ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale M4A3(75)W - ETO

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.
6698; M4A3(75)W - ETO; 523 parts (463 parts in grey styrene, 38 etched
brass, 21 clear styrene, 1 twisted steel wire); pre-order price US
$47.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: answers modelers=92 requests for a =93straight big hatch 75
Sherman used in Europe=94;
Disadvantages: constant stream of variants confuses casual modelers as
to subject
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all US Sherman fans
One long-standing gripe by modelers was that DML had done a large
number of Shermans and variants on Shermans, but they had not released
a new, state-of-the-art straight-up standard production M4A3 75mm Wet
Stowage Vertical Volute Suspension System Tank. This was the most
common tank in Europe after the invasion forces had established a firm
foothold, and as such equipped all but the two =93big=94 armored divisions
(1st and 2nd, each with three regiments of M4 or M4A1 tanks).
DML took their product-improved M4 sprues and added a new turret
taking up not one but TWO sprues and provides it with the best bits
from other kits, such as their impressive 13-part M2HB machine gun.
This one adds a set of DS plastic T54E1 steel chevron tracks with
extended end connectors to boot. Personally, I do wish they had
provided two sets as not all modelers want the extended end
connectors. But these are nicely done and will make most modelers
quite happy. The DS plastic has proven to be easy to deal with, hold
great detail, and also is more amenable to painting than vinyl. It
also solves the one bugaboo most modelers have with DML kits, namely
the three-piece single link VVSS tracks.
This kit comes with the latest versions of the hull with raised weld
bead detail, two different bogie styles (either =93straight top=94 return
roller mounts with pillow blocks or =93upswept=94 return roller mounts),
five-spoke welded steel wheels or pressed steel welded wheels, either
=93sculpted=94 or flat driver toothed rings, and the early model exhaust
diffuser.
Some of the sprues show different parts counts indicating some new
=93tweaks=94 to them have been introduced, and the overall effect is quite
impressive.
This kit comes with 38 brass parts, some of which are options for
plastic parts (such as the tie-down loops on the turret, as this one
comes with them as injected molded parts as well). Due to improved
molding techniques, DML has only included injected periscope guards,
which may not stand well with some modelers but others are more than
content to live with as they are less prone to going =93airborne=94 when
the model is completed.
Technical consultant is Pawel Krupowicz.
Oddly, only two different finishing options are provided: 10th
Armored Division, Trier, Germany, 1945(olive drab with an odd =93white
mouse=94 symbol on the turret and =93you name it=94
serial number block); and 11th Armored Division, Andernach, Germany,
1945 (olive drab, white 113 or 114). A number jungle with armor
triangles and a targeted sheet of Cartograf decals are both included.
Overall, while the lack of options for finishing this most common of
late model Shermans is odd, it is a nice kit and should answer the
mail.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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