|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The 25pdr SP, tracked, Sexton was a self-propelled artillery vehicle of World War II. It was based on Canadian-built versions of the American M3 Lee and M4 Sherman tank chassis, which entered production in Canada as the Ram and Grizzly. When Sherman production in the US expanded and supply was no longer a problem, in 1943 it was decided to switch the Canadian production lines to produce the Sexton to give the British Army a mobile artillery gun using their Ordnance QF 25 pounder gun-howitzer. It found use in the Canadian and British Army, as well as numerous other British Empire and associated forces. Just after the war, a number of Grizzly and Sextons were sold to Portugal, who used them into the 1980s.
Canadian Dry Pin (CDP) tracks, did not require rubber, a scarce wartime material since the Japanese had taken over Southeast Asian rubber plantations. They were also lighter than Sherman tracks.
Typical of all Dragon Sherman kits and variants, this one is a relative lightweight in terms of parts with a count of 'only' 310. As a builder who only dabbles in 1/35 armor, I appreciate this feature and is the reason why just about all my 1/35 armor builds have been US equipment!
Apparently this is not the first time Dragon has done a Sexton so much is the same as the previous kit. What is new are the four piece DS tracks and some suspension bits. The kit comes with a detailed engine transmission and driver's position for the tank's interior. Right hand drive, of course. There is also a detailed fighting compartment as well with a radio rack and storage for ammunition and other important stuff.
A very nicely 25 pndr main gun and its mount are part of the kit. The exterior hull is built up of flat plates just as on the real SPG. a bevy of external fittings are included as well as the usual pioneer tools that every AFV seems to carry. The photo etch fret is small and includes a screen for the engine intake as well as one for in front of the radio set to keep things from banging into the radio. Other bits are for tied downstraps. Since these vehicles were not used in direct fire situations (unlike German SPGs), there is no defensive armament and the plating there is simply to protect from rifle caliber bullets.
Markings are provided for four vehicles. All of them are in a shade that according to the instructions is RLM 82 light green. All are from units in Europe in 1944 or 1945 with one having some disruptive camouflage in what the instructions list as dark grey. I do not know that much about British armor camo, but those colors seem a bit suspect to me. There is a very nicely done decal sheet with the usual Commonwealth unit markings to add a bit of color.
Those who model either Shermans and variants, or Commonwealth armor will want to add this one to their collections. It looks like it will build into a very nice model and you won't go nuts with a zillion little pieces, either.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexton_%28artillery%29Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.
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