Dragon 1/35 M4A3 (76)W Sherman
|PRICE:||Around $50.00 MSRP|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The most common US tank of WWII has to be the Sherman. Built in large numbers, it was not the most heavily armed or armored, but taking a cue from the Soviets, there were a lot of them; enough to overwhelm the opposition. While the original 75mm gun wasn't all that great as the war progressed, the addition of the 76mm gun of a higher muzzle velocity allowed the Sherman to at least have a decent chance against the larger German tanks and fortifications. This required a new turret to house it and a bit of additional work on the suspension to handle the larger gun, but it was a very successful tank that was used well after the war was over.
With a parts count of only about 300 pieces, this is about as close to a 'weekend special' as you'll see from a full detailed 1/35 Dragon kit! Marketed in their Premium Edition line, the kit has a smallish sprue of photo etch, a wire tow cable and their great DS one piece tracks. This time there is just one set included and they are the T-48 tracks with the 'Duckbill' extensions.
It seems like Dragon has picked and chosen sprues from many of its newer releases to include in this one. It has a new tooling early production cast turret for the 76 (w), new detailed engine compartment air inlets, multiple sprocket and road wheel options, new cupola options to have a single or split hatch, three types of barrel, and the ever-popular 'more'.
The photo etch fret is pretty well limited to mud guards, light guards and fender attachment strips. Other options are different types of return roller attachments with one at a higher angle than the other. Markings are included for five tanks, either in overall Olive Drab or with what is listed as Black splotches. You have the box art tank from the 37th Tank Battalion, 4th AD at Bastogne in 1944, a 4th Tank Battalion, 1 AD tank in Italy during 1944, 760th Tank Battalion, 5th Army one also in Italy during 1945 . These three are in overall OD. With the Black bits, are 761st Tank Battalion in Germany during 1945 and from the same place a 714th Tank Battalion, 12th AD vehicle. Decals are very nicely done and will work well with the standard setting solutions.
This is yet another superb Dragon armor kit. It is one that most modelers will find more user friendly than some of the Smart Track equipped tanks. It would be a great introductory kit for a budding armor builder and a more relaxed build for those who want something different from Tigers and Panzer IIIs.
My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for providing the preview kit. Get yours today at your favorite hobby shop or have them order one for you.
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