ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale M4 75mm Normandy 1944

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale =9139-=9145 Kit No. 6511; M4
Sherman 75mm Normandy; 655 parts (581 parts in grey styrene, 49 etched
brass, 22 clear styrene, 2 DS plastic track runs, 1 twisted steel
wire); estimated retail price US$49.95
Advantages: first =93straight Sherman=94 kit from DML; new parts provide
lots of options, as well as more =93mix and match=94 bits for the true
=93Shermaholic=94
Disadvantages: nothing major noted
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Sherman and ETO fans
When the US Army came ashore in Normandy in 1944, nearly all of the
tanks used were either M4 or M4A1 Medium Tanks. This was primarily due
to the scope of Operation Overlord and an attempt to minimize the
number of parts and assemblies which would be needed to keep the tanks
running. Since the M4 and M4A1 shared everything except for the upper
hull and some internal fittings (e.g. firewalls, bulkheads) this was a
good plan and worked well in keeping the force going.
Most of the tanks which came ashore with the three main armored
divisions of those days =96 the oversize 2nd and 3rd Armored and the new
organization (three tank battalions) 4th =96 were equipped with these
tanks, as were the tank battalions assigned to infantry divisions or
the independent tank battalions assigned to the army groups. It was
only later on that M4A3 series tanks began to arrive, as well as from
late July 1944 on that the 76mm tanks also began to enter service.
DML has now done a =93straight=94 M4 of this period, and it is an
outstanding job. It has the =93low bustle=94 75mm turret with an M34A1 gun
mount with =93ears=94 on the sides of the tube, six applique armor panels
(turret, driver=92s and radio operator=92s hatch mounts, and three hull
plates) and also the =93five spoke=94 welded wheels common to these tanks.
The modeler also has a choice of either =93six spoke=94 idlers or the
pressed/welded idlers (more common with this road wheel option) and
either =93plain=94 or =93fancy=94 driver toothed rings. The kit thankfully
comes with DS plastic single track runs of T51 irreversible pad rubber
faced track. While they only have a thin cardboard backing, the ones
in the review sample arrived straight and true with no bent teeth.
The kit also sports a new-from-the-ground-up hull with a wide number
of options for things like grouser compartment vents, either a cast or
three-piece transmission cover, but most of the usually
interchangeable detail parts (e.g. fender tips) are only brass in this
kit. It does come with a very complete representation of the
grillework under the air intake cover and also under the rear lip of
the hull above the exhaust outlets.
A new =93first=94 for the earlier series of Shermans is a brand-new M2HB .
50 caliber machine gun and mount for use on the commander=92s split-
hatch ring mount. The weapon comes with an optional position loading
cover, separate =93spade=94 grips and a =93slide molded=94 hollow bore. It
also has by far the finest (as in thin) protective guards over the
viewer mounts for the hatches and the turret, which puts most of the
etched brass parts to shame (and as a result the latter are not
included in this kit.)
Some things do not change, and the kit does include the familiar M4A2/
A3 basic detail sprue of tools and fittings as well.
Technical assistance was provided by Pawel Krupowicz.
Surprisingly, with the wide variety of markings these tanks bore at
that time only two options are provided in the kit: C Company, 70th
Tank Battalion, Utah Beach D-Day 1944 (CANNON BALL, White 2); and 37th
Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division, Brittany 1944 (TONTO with indian
head cartoon). A nice set of Cartograf decals is provided for these
two options.
Overall this a great kit and one which nearly completes the DML M4
family. It should be popular with Sherman fans as well as provide =93mix
and match=94 with other kits.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
AMPSOne
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brand-new M2HB .
provided by Pawel Krupowicz.
Thanks for the write up, Cookie. Sounds good. Quick question, though. The turret is shown in Dragon's CAD drawings with a welded up pistol port (shell ejection port) on the turret shell. Is this the only option, or is the conventional port also included? Gerald Owens
Reply to
lafimprov
a brand-new M2HB .
familiar M4A2/
s provided by Pawel Krupowicz.
Not sure where the drawings came from but the kit most certainly does NOT have a welded up port -- nicely done casting area and separate port cover.
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
AMPSOne
rly all of the
h a wide number
is a brand-new M2HB .
he familiar M4A2/
was provided by Pawel Krupowicz.
tanks bore at
Oops, on relook both are included but the "welded up port" is a stick- on part, not molded in place.
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
AMPSOne
early all of the
, and it is an
ith a wide number
s is a brand-new M2HB .
the familiar M4A2/
e was provided by Pawel Krupowicz.
se tanks bore at
etes the DML M4
Thanks! Glad to hear it--want as many options as possible, since this will probably be the most versatile Sherman kit Dragon ever offered. Gerald Owens
Reply to
lafimprov

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