by: Sven-Åke Grufstedt [ ]
IntroductionNo matter what you think of the steady stream of Shermans pouring out of Dragon these days one thing is certain and that is that the kits are wonderful little gems of plastic.
This kit features the M4A3 with the 105mm infantry support gun and the HVSS suspension which is beautifully rendered and each boogie consists of no less than 8 parts. The T80 tracks are also faithfully reproduced in the now standard DS material.
Contents of the kit5 sprues of grey plastic
1 lower hull in a separate plastic bag
1 upper hull in a separate plastic bag
1 fret of photoetched parts
1 set of DS tracks
1 sheet of decals by Cartograf
1 construction manual
The plastic partsThe parts are up to Dragons usual standards and are without flash and sinkmarks. It still boggles my mind how it is possible to manufacture some of these small parts in plastic and still get the crispness that is seen on them.
The only compaint I have about it is that they still include some of the pioneer tools in the mouldings of the upper hull. I would much rather have them as separate parts so I can move them about a bit. But that's just me... Other than that there is absolutely nothing from my point of view to complain about regarding the mouldings.
The photoetchThe photetch in the box is the standard M4A3 fret which contains the front fenders which I like very much since it's possible to make them a little dented and bent to make the tank a bit more lifelike and create the impression of a battle worn vehicle. Other parts on the fret are the guards for the headlights and the rear stowage rack which are very delicate and is a must if you want to create a good looking vehicle. For those of you who does not like working with the small etched parts there are options in plastic that you can use instead.
The tracksThe DS tracks are something that I have started to like more and more and specially the ones on the Shermans. These are the T80 HVSS version and they are absolutely gorgeous and very crisp. They can be glued with ordinairy plastic glue which makes life much easier.
The decalsThe decals are as usual printed by Cartograf and they are very nice and lets you do four different vehicles during the latter part of the war.
713th Tank Battalion, Okinawa 1945
67th Armored Infantry Battalion, 13th Armored Division, Austria 1945
752nd Tank Battalion, Italy 1945
20th Armored Infantry Battalion, 10th Armored Division, Germany 1945
The construction ManualThe manual is clear and precise and the drawings gives you no worries about where to put the parts. The markings and painting instructions are also very good.
Another very fine kit from Dragon. Higly recommended for all Sherman fans out there.