Sherman M4/M4A1 Lower Hull
1:35 #F055
Review by Terry Ashley

This Sherman hull from Formations has 21 parts in light cream resin with a number of the parts coming from other Formations sets.

The standard of casting is excellent as usual with crisp well defined details and just the usual casting blocks to be removed along with some minor resin film on a couple of parts.

Included in the set is the Air Cleaners for Radial Engined Shermans from set #F007 and the Adjustable Idler Wheel Mounts from set #F052, which can be seen in detail with the separate review.

New parts for this set are the full lower hull casting with sponson fillers in place and separate rear hull plate.

Detail on the lower hull casting is excellent with correct underside details such as the escape hatch, rear engine panels and suspension channels plus weld seams along the underside hull edges and at the hull/sponson cover join. At the front underside is a row of bolt heads used when the three piece bolted transmission cover is fitted but should be removed if using a one piece cast transmission cover, another nice alternative.

The side walls are cast perfectly straight without any hint of warping and after cleaning up the excess resin at the back it is ready to accept any transmission cover either from Formations or other sources. The fit of the rear hull plate to the hull is very good requiring no additional trimming.

The front of the sponson fillers have recessed outlines that allow you to trim accurately when fitting to cast hulled M4A1s or square as they come for M4 based kits, this makes for easy conversion between the two choices.

The hull is not designed for any particular kit but can be used with the Tamiya's M4 Sherman (Kit #35190), with Italeri's M4A1, M32 or Priest, with the Dragon M4A1 or any other aftermarket Sherman hull for an almost endless list of donor upper hulls. It should be noted the hull is not suitable for HVSS tanks as the suspension mountings are quite different.

The suspension mounting plates on the hull side are designed for the Tamiya kit bogie units but you will have to trim off the underside mounting plate from the Tamiya bogie units to fit as well as trimming the locating pin. To fit the excellent Tasca bogie units you just need to trim the two upper bolts from the Formations mounting brackets and align the Tasca bogies on the mounting plates. Other kit or aftermarket bogie units can be used with minor alterations to the bogies or trimming the top two resin bolts with again test fitting and trimming as you go for the best fit.


Some trimming may be required to fit the lower hull to the applicable donor kit and as usual test fitting and trimming where required will get the best result and it would be best to fit the transmission cover before undertaking any trimming to fit the chosen upper hull.

The instructions are the usual drawings of the various sections showing the fitting of the parts with additional text notes and are perfectly adequate to fit the parts without any major problems.

Another superb yet quite simple update from Rob at Formations that will add additional details to virtually any M4/M4A1 based kit without any major problems.

Highly recommended

Resin parts
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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

Check the Formations website for details of other update sets available and thanks to Rob for the review sample.

Page created 21 August 2005

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