|Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale|
|Allied M4A1 76mm
Wet Stowage Sherman Tank
|Article by Stephen Brezinski; last updated 31 May 2015|
|This in the box preview
covers the Plastic Solider Company (PSC) rendition of the
M4A1(76) Wet, used by UK forces as the Sherman IIA. This
is the cast hull Sherman with the big hatch driver's
hatches, radial gasoline engine, and T23 turret with
76-mm M1 higher velocity, longer barreled gun, and
ammunition bins in the floor surrounded by liquid to
inhibit ammunition fires. This version of the Sherman
served primarily with US Army forces as well as French,
Polish and a small number with UK forces in Italy.
Funny about an "in the box preview", I had to take it out of the box to review it, I hope that is not cheating?
First I like to check and make sure what is portrayed on the box to check it with what is listed as being in the box, and what is actually inside. This type of box art seems typical of PSC kits. In the box painting we see a round edged cast hull with the open big-hatches for the driver and co-driver. The turret appears to be an accurate rendition of the T23 turret. To the left is another Sherman with hedgerow cutting prongs mounted on the bow. After looking at the parts my assessment is that this box art reasonably matches what is in the box.
At the bottom-right of the box it notes the supposed scale and that there are parts for three complete M4A1 models in the box.
The rear of the box is typical of the PSC kits I have and has painting instructions, and a painting of an M4A1(76) in Polish markings. I recognize this painting from an Osprey Vanguard book on the M4A1(76). No markings, i.e. decals, for this or other vehicles are included in the kit.
The Kit Parts
There are three sprues of injection molded plastic parts in each box, each sprue holds about 33 pale olive green parts including the track lengths that will need glue for assembly. The parts and assembly are very similar to other PSC Sherman model kits. There are no resin or etched brass parts, and no decal markings. There is one commander figure that fits in one of the two open turret hatches.
Each sprue holds all the parts for an M4A1(76) model. The tracks (lower right) are done similar to how several other makers are doing it, molding a long top and bottom run of track; I wish Italeri wargaming kit tracks were designed like this. Both turret hatches can be assembled open but there is only one crew half-figure. The cupolas are designed as tubs that slip down into the turret. The hull big-hatches are molded closed.
The lower hull sides have the VVSS suspension and idler wheel molded in though the outer part of the sprocket is separate. Overall the kit is simplified compared to a Revell or Dragon Sherman but is easy to assemble, the fit is good and it is an improvement over other Sherman gaming kits.
Below is a back view of the sprue to better see the cupola and other parts. The bottom hull is molded as a one piece tub. The parts have no numbers they should not be hard to figure out.
These scans compare the big hatch M4A1 upper hulls and turret at far right, with the Trumpeter and Dragon kits. Like with the other PSC "1/72" Sherman kits I have looked at this one looks a little large for 1/72. The Trumpeter and Dragon kits I am pretty comfortable with as being pretty close to 1/72; the PSC M4A1 I assess is closer to 1/70 or 1/68-scale if that matters to you. The PSC details are very good for a wargaming kit but not quite as accurate compared to the Trumpeter and Dragon kits.
The Instructions below is what came with the kit and it is obvious they are for the M4A1(75) kit (Number WW2V20004), not for this M4A1(76) with the T23 turret and big hatch hull. To compensate I have made some notes and crude drawings of what the instructions should look like.
If I were to try and detail this into a passable display model I would: replace the gun travel lock, simulate a cast texture on the turret and hull, replace the lifting rings with one made from wire, add a tow cable, replace the tools on the engine deck, add etched brass parts like headlight guards, replace the hull machine gun, drill out the gun muzzle, add the machine gun storage rack to the rear of the turret, and replace the PSC outer sprocket part with an extra from a Dragon or Trumpeter kit.
As a wargaming kit this is a pretty good representation of an M4A1 big-hatch Sherman and better than other gaming models. With some work this can be made in to a decent display model. I find this a great kit for a beginner and to practice detailing skills on. And there are three full kits to a box. I do give PSC credit for making a thrifty way of supplying the wargamer and beginner modeler with respectable Sherman models.
This kit was purchased by the reviewer with the good graces of his wife; thank you dear.
The Sherman Design & Development, Son of Sherman, Volume 1, The Ampersand Group Inc. (2013)
M4 (76mm) Sherman Medium Tank 1943-65, New Vanguard no. 73, by Steven Zaloga (2003)
|Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale|