|Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale
Article by Doug Chaltry; last updated 31 October 2007.
Being released shortly after the earlier Achilles, and produced in cooperation with Eduard, Extratech brings us the second of their new series of Tank Destroyers, the M10 GMC. This kit is very similar to the earlier Achilles kit, with only a few new parts (described below), so most of the following description is taken verbatim from the earlier review.
For those of you familiar with the high quality of Eduard's plastic aircraft kits, you will know what to expect with this tank model. The plastic is very high quality, with excellent detail, no flash, and very few sink marks. It is a fairly complex kit, with the turret being composed of multiple parts, including separate parts for each turret facet. The hull is also composed of many parts. This design allows for the molding of detail on all surfaces, including the sides.
This is a very nice kit. The only qualifier I am putting on it, is that I don't feel the molding quality is quite as good as Revell, Dragon or Hasegawa, because I think that Eduard's plastic molding technology is closer to limited-run. There are a lot of very small parts, such as the lift rings, and hatch periscopes, which is fairly impressive to be molded in plastic. But it seems that the detail could be just a *little bit* sharper; the plastic is kind of shiny, and some of the corners and edges seem to be just a tad bit soft (but notice the casting numbers on the bogie truck below).
The wheel assemblies are very complex, though they should be easy to put together. Each wheel is separate; so is each "rocker arm" or whatever they are called, the VVS spring assembly above the wheels, and the front and back face of the bogie trucks (which are highly detailed). The top part of the bogie truck, which has the springs on it, also has the top track return skid (that curved loop of sheet metal) molded onto it, but it's molded SOLID. There is a recess under the lip of the skid, and if painted black, may look pretty good for a quick glance, but it needs to be replaced (the old Eduard brass set designed for the Revell M4A1 Sherman had replacement skids, which look really good when assembled, but I think that set is OOP). This is really the only bad thing about the kit.
The hull hatches are open, there is some pretty good, though basic interior detail for the driving and fighting compartments (but no engine compartment), and the turret interior also has some basic detail. Not enough to get by for super-detailers, but enough for now. Pioneer tools are separate, but there are no mounting brackets; none molded onto them (which is good) but also none provided in brass (which is not good). The AA machinegun is quite detailed for a plastic piece, but the barrel is molded bent. Being plastic, this should be fairly easy to correct.
The two hulls are almost identical, but one has faint circles molded onto the hull sides and front, indicating where the armor bosses should be glued for the early/mid versions of the M10. The other hull is bare of armor bosses, for lare version hulls, such as on the Achilles kit. I don't think it would be appropriate to use that hull with this current M10 kit, since the turret counterweights are not the late "duckbill" style of the Achilles, but rather the mid "wedge" style.
The turret is multi-part, with each wall being a separate piece. The gun breech is basic, and in fact, is the same breech as included with the Achilles. Were the 17pdr and 3 inch guns so similar that the gun breeches were identical? I doubt it, but based on the photos I have seen, this breech appears to better resemble the 3inch gun, rather than the 17 pdr. There are no stowage items or figures.
The brass fret is very basic, giving only the headlight guards, mounting arms for the canvas rain cover, machinegun details, the floor of the driver's compartment, and some controls for him. There will soon be a "profi-pack" version released, which will include a more extensive fret of etched brass, as well as cast resin detail parts for the interior (and likely other details too).
The tracks are gorgeous; steel chevron style, and extremely well molded. These could very well be the best tracks I've seen in plastic. Unfortunately, they represent the T-54E2 style, which as far as I know, was a very rare style. They resemble the T-62 style, which had three bolts on each link, and was commonly used on British Shermans, in particular, Sherman Vs. The kit tracks can be made to represent the T-62, if some mud is smeared on each link, hiding the lack of bolts. The T-54E1 was also similar to the T-54E2, but the chevrons were squared off at the bottom, not rounded as these here. Basically, I think this was a very poor choice of track.
The decals are the typical high quality of Extratech, with six different options:
On a final note: the obligatory scale measurements show it to be just a hair short for 1/72nd scale, about 1.0-1.5mm.
I would very much like to thank Thomas Braden for making this kit donation.
|Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale