ARM: Review - Italeri 1/72 M4A3 76mm Tank - Fast Assembly Version

Kit Review: Italeri 1/72 scale Kit No. 7521; M4A3 76mm - Fast Assembly Kit;=
24 parts in grey styrene; retail price US$21.50
Advantages: two kits in one box; fast, easy assembly for wargame or backgro=
und diorama use
Disadvantages: compromises made for fast assembly reduce their usefulness a=
s true scale models
Rating: Highly Recommended (wargaming); Recommended (all others)
Recommendation: for wargamers wanting simple but accurate models
For many years wargamers were stuck with one of two options: purchasing re=
latively inexpensive models in various scales (HO being the most common) an=
d giving up a lot of details, or purchasing 1/72 scale kits that were very =
involved to assemble and somewhat fragile when placed in the world of rolli=
ng dice and lots of handling. The solution usually was to go to an odd scal=
e like 1/108 or 1/120 and get resin or white metal models, which gave up de=
tails for durability.=20
Over the past few years companies like Italeri and Zvezda have started to =
introduce lines of easily assembled 1/72 scale models designed as a comprom=
ise for the best of both worlds. This kit provides two very simple models o=
f the late war M4A3 76mm tanks with late model hulls and VVSS suspension.=
=20
The tanks come with a number of nice touches such as the rear exhaust defe=
lectors and a sturdy M2HB machine gun for the turret. The gun and mantlet a=
re separate parts as is the bow machine gun.=20
The compromises are many but work to the wargamer=92s advantage. There are=
no end connectors on the tracks (to make them simple to mold) and the head=
lights and taillights are molded in place along with their guards. The turr=
et bustle is hollow, and no luggage rack is provided for the hull.=20
The good news is the basics are all here, and a determined modeler (or ups=
cale wargamer) could modify or detail most of these parts with little troub=
le =96 drilling out lifting eyes, adding MV Lenses to the headlights, a wir=
e antenna, filling in the bustle with putty =96 and make a good scale model=
out of the kit. It would take more work to add the end connectors from sli=
ces of Plastruct triangular styrene, but it could be done.=20
Three different sets of markings are included: 42nd Tank Battalion, 11th A=
rmored Division, Belgium 1945; 752nd Tank Battalion, 5th Army, Italy 1945; =
or 13th Tank Battalion, 1st Armored Division, Italy 1945. A small sheet of =
targeted decals is provided, so unfortunately entire units cannot be modele=
d.=20
Overall this is a nicely done little set and one I wish I had found as a k=
id when we did wargaming with ROCO miniatures =96 we could have used our ot=
her models with them.
Thanks to MRC for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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