Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale
 

Sherman Hull Bottoms
Article by Doug Chaltry; last updated 9 February 2008.

Introduction

Dragos Popescu, a regular contributor to the Braille Scale discussion group, brought it to my attention that the bottom hulls of the new series of Trumpeter Sherman kits were not correct for the versions they were trying to represent. In fact, the ESCI kits were incorrect as well. So I thought, "What a great idea for a comparison article". But then, I started my research . . .

I don't have any reference source that shows the bottom hulls of any of the Sherman variants, except the M4A2.

While scanning my kit parts, I see that the Dragon kits all have distinct hull bottoms. Since past experience has shown that Dragon tends to put more effort into their research than other companies, and their kits are consequently more accurate, I am making the assumption that the hull bottoms in the Dragon kits correctly represent what they should look like for their respective Sherman variants.

If any viewers of this article have reference material showing the hull bottoms, or have evidence that the Dragon kits are incorrect, please let me know.

Bottom Hull Scans

First I will show the hull bottoms for the Dragon kits to use as a reference for the other available Sherman kits.

  Dragon ESCI/Italeri Extratech Revell Trumpeter UniModel
M4

M4A1

Firefly Ic

  Dragon Extratech        
M4A2

M10

M36B2

       
  Dragon Eduard ESCI Extratech Trumpeter UniModel
M4A3

M36

  Dragon          
M4A4

Firefly Vc

         

Summary

With the assumption that the Dragon kits are correct in their representations of the hull bottoms, the above scans indicate the following:

Trumpeter:

M4/M4A1 kits are basically correct, the M4A3 is incorrect.

Italeri (ESCI):

Neither the M4A1 nor the M4A3 are correct for their versions as they most closely represent the M4A2.

UniModel:

Most closely resemble the M4/M4A1, though they are over simplified. Incorrect for the M4A3.

Revell:

Very over simplified again, and the escape hatch is on the wrong side.

ExtraTech/Eduard:

These kits have the bottom hull arrangement of the M4A2 (except for the tank version, where the escape hatch is on the wrong side). This layout is correct for the M10, the Achilles, and the M36B2 variants in the M36 Extrapack kit. It is incorrect for all of their other kits, such as the M36, the Firefly IC, the M4, the M4A3 (105)W and the M4A3 (76)W.

Resin Kits:

Most resin kits are conversion sets based on the old ESCI (now Italeri) Sherman, which as we saw above has a bottom hull of an M4A2. Consequently, any resin conversions for the M4A2 or M10 would be correct, all others are likely not. The only hull bottom I've seen in a resin kit is the MR Models M4A4/Firefly VC, and they got it correct with those kits.


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Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale