Chrysler A57 Multibank Engine
Resicast, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by DC Shoemaker
Catalogue Number and Description:
Resicast 35270 - Chrysler A57 Multibank Engine
||Photo-etched frets and
from specialist hobby retailers worldwide including Mission
outstanding casting; designed for Tasca's M4A4 engine
||Highly Recommended to
Resicast kits and accessories
available online from Mission Models
By 1941, Chrysler and the US Army were in trouble over engine
supplies for the M3 Lee/Grant and M4 Sherman tanks. Designed to use
inexpensive and readily available aircraft radial engines running on
high-test gasoline, these engines were now in great demand for
training aircraft, and the engine makers were unable to meet the
requirement. Someone at Chrysler had the brilliant idea of bolting
five 90 hp 6-cylinder automobile engines together onto one crankcase
to produce an engine that would produce about 400 hp on regular
gasoline and fit in a slightly lengthened M3A4 or M4A4. Curiously,
the engine configuration was exactly the same as the Chrysler star,
as you can see in the photo.
This strange engine was so successful that 7,999 M4A4 tanks were
ultimately produced, along with several hundred M3A4s. The Army used
some for training in the US, but considered them too complex for
combat use. By far the largest proportion went overseas under
Lend-Lease to Britain and China. The British considered them
complex, too, but took them anyway, and in fact most Firefly tanks
were converted from M4A4s.
There is any number of engine sets for Shermans, including the
Continental R975 radial and the US Armyís preferred Ford GAA V8, but
now for something really different, from The Belgian company
Resicast comes a Chrysler A57 Multibank engine with 78 resin parts
for the Sherman M4A4 and Vc Firefly. The engine kit number is
35.269. Contact Resicast for price and ordering details at http://www.resicast.com/.
I paid about $45 for mine, with shipping, and you most certainly get
your moneyís worth.
Iíve never seen a better set of castings from anyone, with minimal
flash. The 20-page fully illustrated instruction booklet is
exemplary. Included are pictures from the US Army manual, similar to
the photo here, giving an excellent over-all feel for the finished
engine. Thereís also a separate two-sided sheet showing each part
and its part number.
Following are some of the pictures of Resicastís test shot. The
product supplied looks exactly the same but for the color of the
resin. Not shown are two flexible resin water hoses, which make the
connection to the radiator much easier.
The finished engine is designed to be a drop-fit for the Tasca
Sherman Firefly kit, which Iíve not seen. With very minor trimming
it fits Dragon/ DMLís M4A4 and Firefly kits, of which there are
several versions. Install the engine, open up the engine deck, and
wait for the audience reaction. With its five carburetors and
complex plumbing, it brings a diorama alive with something new and
Resicast also make an M4A4 engine compartment interior set, kit
number 35.270, with 28 resin parts and 3 etched panels, seen in the
photo, which would be useful for a diorama showing the engine out
for maintenance. This was an all too often experience with the A57,
since the lower sparkplugs could not be reached otherwise.
While this might not be the best resin kit to begin with, if you
have a little experience this well-designed and engineered kit
should be no problem.
Sherman, A History of the American
Medium Tank, by R.P. Hunnicutt, Presidio Press, 1978.
thumbnails below to view larger images:
Images Copyright 2007 by Resicast
Page Created 29 July, 2007
Page Last Updated
29 July, 2007