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Eduard Model 1/72 scale M4A3(76)W Sherman

RELATED TOPICS: ARMOR | MILITARY
Kit: No. 7602
Scale: 1/72
Manufacturer: Eduard Model Accessories, +420 4761 18668, www.eduard.cz
Price: $29.95
Comments: Mixed media, 374 parts (118 photoetched metal), decals
Pros: Crisp detail, extensive photoetched set, link-and-length tracks, extra parts, separate pioneer tools
Cons: Lack of marking choices, small photoetched parts difficult to handle, hull machine gun too short
The M4A3(76)W was an up-armed Sherman, using the T23 turret with the long-barreled 76mm gun. This gave greater firepower than the earlier 75mm version. Other improvements included a vision cupola with six bullet-resistant glass blocks, water-protected ammunition racks, and a front-mounted barrel travel lock.

The most noticeable thing about Eduard's Profipack 1/72 scale Sherman is the large number of parts. Recessed and raised details are crisp, and the stainless steel photoetched parts are made beautifully. For the less adventurous builder, many of the etched parts are also duplicated in styrene.

Extras include separate pioneer tools, turret-mounted .50-caliber machine gun, and a photoetched ammo box and belt. The plastic tracks are link-and-length format.

The 10-page, 17-step instruction booklet is clearly illustrated with part numbers, and a separate color and marking sheet is included. Markings for an American or Free French unit are included. Decals are thin, printed in register, and the colors appear accurate.

Assembly was straightforward. In step four, be careful with the alignment of the bogies to the lower hull. Without alignment pins, they are easy to misalign. The assemblies should be parallel to the hull and horizontal. Also, make sure the drive sprocket teeth are aligned inboard to outboard.

In step seven, ejector-pin remnants under the upper hull will need to be removed so the hull halves will seat correctly. My sample's bow machine gun was only 1/16" long, but references indicate it should be 3/16" long in this scale.

I used Vallejo Model Air acrylics for the overall olive-drab color scheme, and used medium brown No. 038 on the lower surfaces to simulate dirt. I blended the colors with a light overspray of dark yellow No. 025.

The semigloss sheen of the Model Air acrylics allowed the decals to go on without a gloss coat. I chose the Free French markings, and trimmed away as much clear film as I could. The decals conformed nicely with Microscale Micro Sol.

I finished by painting small details and applying a brownish-black oil paint pin wash.

If you've worked with lots of small photoetched parts before, you'll find Eduard's little Sherman easy to build. I spent 38 hours on mine, with most of the time spent folding and prepping the tiny photoetched parts.

Nicely detailed when finished, it scales well to the dimensions in Squadron/ Signal's M4 Walk Around.

- Phil Kirchmeier

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