|Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale|
|French M4 (WoT)||Trumpeter
|Article by Stephen Brezinski; last updated 21 January 2018|
small scale model represents a post WW2 upgrade of an
American M4A1(76) Sherman tank by France. Also identified
as an M4A1 Revalorise' (Upgraded). I've not found a lot
of information on this tank but here is what I have
In the 1960's, 180 of these conversions were made based on the cast hull M4A1 and with the original VVSS bogies. The tank was rearmed with a French 105-mm high velocity gun similar to that mounted in the AMX-30 tank. The turret bustle was lengthened to accommodate the longer and bigger gun and its recoil. One of the names I read listed it as, Le M4A1 Canon De 105 L51, may be incorrect as I also read this gun was shorted to L44 calibers from the original L51.
This tank is very similar to the Israeli M51 Super Sherman which has the same gun. The M51 had HVSS bogies and I understand a different, upgraded engine. See your references for more details on the M51.
The Box Art (or what is supposed to be inside)
Trumpeter 1/72 kits are clever in having the box art be an actual photo of an assembled kit, for better or for worse. This kit is a variation of Trumpeters M4A1(76) kit number 7222 with pretty much all the same faults and good points.
In this box art photo above, we see the VVSS bogies rather than the late war HVSS bogies with the wider track. The basic hull and turret shapes are good and the parts well molded. The tools are molded onto the hull and the lifting rings are molded solid; perhaps cut the lifting rings off and replace with bent wire. The headlights could use some headlight guards. The bogies have the pressed spoke roadwheels, and this tank uses the simple plate type sprocket wheel up front.
The turret is a production T23 turret original fit with a 76-mm gun but has an extended bustle in the back, a new gun mantlet, and that huge, long, 105-mm gun. The muzzle break appears huge and is likely needed to reduce the larger recoil of this gun. I do not see any co-axial machine gun.
The turret commander's cupola hatch can be modeled open. The turret loader's and hull crew hatches are all molded shut. I notice that the model builder did not darken in the commander's cupola's view ports to represent the glass. The engine deck is for the radial gasoline engine. The markings are just small French roundels, no lettering or numbers.
The instructions are pretty typical for Trumpeter small scale models. At left is the parts diagram. Common with Trumpeter Sherman models are both Sprue A at top holding wheels and the VVSS bogie parts for a display model, and Sprue-T1 at lower left holding one-piece VVSS bogies with wheels for a simpler wargaming model.
At lower right in Step-9 is assembly of the turret from Sprue-X1. Sprue-X1 and the decal sheet are the major differences from the Trumpeter M4A1(76) kit.
Here is the only photo of this Sherman variant I've found so far and can be helpful in detailing the model. Many of these features, such as the smoke dischargers and the tow cable location appear the same on Israeli M51 Shermans.
From the top down, we see the extended bustle, the turret lifting rings, the new gun mantlet with gunsight, and two smoke dischargers. I presume there would be smoke dischargers on the left side of the turret also. The muzzle break is more tapered, pointed, at the front than that in this Trumpeter model. There is a 50 cal. AA machine gun on the turret roof.
On the hull we see the ventilation dome right of the co-driver's hatch, and the tool and the spare track storage on the hull side. Tow cable is coiled on the bow. We cannot see the engine deck to see if this tank still has the radial gasoline fueled engine. The sprocket and roadwheels are different from those in this Trumpeter model kit, but I think that is not a problem. The track in this photo is the all steel T56 or T49 type. The Trumpeter model appears to have T48 rubber chevron track.
This looks to me to be a production vehicle in service but I see no markings: no roundels, unit marking or serial numbers. I see what looks to me to be a two shade camouflage pattern, perhaps olive green and brown.
I counted about 87 hard styrene plastic parts (not the 100+ listed on the box cover), two soft band track pieces, and a decal sheet for one vehicle. Not all the parts will be used. There are no crew figures, no resin, and no etched brass parts. Molding appears sharp and with little flash.
Sprue-X1 holding the turret parts is the significant difference between this kit and Trumpeter's M4A1(76) kit number 7222. The commander's cupola looks a little too large?
This kit comes with a large display base that looks actually large enough for two vehicles and some figures.
This is a good, well molded, model kit of a French M4A1 Revalorise', and with some detail problems. This kit is a good base for conversion to an Israeli M51 model. Thinking in a positive light, if we wish a great display model this is a decent model kit to start with and challenge our detailing skills. By itself it is a good wargaming model. For additional information see the Trumpeter M4A1 kit reviews at:
Sherman Minutia Website at http://the.shadock.free.fr/sherman_minutia/index.html is an excellent on-line site for most all things Sherman.
|Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale|