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REVIEW
DML Sexton II
c5flies
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 - 07:43 AM UTC
The Sexton II is a much overdue AFV for Canadian and British modelers, Kevin Brant takes a look at the new offering from DML.

Link to Item



If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
18Bravo
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 - 08:05 AM UTC
Hell, I don't even have much of an interest in WWII stuff, and know even less about it, but I could tell from the box art this wasn't going to be right. How serendipitous that we just had a CDP thread a few days ago. Maybe I'll finish that S Models kit (which has its own faults) and have a better, less expensive product when all is said and done.
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 - 10:23 AM UTC
Many thanks Kevin for this first in-the-box review.

I was guessing Dragon boogie will be wrong and, unfortunatly Formations up-dating resin kits are not available on their website...

But on the other hand "chevron" tracks (DS) are okay for Sexton during WW2. Expecting this kit for a while, I had several looks inside Concord books (7027, 7028, 7069) and several wartime pictures show Sexton with metallic tracks like T54 E1 and what looks like T54 E2 "Cuff" or T62, difficult to tell. But for sure metallic chevrons are OK.
Shame we don't get a Canadian version...

But we will be many enjoying this Sexton for sure ! Mtbk
pseudorealityx
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 - 10:27 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Many thanks Kevin for this first in-the-box review.

I was guessing Dragon boogie will be wrong and, unfortunatly Formations up-dating resin kits are not available on their website...

But on the other hand "chevron" tracks (DS) are okay for Sexton during WW2. Expecting this kit for a while, I had several looks inside Concord books (7027, 7028, 7069) and several wartime pictures show Sexton with metallic tracks like T54 E1 and what looks like T54 E2 "Cuff" or T62, difficult to tell. But for sure metallic chevrons are OK.
Shame we don't get a Canadian version...

But we will be many enjoying this Sexton for sure ! Mtbk



If you email John at Formations, he's usually pretty good at giving at least an estimate of time before something is brought back in stock. I would guess, because of the release of the Sexton, that he might want to warm up the molds on those bogies...
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 - 10:52 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Many thanks Kevin for this first in-the-box review.

I was guessing Dragon boogie will be wrong and, unfortunatly Formations up-dating resin kits are not available on their website...

But on the other hand "chevron" tracks (DS) are okay for Sexton during WW2. Expecting this kit for a while, I had several looks inside Concord books (7027, 7028, 7069) and several wartime pictures show Sexton with metallic tracks like T54 E1 and what looks like T54 E2 "Cuff" or T62, difficult to tell. But for sure metallic chevrons are OK.
Shame we don't get a Canadian version...

But we will be many enjoying this Sexton for sure ! Mtbk



Well that is good to know, I guess I need more books, the two I have, one being Canadian Armor in Detail, show the CDP track, and it seems almost every WW2 pic of a Sexton I found online had the CDP. I know for the post war, most had the rubber block track.

RonV
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 - 11:46 AM UTC
It would appear that Dragon had a touch more information than others have. The kit has a few minor niggles and thus is not perfect but it is an entirely appropriate version of this vehicle. The Sexton II was first built with standard Sherman bogies and Sherman tracks and some were built on Ram hulls. The early Ram/Lee/Grant suspension seems limited to the Sexton I.

As for paint, there is sufficient evidence that SCC2 Brown was indeed used on some of these early issued Sexton II. It is possible that the later ones with CDP track and heavy duty bogies were painted with olive drab/black or plain live. In fact there is evidence of at least one Sexton II that have the black camouflage painted over with olive to provide one solid shade.

Canadian markings were not provided as confirmed evidence of the field use of the early Sexton II with the Canadian Army could not be found before the kit went into production. The identification of the Essex Yeomanry markings is in error. The information I found led to that conclusion but it has since been pointed out that I was wrong. It should be the 90th Field Regiment (City of London).

My research leaves a great many questions about the development of the Sexton. It seems to be anything but linear
with many combinations of track, bogie, and transmission. One is best to use wartime photos for guidance.

FWIW,
Ron Volstad



SgtRam
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 - 12:25 PM UTC

Quoted Text

It would appear that Dragon had a touch more information than others have. The kit has a few minor niggles and thus is not perfect but it is an entirely appropriate version of this vehicle. The Sexton II was first built with standard Sherman bogies and Sherman tracks and some were built on Ram hulls. The early Ram/Lee/Grant suspension seems limited to the Sexton I.

As for paint, there is sufficient evidence that SCC2 Brown was indeed used on some of these early issued Sexton II. It is possible that the later ones with CDP track and heavy duty bogies were painted with olive drab/black or plain live. In fact there is evidence of at least one Sexton II that have the black camouflage painted over with olive to provide one solid shade.

Canadian markings were not provided as confirmed evidence of the field use of the early Sexton II with the Canadian Army could not be found before the kit went into production. The identification of the Essex Yeomanry markings is in error. The information I found led to that conclusion but it has since been pointed out that I was wrong. It should be the 90th Field Regiment (City of London).

My research leaves a great many questions about the development of the Sexton. It seems to be anything but linear
with many combinations of track, bogie, and transmission. One is best to use wartime photos for guidance.

FWIW,
Ron Volstad



Ron

From my research, it shows that only 125 Sexton I's were built on the Ram chassis, before production changes to the Grizzly chassis, thus the Sexton II. One issue, which I believe is where Dragon found their reference, is many Sexton II were used post war by many countries, and those seem to be the ones in museums. Which could explain some of the errors Dragon included. There was one battalion in each of the Canadian 4th and 5th Armored divisions that were labelled as mobile artillery, and from what I read were equipped with either the Priest or Sexton II. The Italian campiagn used the priests, while in NW Europe they used the Sexton II. It is quite possible that tracks were replaced in the field as T54E1 was plentiful. There does seem to be very few reference photos of Canadian use of the Sexton II, on Armoured Acorn they show marking for a solid Olive Drab unit in Antwerp 1945, 1st Cdn Army, 19th Field Regiment. I am going to pick up the book from Service Publications, The Sexton in Canadian Service. That should be a good reference.

http://www.servicepub.com/weapons.html

Kevin


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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 - 12:43 PM UTC
It can be confusing. A Sexton I vs a Sexton II has nothing to do with what hull it was built on; the presence of the rear generator/battery boxes over the rear sponsons are the identifier for a Sexton II. Early Sextons even had the Lee type bogie units with the return roller in the middle. As Ron mentions they could be seen with 3 piece transmissions, 1 piece, headlights above the transmission or later on up higher on the superstructure. Hard to give them an 'early', 'mid' or 'late' designation. I think what you get in the kit will work just fine. See also: this thread







Jim
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 - 01:05 PM UTC

Quoted Text

The Sexton in Canadian Service. That should be a good reference.

http://www.servicepub.com/weapons.html

Kevin





That is a handy reference for Sexton's in Canadian service. I think Ron stated earlier that the Dragon kit was for RA and RHA Sextons.
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 - 01:24 PM UTC
Wow, alot of information, thanks guys. I may be a little more confused, but hey I am learning more then I thought I would. So it almost seems there could be different configurations, it is not cut and dry, or black and white. I think when it comes time, I will use the Formations Bogies and the Panda CDP track. The biggest issue is coming up with decals to do a Canadian unit, as most references I have seen show 4 tactical signs on each Canadian unit as opposed to the British that seems 2 is common.
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 - 08:33 PM UTC
Gents,
Please forgive my ignorance...have you guys noticed that Friul model has a new set of Track for Sexton?It looks like german track to me,any data,please?
Will
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 - 09:08 PM UTC
The tracks and not reinforced VVSS bogies included in the kit are PERFECTLY ACCURATE at least for the HANNIBAL III marking options included in the kit. There is a good photo of this vehicle in one of the books in my collection (don't remember which one - probably one of Concord books) and it is clearly visible that bogies are standard Sherman type, not reinforced and T54E1 tracks are used.

Here is one such vehicle on the production line: http://www.jedsite.info/artillery-sierra/sierra/sexton_series/sexton-1/sexton1_003.jpg

So while I agree that it would be better to have reinforced bogies included, as they were much more common (as visible on all photos posted by Jim), this is NOT TRUE that kit includes inaccurate bogies and tracks!

In my opinion the review HAS TO BE EDITED, because currently it includes false information and the conclusion is based on it.
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 - 10:44 PM UTC
Hmm. Looks like they could have taken the Sexton at the Firepower museum (Woolwich Arsenal, London) as their prototype - it has the standard bogies and T54E1 tracks. Given how the wacky world of Sherman-based vehicles worked, I've no doubt somebody will turn up a wartime pic in this configuration, even if the majority ran on the heavier bogies and CDP tracks. (Especially if I or anyone else is foolish enough to say "never" in print!) We can get tracks & sprockets from Panda or Fruil, but it would have been much better if DML had tooled at least the new bogie castings on their Sexton-specific sprue - opportunity missed.

Anyone else notice that the hull tub is half new-tool? The inside is new (Sextons are right-hand drive, so there are floor details under the driver's seat), but the underside still has the M4/M7's escape hatch, which would wind up under the Sexton driver's seat where it patently wasn't. Of course it's an easy fix for us modellers to just sand it off, but speaks volumes about the cost of cutting new tooling...

Tom
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - 12:34 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The tracks and not reinforced VVSS bogies included in the kit are PERFECTLY ACCURATE at least for the HANNIBAL III marking options included in the kit. There is a good photo of this vehicle in one of the books in my collection (don't remember which one - probably one of Concord books) and it is clearly visible that bogies are standard Sherman type, not reinforced and T54E1 tracks are used.

Here is one such vehicle on the production line: http://www.jedsite.info/artillery-sierra/sierra/sexton_series/sexton-1/sexton1_003.jpg

So while I agree that it would be better to have reinforced bogies included, as they were much more common (as visible on all photos posted by Jim), this is NOT TRUE that kit includes inaccurate bogies and tracks!

In my opinion the review HAS TO BE EDITED, because currently it includes false information and the conclusion is based on it.



I wish to join with Pawel on this.

KL
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - 12:43 AM UTC
Okay, so tell me what all needs to be corrected with this kit BECAUSE, I've always wanted a Sexton and don't want to look at it after it's built with suspicion.










~ Jeff
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - 12:56 AM UTC

Quoted Text


In my opinion the review HAS TO BE EDITED, because currently it includes false information and the conclusion is based on it.



Pawel

While I thank you for the information, the review was based on my research, and what seems to be the common configuration, including images for Canada Archives. While there might have been some odd configurations during the evolution of the vehicle, it is my believe that the configuration in the kit is inaccurate, and I will stand on my review.

It is up to the modeler to research the specific vehicle they would like to build, as with any vehicle, there could be difference, especially in any field modifications that were made.

Kevin
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - 01:08 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Gents,
Please forgive my ignorance...have you guys noticed that Friul model has a new set of Track for Sexton?It looks like german track to me,any data,please?
Will



I believe these are the CDP tracks being referred to in some of the posts here, and they do indeed resemble Pz III / IV tracks etc. Seems like Fruil have already addressed this option then. ATL - 127 GRIZZLY (Sherman M4A1), SEXTON (Canadian tracks)
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - 01:16 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The tracks and not reinforced VVSS bogies included in the kit are PERFECTLY ACCURATE at least for the HANNIBAL III marking options included in the kit.



Isn't that the key point? There are markings for 4 other vehicles in the kit, so, by logical inference, DML HAS in fact made a mistake? So, following this through Kevin should perhaps modify the Review SLIGHTLY to reflect this fact?

So, bouncing the ball back onto DML's court, what's the point of including markings which can't be used? Now THAT is considerably more worrying than any perceptions o inaccuracy on the part of Kevin's Review. Or, am I missing something here?

This isn't the first time that DML has seemed to cut corners in Allied releases.
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - 02:00 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

The tracks and not reinforced VVSS bogies included in the kit are PERFECTLY ACCURATE at least for the HANNIBAL III marking options included in the kit.



Isn't that the key point? There are markings for 4 other vehicles in the kit, so, by logical inference, DML HAS in fact made a mistake? So, following this through Kevin should perhaps modify the Review SLIGHTLY to reflect this fact?

So, bouncing the ball back onto DML's court, what's the point of including markings which can't be used? Now THAT is considerably more worrying than any perceptions o inaccuracy on the part of Kevin's Review. Or, am I missing something here?

This isn't the first time that DML has seemed to cut corners in Allied releases.



That's true of almost any kit out there with multiple decal choices. It's pretty rare to get many different tanks, from different areas, and different units to all have the EXACT same configuration.

This isn't a DML problem, it's an industry wide issue. AFVClub, Tamiya, Tasca, Academy, Trumpeter, etc etc...
PvtMutt
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - 03:33 AM UTC
Howdy
I've got one underway right now on the bench.





You need to pay a lot of attention at the rear or you'll be left with an out of kilter caboose and the sides will have gaps and fit problems.
After many hours of cutting,sanding and dry fitting this is the best I could do. It's still not perfect but very close.



Have fun
Tony lee
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - 03:56 AM UTC

Quoted Text

This isn't a DML problem, it's an industry wide issue. AFVClub, Tamiya, Tasca, Academy, Trumpeter, etc etc...



Well, and I apologise for being pedantic, but in this case it IS DML's problem as the subject of the review is a DML kit.

I had really looked forward to this model, but, admittedly, I had hoped that Tasca would do it first.

The perception I have, rightly or wrongly, is that DML don't put anything like as much thought or work into their Allied releases as they do to their Axis ones.

Anyone care to comment?
c5flies
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - 04:59 AM UTC
As someone who knows nothing of the Sexton II (or Sherman's for that matter) I'm trying to work my way through this:

Will this kit model more of the exception than the rule? Would it have been better as a CH white box kit of a specific vehicle such as Hannibal?

Does DML have the bogies and tracks that were more 'common' on this SPG in their arsenal? Or were these chosen to avoid new tooling?

If I'm reading this correctly, then I agree that Kevin's review should be edited to reflect that the kit can be fairly accurate for very specific vehicles, although not for the more "run of the mill" variety...if there was such a thing for the Sexton II.

My personal point of view, in general, is that I would rather have the more common/correct version of any model in the box and add the details myself to mimic a photo or more obscure version, not the other way around.

barkingdigger
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - 05:29 AM UTC
Hi James! The answers are:


Quoted Text

Will this kit model more of the exception than the rule? Would it have been better as a CH white box kit of a specific vehicle such as Hannibal?

Pretty much yes, although it sounds like this configuration became more common post-war.


Quoted Text

Does DML have the bogies and tracks that were more 'common' on this SPG in their arsenal? Or were these chosen to avoid new tooling?

No, so yes that could be the reason. (Or they just used a museum piece as a prototype?)


Quoted Text

If I'm reading this correctly, then I agree that Kevin's review should be edited to reflect that the kit can be fairly accurate for very specific vehicles, although not for the more "run of the mill" variety...if there was such a thing for the Sexton II.

That's about it - it isn't "wrong", just not the most common.


Quoted Text

My personal point of view, in general, is that I would rather have the more common/correct version of any model in the box and add the details myself to mimic a photo or more obscure version, not the other way around.

Would've been nice...

It's a good effort on DML's part, and with a little extra from the AM market it can be a great kit. No doubt the correct bogie castings will turn up shortly!

Tom
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - 05:38 AM UTC

Quoted Text


It's a good effort on DML's part, and with a little extra from the AM market it can be a great kit. No doubt the correct bogie castings will turn up shortly!

Tom



Speaking about bogies, I exchanged emails last night with John from Formations, and he has restocked the Canadian Bogies. And while the bogies are designed for the Tasca kits, he thinks they should work on the Dragon kits.

Unfortunately in my research I did not come across any images of the Hannibal II vehicle, I went by what I had on hand, which was the Canadian Armor in Detail, Amoured Acorn Site, Marking and Camouflage of Canadian Vehicles, and images and descriptions I found online, including images from Canada Archives.

I have read other reviews I have found online, and they mention the bogey and track issue as well. Thus I was not the only one to point this issue out.

@James - I can add a line to the review stating that there may be some odd and/or post war vehicles that may differ from the norm and actually match the kit.
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 - 06:00 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Looks like they could have taken the Sexton at the Firepower museum (Woolwich Arsenal, London) as their prototype - it has the standard bogies and T54E1 tracks.Tom



Hi Tom,
I photographed this vehicle extensively in 2011, only the front right bogie is 'standard'; the others are heavy duty (they have the open triangular corner piece and heavier flanges). As it's a museum piece it was probably replaced with whatever they could find. Now did it originally have all standard Sherman bogies or all heavy bogies? Who knows...




Jim