In-Box Review
M4A3 75mm Sherman

by: Nick Poling

The M4 Sherman tank was the most widely produced tank of World War Two, with over 55,000 M4ís being produced, and Tamiya has brought this workhorse of the American army to life with this fine kit.† I received it as a Christmas present, and before the day was finished, I had torn the box off and
feasted my eyes upon the sprues of dark green.† This was the first AFV I had
ever built, and I wasnít quite sure what to expect.

Carefully reviewing the instructions (or about as carefully as anyone in a hurry
to get building can be), I carefully planned out my route of attack.† I decided,
as has become a habit with me since, to start with the turret and work my way
down.† The turret construction is fairly straightforward, with two options
regarding the commanderís cupola, either a new-type, one-piece hatch, or an
older version, with a two-piece hatch.† Parts fit, as vthroughout the entire kit,
is excellent, with little sanding or filling necessary.† The one issue I had
with the turret was the lack of detail parts on the inside of the periscope;
they are strangely absent.† It is hard to believe that kit engineers can miss
something as blatant as this.† I would recommend purchasing after-market parts

Next, I moved on to the main hull, working in reverse order.† Little assembly is
required here, mainly consisting of attaching tools and handles to the hull.†
Assembling the hull probably took even less time than the turret.† And so, it
was on to the tedious work of assembling the suspension.† Although at first it
appeared daunting to me, the novice armor modeler, the suspension turned out to
be a breeze to assemble.† The individual wheels fit together beautifully, with
nice detail.† Before I knew it, I was waiting for them to dry so I could get on
to the real fun; painting and weathering.†

Tamiya provides the modeler with paint schemes and decals for 4 different
Sherman's, two from January and February of 1945 in Germany, one from the
Ardennes in December of 1944, and finally, one M4A3 serving in the Philippines
during January of 1945.† The decals are stock Tamiya, thick and heavy.† A good
assortment of unit and vehicle markings is included, along with numerous stars
of varying shapes and sizes.† Also included with the kit are two figures, a
commander and a driver, which can be placed in their respective positions in the
tank.† The figures arenít too interesting;† They both appear to be bored,
staring straight ahead off into the horizon.† However, if you choose not to put
the driver in, you will have your work cut out for you with the driverís hatch
(Read: Get out the saw).

Overall, Tamiya has produced a fine kit, worthy of the reputation of quality
that Tamiya has fostered for itself over the years.† Great parts fit, nice
instructions, with a well-written short history of the Sherman, and clear
information as to how to paint the fearsome tank.† For the detail nut, youíll
need to buy aftermarket parts for the periscope, but other than that, even with
my limited knowledge of Sherman's, I see little else that needs to be changed.†
Good luck and happy building.††

Oh, and hereís a free tip:† Make sure to put the tracks on the right way!

Nick Poling

Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  PUBLISHED: Aug 22, 2002
  NATIONALITY: United States

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