Dragon 1/35 M4(105) Howitzer Tank
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
More than 50,000 examples of the famous M4 Sherman tank were built in the USA, meaning only the Russian T-34 was produced in greater numbers during WWII. Throughout production a great number of M4 variants were spawned, among them a tank armed with a 105mm howitzer gun. The rationale behind this vehicle was to create a tank able to provide fire support missions against hardened targets such as bunkers or buildings harboring enemy soldiers. The 105mm howitzer-armed tank could carry 66 rounds of ammunition, and it operated with a crew of five men. These howitzer tanks were used by both the US Army and by the USMC in the Pacific theater. These howitzer tanks were all based on the standard M4 (no suffix) tank.
Shermans seem to be hugely popular with armor modelers. I can recall a rather large contest where some of the commentary overheard concerning the armor category was that it was "Shermans and Germans". Seems about right and now we have yet another variant available to us. This one has the usual mass of sprues, the superb Deformable Styrene tracks, and a great photo etch fret that includes a number of neat bits and pieces. There are newly tooled bits as is the norm with Dragon and there are also two 'C' sprues, so one needs to be wary of a possible goof, though the parts are different enough that I doubt there will be any confusion.
Here is the official listing of features:
- Newly tooled machine gun pintle mount
- Newly tooled rotor and gun shields
- Newly tooled engine deck w/splash guard
- Newly tooled U-shaped groove, ventilation cover made from photo-etched metal
- Newly tooled aiming-stake rack
- New spare track on rear armor plate
- Two types of cupola provided as option
- Mantlet end-pieces designed as separate parts to fully replicate details
- M4 105mm turret produced w/side-mold technology
- Turret secondary ventilation fan
- Mount for turret canvas recreated in delicate detail
- Rear hull detail accurately produced
- Pistol part produced w/slide-mold technology
- Detailed loader's hatch
- Periscope, cover and mount details are accurately represented w/separate parts
- Upper-hull w/weld-line detail authentically produced
- Hull side plates are accurately produced w/correct horizontal upper edge
- Slide-molded 105mm barrel is produced
- Turret-lop MG pedestal w/accurate design
- Late MG and barrel storage brackets w/great detail
- On-vehicle tools are realistically produced
- Two types of sprockets provided as option
- Finely rendered headlight and horn guards
- Detailed hatch-periscope units w/clear parts and guards
- Tow hooks w/fine detail
- DS T48 track w/EEC (Duckbills)
There are three options, all based on Olive Drab. one is with HQ Company, 32nd Armored Reg in Belgium during 1945 with a winter wash. Next is a 31st Armored Reg. tank in Normandy during 1944. Finally, with what looks to be mud plastered on the finish is an 8th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Reg tank, also in Normandy during 1944.
There is no doubt that this one will be a good seller. Shermans are hugely popular and the kits rarely hang around long at the LHS. I'm sure you will be quite pleased with this one.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours at your favorite retailer.
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