Trumpeter 1/72 M4A3E8 'Korean War'
|PRICE:||$5400 yen or less at www.hlj.com|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Base B-24J Kit|
The story of the Sherman has to be one of the best known amongst tank fans. However, not everyone realizes that the Sherman soldiered on for decades after WWII. In the US, these were upgraded towards the end of the war with a different suspension system that added the 'E8' suffix to the tank's designator. This resulted in the term 'Easy 8' when referring to this sort of suspension. It provided easier maintenance and better ride than the older system.
The upgunned Shermans used during Korea were armed with the 76mm or in some cases a 105 mm main gun. These were the most prevalent tanks used by the Allies in that conflict, though there were a considerable number of Pershings in theater as well. Stateside, the Sherman was steadily replaced by the Patton tank, with excess tanks being passed on to US allies. Many of these nations were still using these tanks in the 1980s and some into the 1990s. Now some of these tanks are lovingly cared for by full scale armor enthusiasts.
The Trumpeter kit falls pretty much in line with most armor kits in this scale in that there are not a ton of small, individual parts. While Dragon and some other eschew ease of assembly for fidelity to detail, Trumpeter figures it is better to provide ease of construction. This being the case, many of the smaller bits are already molded into larger structures, such as the molded in tools and hatches as well as the near complete suspension sections with molded in road wheels on the one side.
Things like this not only speed construction, but ease alignment problems. The kit also uses a single 'rubber band' tread for each side. This is a T80 style track and appears to be of the same material as those tracks used on modern Dragon kits. This material can be glued and painted with no problem. There is no interior as is the norm for these and so no open hatch option.
Kit molding is very well done with a pleasant lack of pesky molding glitches such as visible ejector pin marks. Instructions are also well done and use Gunze paint references. There are decals for what appears to be two tanks, but the the instructions only show the one on the box art. As it was assumed that the Chinese feared tigers (Hobbs will be delighted), US tanks often had this motif on the front glacis. The decals are well printed, but Trumpeter has a less than sterling reputation for their markings so one can only hope these will work well.
Not many Korean War armor kits around. This looks like a fairly good one and while I'm sure there is 'something wrong' with it, it looks nice in the box.
Once more, thanks to 'store credit' for this one. Hope you liked it and I wish I'd have built this one for the Sherman build earlier in the year.
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