Academy 1/35 M4A2 Sherman

KIT #: 13203
PRICE: $39.00
DECALS: Guess so
REVIEWER: Jack Bruno

Bunch of aftermarket added

One night I was completely wired and could not always, I get most of my inspiration from modeling web sites. I started looking at one and saw this neat looking Pacific Sherman all decked out with bells and lap dances.  So, I had the Academy M4A2 Sherman with the Wading Stacks (I built one before) and decided it was time to build another .......but this time with more flare!!!!
The M4A2 version of the Sherman was extensively used for Lend-Lease to Russia and made Famous by the United States Marine Corps.  Plenty has been written on the differences so I'll just defer to the experts. I just build them, I don't know what made dem work...........I think "Oddball" said that, smart man!!!

No information provided.

The Academy Sherman is a bit fiddly in some area's. It's a really nice kit and my only gig on it is it has too many small fittings. But, it builds up into a really nice representation of a Marine Sherman.   I started it about one in the morning while the movie, "Murphy's War" came on.......I had started the suspension and soon after I had finished sanding the seams off the road wheels, I was done for the night. The next day the bogie stations were finished and mounting them to the hull was a snap. Now, consult your pictures because the Academy kit does give you spoked or solid road wheels......being the goof that I am I mixed them up. This was to be a vehicle that did it's share of combat fighting and I wanted it to look like it had a few trips to the depot!  I've dated girls that took that trip but that's another Internet nightmare...

 During my visits to the local Starbucks Coffee place to look over the new talent, I always mange to walk out with a fist full of those stir sticks. I love them!!!  My visions was to apply them for either hardstands for Artillery or Aircraft, or in this case, additional add-on armor.   With the chassis completed, I cheated and added the Tamiya Sherman tracks because I just liked the look and the duck-bills would have been better in the sand.  After the tracks I measured and cut the stir thingies into the right size and glued them to the running gear. I then drilled some holes and added bolts to enhance the appearance of quality guyzz working in the motor pool.  With everything in place I set it off to the side to work on the hull. I had visions of sandbag armor but been, I took each of the the hull and turret hatches and using my drill, made a couple million holes in them for the defensive spikes that kept a pesky enemy from applying satchel charges to the hatches and or trying to heave grenades into the tank via a Banzai Charge. I saw the pictures of these on the net and they DO look cool!!!!  So, with holy hatches I started to bring it all together.  I got all of the light guards in place and such and using my coffee wooden thingies again, made extra armor for the Hull sides.  Gotta love razor saws!!!  This really started to look somewhat evil and I decided to only mount the Wading Stack mounts and not the whole thing. Added sprue weld beads and netting were used here.  The Turret was then build as per instructions and the only deviation was I cut up DS Track from a Dragon Sherman to be used for the welded on Track Armor for the turret. Be careful when gluing this because if you go too low the track will bump right on the measure carefully.  Extra casting was used with green putty too. Then I cut up small gauge wire and super glued them into the pre cut holes using a new sharp point tweezers. (actually, i stole it from the ex's medicine chest, but it's still new, right???)  After all was said and done, off to the Paint Shop.
As with all my stuff, except lately, I sprayed everything Flat Black from the rattle can.  Then, after this dried a few hours I used my Grex, that was sent from God to Me, and started giving it progressive shades of drab.  I use Vallejo for this and it lays down really well..........I knew some girls in awww, never mind, but I did.  After this was done to my satisfaction I applied Future to the Tank for decals and oil washes.  Now, I gotta stop here.....i did not like the decals but I had no other appropriate US markings. They came off too light and off register, but it only added to it's charm.  After the decals dried I applied Future over them with a brush and began to oil wash the tank.  This is the point when all of your work comes together........but your not done yet......The Oil wash was messed with my brush until I got the desired look.  Then some dry-brushing using a few wide to lil wide brushed and some oil paint just to blend in. Mig Pigments were added and when I thought enough was enough, I stopped. I did sprinkle some MIG "sand" pigment for a little beach residue on the tank just for color.
Some extra stuff was added but only as an after thought because I did not want a PTO Sherman overwhelmed with stowage......I've got another Sherman for THAT!!!   In all, this project took just under a week to do and it was a lot of fun. It's done well on the local contest scene and is now with a collector.  So, with the addition of a few piece of wire and some sticks, you can turn that one in the stash into a very nice project.  YES, I'm going to do another soon........I'm thinking the Sherman 105.........Till next time, HAVE FUN!!!!!!

Jack Bruno

April 2014

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