(ARMOR) DML Sherman Question...

    I saw this kit at a local shop - I cannot recall the mark - I think it's an M4A4... The box art shows a Chinese vehicle and the decal
options were for everything but US; Chinese, British, etc.     Can this kit be built as a US version and if so, where can I get markings for it? The price was $18, IIRC.     Thanks for any assistance you can offer...
Frank Kranick
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The only significant use of the M4A4 by the US was in stateside training. To make a US version you'd need to leave off a few of the British specific items like the methyl bromide fire extinguishers and the aerial "basket". The kit could do with some tweaking on the turret and lower hull. See
http://mmcalc.tripod.com/Shermans/Model_FAQ/Modeling_the_M4A4-Firefly.html
for details.
KL
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While the vast majority of M4A4 lengthened hull Shermans went to the Allies, a few did see combat with the US in the China-Burma theater. Some were used for training in the US as well.
I'm not a Sherman expert, so I stand to be corrected.
Rob Gronovius Modern US armor at http://www.armorama.com/motorpool
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According to Steve Zaloga the American commanded Chinese Nationalist armor units used the M4A4 and M3A3, and were the only places outside the continental US where they were used for other than training vehicles.
As Kurt noted, there are a lot of references to M4A4s being used, especially out at the Desert Training Center in Indio, CA. The book "Tanks are Mighty Fine Things" has a number of shots of them both in action and awaiting rebuild prior to overseas shipment to Commonwealth forces.
Cookie Sewell
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Gentlemen -     Many thanks for your responses - I think I'll pass on this kit in lieu of some reference materials on the Sherman. I'm in the middle of a build on the Italeri M4A2 USMC version and will get the Academy release when it's available.     I'd prefer to build US livery, combat-fielded vehicles and I'm well behind the curve on ref's and kits - your comments will assist in my monetary allocations, slim as they may be...
Frank
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If you really want to do American Shermans, you might try Tamiyas, if for no other reason than they work best with Tank Workshops conversion sets (they are, IMO better than the Italeri, with the exception of the open sponsons, but thats why they sell sheet styrene). With a Tamiya M4 and Tank Workshop stuff, you can make almost any Sherman variant out there.

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John Dynia wrote:

    Indeed, I realize the Tamiya offerings are probably the way to go but I saw the Italeri kit and wanted a USMC version without going too far out there, aftermarket-wise and as a Squadron 'Subcriber Special' for $10, I couldn't pass it by. It seems a losing battle after seeing how much aftermarket items can help a model. I'll have to see how my next project will turn out - that'll be an Italeri M24 with replacement tracks and some photoetch. Baby steps...
Frank
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Re: M-24......Royal Models update set......resin and PE in one.
"Francis X. Kranick, Jr." wrote:

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    Too late... I already got the On The Mark set and Armour Track Models T-72 steel tracks; it doesn't look too hard for this first timer as I wade into the aftermarket armor realm...     Still, the Royal Models range looks nice - and plenty to choose from, too... CMD certainly carries a ton of stuff!
Frank
Ron wrote:

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Uh, Frank....I had the On The Mark set since it came with the kit, I gave it away and got the Royal set, more and better PE and really needed resin bits. While you're at it though, get a Jordi barrel, you'll need it.
"Francis X. Kranick, Jr." wrote:

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Ron wrote:

    Ummmm... Like I said, it's a losing battle... ;-)
Frank
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There is always more that you can buy. If you get into Tamiya, stay away from the M4A3E2 Jumbo. Get the Tank Workshop Conversion instead. If you do feel like ordering some stuff for you Italeri though, I would get a new barrel (the Italeri just looks a little "off" to me) and new track. The Italeri just doesn't sit right. The beauty with Shermans is that you can make thirty or so completely different ones.

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John Dynia wrote:

    And where my lack of references rears its ugly head. I'm aware of different versions of the Sherman but am ignorant as to their application/theatre/user. Box art helps some in this...
Frank
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A really good reference is the Squadron/Signal publication, "Walk Around, M4 Sherman." It will show you the differences in track, bogie wheels, turrets, engines, etc. Another great book on US Equipment, from a photographic point of view is "US Tank Battles in Germany, 1944-1945." It contains hundreds of great photos of American armor in NW Europe late in the war. There are of course many other books on the Sherman, but these two should answer many of your questions and are found in many if not most, good hobby stores.

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John Dynia wrote:

THE definitive reference for the Sherman is of R.P Hunnicutt's masterpiece "Sherman: A History of the American Medium Tank". Finding copies of that, though is like trying to find El Dorado and claiming the gold therein. All's not lost, hopefully; check to see if the local library can checkout books from other libraries or even library systems. Try amazon.com to get the ISBN info, etc. Thankfully, ours here in Maryland does the loan thing and I can still get copies of Hunnicutt's books when I want, the Sherman one inclusive. It's invaluable for discerning what Sherman variant had what where and when it went to whom.
BTW, if you want aftermarket tracks, try the ones made by RHPS. They build easily, cost about 15 to 20 bucks each, and they make all the Sherman variants.
--
Steve Frost
sofrostatmindspringdotcom
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I second the RHPS tracks. they're easy to assemble, and much cheaper than most of the alternatives.
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<< I'm in the middle of a build on the Italeri M4A2 USMC version and will get the Academy release when it's available. >> Bear in mind that Italeri gives you only half the parts for the conversion. The replacement engine deck is okay, but the M4A2 had a totally different lower rear plate with two prominent mufflers. Italeri hopes you'll install the wading trunks and just not notice. Also, and more difficult to fix, the upper tail plate of the M4A2 should be a steeper angle (10 degrees from vertical) than the stock M4A3 hull in the kit (15 degrees). Only real fix is to saw off the upper tail plate, alter the angle of the hull sides and glue it back on. Or you can just build the vehicle as a stock M4A3 with the Marines on Okinawa (all but one of the Marine tank units had switched to the gasoline powered vehicle in time for the Okinawa campaign). Gerald Owens
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    Yes, I'm aware of some - if not all - the shortcomings of the Italeri kit. Your suggestion of a stock M4A3 intrigues me and I may do just that. Otherwise, I can pose it on a diorama just emerging from the ocean, just coming up on the seawall with its rear end still submerged... Hmmm...     Thanks for the input. I hope the Academy release will be better...
Frank
Lafimprov wrote:

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