TASCA 1/35 M4A1 Sherman (Late Production)
|KIT:||TASCA 1/35 M4A1 Sherman (Late Production)|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The M4 Sherman was the primary tank produced by the United States for its own use and the use of its Allies during World War II. Production of the M4 medium tank exceeded 50,000 units and its chassis served as the basis for numerous other armored vehicles such as tank destroyers, tank retrievers, and self-propelled artillery. In the United Kingdom the M4 was dubbed the Sherman after Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, following the British practice of naming its American-built tanks after famous American Civil War generals. Subsequently the British name found its way into common use in the US. Following WWII the M4 medium tank was used by the US until the end of the Korean War. Many nations continued to use the tank in both training and combat roles into the late 20th century.
The M4A1 that is the subject of this kit is basically the same as the M4, but with a cast hull instead of the more angular welded steel one found in most other Sherman variants. It still has the same 75mm gun, the same gasoline powered Continental air cooled radial engine and the same suspension. It has a one-piece transmission cover instead of the three piece unit. Many of these tanks were also fitted with scabbed armor pieces along the side of the hull and turret.
Tasca is a Japanese company that has dedicated itself to producing the highest quality and most accurate kit of a subject that they can. Judging from the praise lauded on this company by the LHS owner, an armor fiend, the kit is well worth the premium you pay for it. I can echo his comments on the quality of the parts as they are superbly molded and free from any flash. I did spot a few sink areas, but they were on the reverse side of bits and won't be seen once the tank is built.
One thing for sure, Tasca doesn't scrimp on the detail or the options. While I was expecting the usual one-piece lower hull, Tasca has made it from multiple pieces. There is even a firewall section in the hull, hinting at possible aftermarket engine and interior bits. The options are quite considerable consisting of different road wheels, idlers, three different design drive sprockets, and springs atop the bogies. There is even a bit of rubber sheet that you cut to fit into the upper bogie area for shock absorbing!
Let's see, optional exhaust, the ability to have the engine compartment doors open, different differential covers and fenders as well. Optional gun mantlet covers and inner hatch detail as well as a fully detailed 75mm gun and two different mounts for the .50 cal machine gun. The tank comes with a tank commander figure to put into the open hatch. I was somewhat surprised that an aluminum barrel wasn't included and that the tracks are two piece 'rubber band' type, but was assured that the tracks will look great once painted and weathered. These have the 'vee' style tread on them.
Tasca has decided that this kit is so much like the earlier 'mid production' kit that it has provided just an addendum sheet to its earlier kit instructions. This shows those items that are different from the earlier kit so the builder will be bouncing back and forth between the two sets of instructions. Not all steps are different so only those that have changes are noted on the four page addendum. There is some trimming and hole drilling needing to be done and all of this is shown in great detail. One of those four pages is given to markings placement as all are painted Olive Drab. The three tanks are from 67th Armored Regiment/2nd AD in Normandy during June 1944 (this one has the yellow markings) as is a 70th Armored Regiment/2nd AD option (the white 16). The third is from the 31st Battalion 7th Armored Regiment in France during July 1944. Decals are well printed and should work quite well.
Yep, another Sherman for your, hopefully, growing collection. This has to be one of the best around as they sell very quickly from the LHS. I'm sure you will be delighted with yours.
My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours at your local shop or on-line from the link.
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