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 “quarter scalers” 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 “Pin Point Series”. 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 “Big Hatch” hull, the loader’s 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 “cast disk” style solid road wheels and idlers and the machine drivers. It also comes with “flat” return roller mounts.
    The interior is not complete, but the parts that Bandai left out (the transmission!) can’t 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 “football” 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’s a better example of a Sherman than the Revell one. It’s 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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