Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale
M36B2 Tank Destroyer UniModel
Kit #210
Article by Doug Chaltry; last updated 8 February 2024
UM really screwed up with this one. The initial M36 was converted from the excess M10A1 tank destroyers that were retained in the US for training purposes. And since the M10A1 was based on the M4A3 Sherman, it thus had a gasoline engine, with the engine deck of the M4A3. But there weren't enough of those to fill the need for this up-armed tank destroyer, so the M36B2 was developed by converting the standard M10, which in turn, were based on the diesel-engined M4A2 Sherman. Thus the M36B2 is supposed to have the same engine deck as the M4A2.

The sprues shown here are the exact same sprues that come in the M36 kit (#206). The sprue on the left, when included in past Sherman kits from UM, held several extra parts, including the engine deck for the diesel-engined M4A2. But that part had been removed from the version of this sprue included in the M36 kit because it wasn't needed. And since the same sprue is included in this M36B2 kit, now we do not have the correct engine deck to use on this version of the vehicle. The kit instructions tell us to use the M4A3 engine deck from the sprue second from the left (with the upper hull), which is entirely incorrect. The very brief vehicle history included in the instructions imply that the only change between the M36 and the M36B2 was the addition of an armored roof for the turret, and a muzzle brake on the cannon. But these were not, in fact, the only changes. Most importantly, the M36B2 had the E9 suspension, with the suspension units mounted further out from the hull to accomodate extended end connectors on both the outside and insides of the tracks. This necessitated the almost complete removal of the lower armored "apron" above the tracks. None of this is depicted in this kit (nor on the boxart, for that matter).

Here is the new turret sprue, which is mostly the same as in the M36 kit, but now includes the armored turret roof and cannon barrel with the integral muzzle brake. Note that most M36B2s had a cannon barrel with a bore evacuator right behind the muzzle brake. Not all of them, but most. Such a barrel is not included in this kit.

One additional sprue of new parts is shown here, which are the grouser racks for the hull sides:

As typical of UM kits, etched parts are included. As always, they have included etched track return skids, which is the best way of modeling these parts, in my opinion. It would have been nice had they included the grouser racks as etched parts, rather than the molded plastic pieces above, as they would have looked much nicer made from etched metal.

Markings are included for three vehicles:

Jugoslav People's Army, Balkan Wars 1996
These markings are incorrect, as the Jugoslav vehicles were actually M36s, not M36B2s.

Turkish Army, 1996
The markings here match the profile included in Osprey's New Vanguard #57 - M10 and M36 Tank Destroyers 1942-53, although the date is incorrect. It should be 1953, not 1996.

RBCEO - Regiment Blinde Colonial d'Extrime Orient, North Vietnam, 1952
The photos I've seen of the French M36B2s show the T54E1 track style with extended end connectors (inside and outside), not the T48 tracks that are included in this kit (which are unusable, regardless).

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Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale