|KIT:||Italeri 1/35 M4A3 76mm Sherman|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
When most people think of US WWII armor, the name 'Sherman' comes to their mind. And rightly so as it was the most produced tank in the US arsenal. Though considered a medium tank, it saw action in every theater of war from the North African desert to the islands of the Pacific. Even decades later, Sherman derivatives were vital parts of the armies of many of the world's military forces.
This particular kit is of the M4A3 version which started rolling off the assembly lines in 1943. Earlier tanks were out-gunned by those of the Germans and though the actual protection provided the crew in this later variant wasn't increased that much, the 76mm gun was a very good one and was capable of defeating the heavy Tiger and Panther tanks in the proper circumstances.
Molded in an olive drab plastic, the kit is very nicely detailed. I only found a few sink areas, and those (on the turret) will be easy to fix. There are the usual ejector pin marks as well, but the vast majority of them will be hidden from view on the completed kit. The kit includes a standing figure of a soldier carrying a Thompson machine gun.
The tracks in the kit are of the single flexible piece variety and are well molded. There are a number of options provided. One is for different drive sprocket designs, another is for what seems to be some sort of rack on the back of each fender section and there are a number of items to be carried on the stowage compartment. Although there is no interior, the various hatches can be displayed open and have detail on the inside. The gun itself seems to be nicely detailed as well, though the breech will probably be hidden in the final build. The small hatch on the side of the turret can also be displayed open if you wish. Atop the turret is what seems to be a hand held .30 or .50 cal machine gun.
Instructions are very well done with crisply drawn construction steps. Color information is provided in generic, FS 595 (where appropriate) and Model Master references. There are options for six tanks, all in basic Olive Drab. The first is the box art tank in winter whitewash from the 11th AD in Belgium during 1945, next is from the 752nd Bn in Italy during early 1945, then a 1 AD tank, also in Italy during mid 1945, followed by a 6 AD version in Luxembourg during 1945. The last two are French, one from the 2e DB in Nov 1944 with lots of numbers and slogans on it. Finally one that is criss-crossed with white from the Colmar Pocket in early 1945. The decal sheet is well printed, matte, and should work quite well.
I have seen a number of these built up over the years at various shows and they make into a very nice and accurate tank model. I'm sure that your experiences and the good reputation of Italeri military vehicles will make this a pleasure to build.
Thanks to for the review kit. You can find Italeri kits at your favorite hobby shop or on-line at www.testors.com
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