This new Academy is kit is in a word, brilliant. 366 parts on 6 sprues in light beige plastic, a couple of lengths of thin thread, a decal sheet and rubber band type steel cleat tracks (T49) plus the instruction sheets make up what's in the box.
Starting with the suspension, you get two styles of road wheels, the open spoke type and solid spoke which has detail on both sides (an insert fills the back section), not hollow like many others around. The bogie units are the Type 2C-2 Intermediate raised roller and have excellent cast detail with casting numbers included. There are also alternate return skids for the top of the bogie units. The early symmetrical skid and the later 'final' skid shape, although it would be unlikely that the early symmetrical skid would be seen on the raised roller bogie units, but anything is possible? There is alternate drive sprockets also, the Type 1C 'Fancy' and the Type 3 'Simple Plate.
The front 3 piece transmission housing is the correct Type 1C-4 for the M12 as distinct from the housings used on gun tanks (Academy have done their homework) It features subtle surface texture and casting numbers (In the right place for the 1C-4).
The interior is as complete as you would want to find this side of resin detail set. The driver's compartment has the transmission bulkhead and full transmission housing, the crew seats, driver's levers, instrument panel and foot pedals along with other small detail. As I said, the best M4 family interior in a plastic kit to date. The rear compartment is no different, with all major details present. The rear supporting spade is fully articulated as is the intricate raising mechanism.
The 155mm canon is also very impressive with many small details on what is a fairly simple sub assembly.
The hull top has all the crew hatches separate to show off the great interior, all the tools as you would expect are also separate pieces as well as other storage boxes. The fuel filler caps are also separate pieces which all adds to the nice detail moulded onto the hull top.
The decal sheets has markings for 4 M12's from ETO in 1944, 45.
In all, an excellent kit of an impressive vehicle and a must for any US Army fan. The gaps in the Sherman family are slowly being filled, but there's still plenty to go.
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in Action #2038
Squadron Signal Publications
|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