Following on from their M4A2 Russian Army (Kit #13010) comes this kit of the M4A2 U.S. Marines complete with spelling mistake on the box top to see if you are watching?
As you would expect the kit is basically the same as kit #13010 with a few corrections and new parts for the Marine version. For a detailed review see my comments on kit #13010 and I will now concentrate on the new and corrected parts.
The lower hull, rear hull and suspension are from kit #13010 except that additional suspension arms have been included with more accurate contours as well as a four open spoke wheels with the holes blanked over as often seen on these vehicles.
The main upper hull has been reworked with the correct M4A2 angle rear plate and raised weld seams between the hull and rear panel but the large weld seams around the hull are still recessed and the forward cheek sections still very ‘flat’.
All other parts for the upper hull are the same as with kit #13010 except for the inclusion of appliqué side armour and wood panel armour seen on some Marine Shermans in the Pacific. The two large wading trunks are also provided and these have nice weld seam details around the joins and the upper sections are separate from the lower mounting sections which allow you to show the rear trunks facing the rear as was often the case to reduce engine overheating as the forward facing trucks sucked in warm engine air.
For more info on the wood panels and wading trunks as well as U.S Marine M4A2s in general check out the Hard Corps Models site.
The other big change is the inclusion of the late high bustle 75mm turret with the oval loader’s hatch but without cheek armour. The commander’s hatch ring is nicely done with small casting numbers and the hatches have detail on both sides as well as casting numbers and a few shallow pin ejector marks to be dealt with. There is also the commander’s cupola with vision ports left over from the Russian M4A2 if you want to build a later vehicle?
The M34A1 gun mount rotor shield has nice casting texture, screw head details and casting numbers included and the 75mm gun has a separate muzzle section which will need the join seam filled but with the end indented it is easy to drill out the barrel proper.
Other details include separate periscopes on the hatches and loader’s station as well as separate periscope bush guards and other smaller details for a nice rendition of the 75mm turret.
The decal sheet has markings for five M4A2s with no specific units stated but my references indicate the following vehicles;
1. M4A2 (W) “Nighmare II” Marine 5th Battalion but with T54E1 steel chevron track and different style wood armour than that in the kit as well as wire protection added over the hull hatches.
2. M4A2 (W) “Boomerang” in two tone sand/olive drab cam from US Marine 4th Tank Battalion Jwo Jima 1945 but with different style wood panels than that included in the kit.
3. M4A2 (W) “Doris” of 4th Marine Tank Battalion and also includes wire protection ‘cages’ over the hull hatches and metal grating added over the engine deck.
4. M4A2 (W) “Goldbrick” of Marine 4th Tank Battalion Tinian, 1945 but with raised roller arm suspension bogies.
5. M4A2 (W) “Caesar” of Co.C, 2nd Marine Tank Battalion Tinian, 1945 but this vehicle is shown with T54E1 steel chevron track.
Academy continues to make improvements with each Sherman release such as the corrected rear hull angle and new turret but still includes details such as the recessed hull weld seams and early straight roller arm suspension. But overall there are some nice details included such as the separate periscopes, fuel filler caps and alternate road wheels with rear inserts on the pressed steel wheels.
The wading trunks are a nice inclusion and allow them to be depicted fully or partially fitted as often seen on different vehicles as well as the rubber block/duckbill track and overall the kit will be welcomed by Sherman fans.
|SHERMAN A History of the
American Medium Tank
R.P.Hunnicutt. Presidio Books ISBN 0-89141-080-5
|Modeler's Guide to the Sherman
MMIR Special. Ampersand Publishing Company, Inc
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Page created 8 November 2004