IntroThis 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!
hullPhoto 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.
turret9 – 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.
Copyright ©2020 by Dave DaSilva. Images and/or videos also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of Armorama, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2012-06-21 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 20431