ARM: Review - Bandai 1/48 scale M4A1 75mm Sherman

Kit Review: Bandai 1/48 Scale Pin Point Series Kit No. 8282; U. S.
M4A1 75mm Sherman; 219 parts (217 in olive drab plastic, 2 silver
vinyl track runs); price when new US$3.95 (OOP)
Advantages: still buildable model of this popular subject; interior
parts add to the interest; comes with crew of four tankers
Disadvantages: thin tracks, decals long since disintegrated
Rating: Recommended
Recommendation: for =93quarter scalers=94 of both armor and aircraft
Bandai made a big push in 1974 to claim the 1/48 scale ground
modeling market for its own with a great series of kits called the
=93Pin Point Series=94. At the time they were probably the best overall as
they were more accurate than the Tamiya kits of the day, Italeri was
just getting started, and outside of Hong Kong there was no Chinese
modeling effort. More than 50 kits covered German and American
subjects in their first release sets (eventually they added some T-34
and KV tanks along with British Matilda and Valentine tanks. But the
effort failed to catch on and as a result went dormant until about six
year ago.
Their kits are still sought out by many models doing 1/48 scale
dioramas or aircraft models as they fit in well with them and even
today are not bad. This is one such kit and as is will build into a
very late production M4A1 75mm tank with wet stowage =93Big Hatch=94 hull,
the loader=92s hatch and M34A1 gun mount.
It comes with T48 tracks but they are a bit on the thin side, so
modelers who want to do one up right could think about an after-market
set of tracks for one of these kits.
It does show its age as the tools are partially molded to the hull
and the hull is totally smooth. But the engine deck is separate and
the kit provides a nicely done Wright engine so it does have some
potential.
The suspension has the welded =93cast disk=94 style solid road wheels and
idlers and the machine drivers. It also comes with =93flat=94 return
roller mounts.
The interior is not complete, but the parts that Bandai left out (the
transmission!) can=92t be seen anyway on a vehicle of this scale. The
turret has a sufficient interior with the main gun, basket and 10
rounds provided.
The crew has two crewmen in the standard issue =93football=94 helmets
with goggles and two crewmen with helmets, so that matches pretty well
with many photos. The crew consists of the driver, gunner, loader and
commander figures.
Overall the model is a bit of a stretch (Bandai did it this way to
use the 76mm turret on a single set of molds) but as some were finally
identified as produced at the end of the war it=92s a better example of
a Sherman than the Revell one. It=92s a good choice for a diorama
background vehicle and even now is cheaper than the new Tamiya or
Hobby Boss kits.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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