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Tasca Sherman III

Introduction
A while back I received a kit to review and promised a build feature eventually. The kit in question is the Tasca Sherman III with cast hoods that I reviewed Sherman III with Cast Hoods Live links

here]. However, I’m not exactly building it from the box because I found photos of a particular Sherman III that I really wanted to build, and after I started I realised it had the earlier hull with direct-vision visors! Sure, I could buy a different kit to make that beast and build this Tasca kit strictly OOB, but I discovered that a simple swap of a few Tasca parts would let me do the job while still remaining true to the spirit of the Tasca’s #35018 kit.

These three views were taken in April 1945 in the middle of Groningen, the Netherlands. I’m doing the tank with its turret turned to the right, covered in chalked graffiti and the pile of tulips on the hull – the other one is a Sherman III with welded hoods from flat plate as modelled by Dragon in their kit #6231.

Studying the pictures I realised I needed the Direct-Vision hull and a set of T48 rubber-chevron tracks instead of the cast-hoods hull and T49 “three-bar cleat” tracks supplied. Fortunately Tasca offers its Sherman parts on line at amazingly affordable prices, and in no time at all I had a replacement hull (part 35017-H from kit 35017) and tracks (part 35012-T48). Since the hulls are identical except for the moulded-in “front end” details of hoods, radio pot, MG bulge, and glacis welds I could use all of the base kit’s detail parts and still be able to offer valid comments on how it goes together! Even better, the necessary direct-vision visor parts even come with kit 35018 as surplus items. So, if you want to know how well kit 35018 goes together without my customisations, just ignore the tan plastic.

“What about that spare cast-hood hull?” I hear you ask. Well, since the M4 and the M4A2 shared everything except the power plant and engine deck covers I used it to make an accurate M4 from surplus Italeri parts for the Model a Photograph campaign. In fact, given how reasonable the prices of these Tasca hulls are, I can see the merit in getting a bunch of them to tart up a whole line of M4s.

Likewise the three-bar cleat tracks are going to another home when I finally start on a model of the post-war Shervick (a cut-down Sherman agricultural tractor developed for use in Africa). The fact that the plastic is gluable means I can add the characteristic extra gripper bars from Evergreen strips.
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About Tom Cromwell (barkingdigger)
FROM: ENGLAND - EAST ANGLIA, UNITED KINGDOM

A Yank living overseas on a long-term basis, I've been building tanks since the early '70s. I relish the challenges of older kits (remember when Tamiya was "new"?...) because I love to scratch-build.