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135
Tasca M4A3E8

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Intro
This is the story of my build of the excellent Tasca M4A3E8 Sherman. My references were Hunnicutt's Sherman book, Squadron's M4 Sherman Walkaround, Squadron's US Armor Camouflage and Markings of World War II and Steve Zaloga's Modelling the M4 76mm Sherman. For picture references I am going to use Mr. Zaloga's M4 Sherman at War and US Tank Battles in Germany as well as some other sites, such as Prime Portal and Toadman’s tank site.

Anyway let's get on with it!

hull
Photo 1. Here's a shot of the differential built up. All the pieces went together very well. The differential has some subtle texturing which is nice, but I roughed it up with some Mr. Surfacer 500.

2. Here's the lower hull tub completed. With the Tasca kit you are required to build the bottom hull and hull sides as well as to add the sponsons, rear lower plate and firewall. Although more work than a pre-formed hull, it does allow you to avoid the scenario of dealing with the warped hull sides that can be sometimes seen on pre-formed ones. Less warping = better fit.

There are locating tabs on some of the parts (see tab at the rear of the hull above the sponson) and the instructions are not clear as to whether the sponson should be above or below the tab; as you can see, I have the sponson below it. I dry fitted the upper to the lower hull to check the fit, and it fitted very cleanly, so I am assuming I did it correctly - but if not, the fit is still excellent.

3 – 8. Despite the kit being great for fit and finish, I detailed it a little more by adding welds from putty for the rear plate, the towing hooks, and the travel lock. For the front plate I used the decal weld lines from Archer.

I also added the drain holes around the fuel and water caps, fabricated grab handles from wire, and attached tool hooks on the rear starboard side. I have always liked the etched light and horn guards and decided to use them instead of plastic ones. For some additional detail I purchased the ArcherM4A3 (76) HVSS resin foundry casting symbols (AR88054). Finally some light texturing on the hull sides, front plate and final drive housing were added with Mr. Surfacer 500.

turret
9 – 10. Here we can see the Tasca mantlet needs a bit of work with some filling. Again, I used my trusted automotive putty to fill in the seams, and after a light sanding I ran a coat of extra thin cement over the area to smooth it out.

11 – 17. The weld lines were detailed on the turret and then the smoke mortar opening on the turret was added as well. I used a piece of Evergreen rod softened with extra thin cement, then bent it to the necessary shape, using the smoke mortar on the DML M4A3E8 Thunderbolt T23 turret as a guide. I also painted the periscope lenses and then covered them with MicroMask in preparation for painting. At this point I added the periscope guard to the turret, but in hindsight, perhaps I should have left it off, as it was something of a pain to work around when I had to remove the Micromask. I also added the casting marks on the mantlet; there are some very small ones to add on the turret side hatch but I held off on these until after the primer coat was added.

I lopped off the kit’s bow .30 cal machine gun and replaced it with RB Model's M1919 .30 Cal which I think looks much better. As for the 76mm main gun, the RB Model barrel used here was fairly easy to fit to the Tasca mantlet. I just had to drill out the hole in the mantlet a little further for the barrel's connecting shaft to fit. Once this was done it just snapped into place firmly.

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About the Author

About Dave D. (Totalize)
FROM: ONTARIO, CANADA


Comments

Outstanding job on these vignette David! What did you used for the grass? It looks very realistic.
JUN 21, 2012 - 09:30 PM
An outstanding piece of work all round, not least in the finished effect. This diorama isn't overcrowded with extraneous stuff, as so many are. You've clearly taken the lesson that "less is more" to heart, with a very salutary effect on the finished result. Along with Jeremy Hengest above, I'd like to thank you for the exceptionally well-written and -illustrated build log. Also, I second Hengest's suggestion that, if you find this task to your liking, you consider authoring a tutorial on painting 1/35th scale figures. Your Sherman's chilly commander with his colorful scarf and his freezing fingers was all too believable, and almost too realistic!
JUN 22, 2012 - 06:14 AM
Roman: Thanks very much for having a look at my Sherman project. I am pleased you found it interesting and worthy of your comments. All the best. Dave. Gary: Thanks so much for commenting on my project. After seeing your excellent work and following your recent build of the Greif I am indeed very grateful for your comments. Thanks Buddy. Dave. Jeremy: Wow a very big thanks to you for your comments on the build. They are very much appreciated. With regards to the build I wanted to be as descriptive as I could in order to share what little I know. I want to share my works with others as other do here so that we can all learn from each other and improve our skill set. In that vein if you believe it would be helpful to our community to do a tutorial on figures I shall do it. Cheers, David. Istvan: Thank you for viewing the build and taking the time to post your comments. The material I used is called Wildgras from Heki. Heki is a well known suppiier of model railroad material. The SKU number for this product is 1574. Cheers, David. Fred, Thank you so much for the very kind comments about my build. I wanted to do a simple vignette that was representative of the photo yet not have the natural environment around it overwhelm the model. I am very pleased you like it and I will keep endeavoring to improve my skills and share my efforts with those that might have an interest. Best regards, David.
JUN 22, 2012 - 09:28 AM
Very nice work . Well done David, the Sherman has captured the scene just right. Michael
JUN 22, 2012 - 11:28 AM
I second the opinion about figures. The tutorial would be of great help!
JUN 22, 2012 - 11:35 AM
My pleasure, it really is an excellent piece of work. Truthfully I think that there is a lot that many of us here could learn from any tutorial that you made, or even an active build log. I am very serious about a figure painting tutorial. It is the Achilles heal to a lot of us regardless of our skill level, especially when it comes to painting convincing faces. Fred, Roman and myself are merely the ones who have openly expressed interest in learning from you. Whatever you choose to do, please don't stop sharing your work here Jeremy
JUN 22, 2012 - 01:00 PM
Hey Dave! Congrats on the excellent execution of this E8 Sherman. You definitely captured the feel of the photograph. Your skills of building and finishing are most evident! Outstanding work! Best Regards Eric
JUN 22, 2012 - 10:47 PM
Thanks very much Michael, glad you like the project. Cheers, Dave.
JUN 24, 2012 - 04:24 AM
Roman and Jeremy, I will definitely look into doing a tutorial on figures. Thanks again for your support. Dave.
JUN 24, 2012 - 04:26 AM
Hey Eric, thanks for having a look and for all your support through out the build log for this project. It is very much appreciated. Dave.
JUN 24, 2012 - 04:31 AM