantelet. The wheels
are the pressed steel welded type with backing plates provided for
the road wheels and idlers, and a choice of either "cast" or "disk"
driver rings of which the "cast" rings are more accurate for this
version. The VVSS bogies are those with the "flat" return roller
mounts and also pillow blocks to raise the idlers. A "soft" or early
cast transmission cover is provided separately for the hull. (Yes,
like all DML kits it HAS sponson floors in it.)
The turret is very neatly done and makes extensive use of slide
molding to capture the shape of the turret, especially around the
pistol port on the left side. The M3 gun barrel is also molded with
a hollow bore. Likewise, the coaxial machine gun and even the turret
spotlight are also slide molded for accuracy. All details except the
ventilator are separate items on this turret, so it would be hard to
ask for more in styrene plastic.
The hull is correct all the way around, with a correct lower hull
with twin access plates to the two GMC diesel engines. The upper
hull is beautifully done with scale weld bead that stands proud of
the hull – no more "trenches!" The A2 engine deck comes with
separate hatches but no interior (and I was wondering what to do
with that Tank Workshop GMC power pack for a mid-production A2 that
I have had sitting around for years...) Filler caps may be shown in
either open or closed positions, as can all of the periscopes and
The kit does not come with a commander's machine gun, but most of
the Marine tanks do not seem to have used them early in the war in
the Pacific, so this is not a flaw per se.
From information I have on this kit, DML ran into problems with the
tracks as there was no good way to make a set of "Magic Track" –
DML's current preferred method – that would capture the three-piece
design of the medium tank tracks. The solution – which should be
acceptable to most modelers as well as win DML friends with many
frustrated souls – was to make them in DS plastic, DML's gluable
vinyl type tracks. The type selected with this kit is the T54E1
style with solid steel chevrons and openings inside the ends, and
thanks to the flexible DS plastic it has also captured the end
connector details as well. Two links are used for connection at the
ends, so one link could be trimmed out to get a tighter fit if
The etched brass supplied covers mostly small details such as the
sand shield attachment points along the sides of the hull, headlight
guards, and fender components as well as the commander's "blade"
sight. No tie-downs or tool straps are supplied. Note that to attach
the tools holes must be opened up in the hull from the inside, and
there is a small guide given in Step 7 in the directions as to which
holes are used. Also three factory casting identifiers are included
for use on the rear of the turret, but they are not keyed to any
specific tank nor any variations in the turret design.
Markings are included for six tanks from C Company 1st Tanks
(COLORADO, COBRA, CUDDLES, CHARLIE, CANNONBALL and CONDOR) and one
from D Company (DESTROYER) of which the latter also carries
aircraft-type "stars and bars" insignia. Design credit is given to
Mike Canaday and Pawel Krupowicz.
Overall, this is a great effort and captures its subject very
nicely. DML should be congratulated for getting more of the A2 right
than anybody else.
A 96 hull details (A2/A3)
B 50 Low bustle turret with M34A1 gun mount
C 20 Clear styrene
D 18 56 degree welded hull
F 2 DS plastic track runs
G 1 "round nose" transmission cover
S 1 twisted steel wire
V 81x2 VVSS flat top/pillow block suspension with pressed/welded
X 1 Lower hull pan - M4A2
MA 43 etched brass
Freddie Leung for the review sample.
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Page Created 08 October, 2006
Page Last Updated
08 October, 2006