Tasca 1/35 scale M4A3E2 “Jumbo” Sherman
The kit features optional heavy-duty bogie wheels which have never been provided in other Sherman model kits.
Well-designed, well-executed, and cleanly molded
Fabric inserts for bogies
Injection-molded, 554 parts (13 photoetched metal), decals
The M4A3E2 was the toughest production version of the famous Sherman. Popularly called the “Jumbo” Sherman, this variant was developed as an assault tank for attacking fortifications. But once the Germans’ dreaded Panthers and Tigers were encountered after D-Day, the M4A3E2 was pressed into service to spearhead tank attacks on armored divisions.
Just like the U.S. Army, Tasca created its Jumbo Sherman from its own M4A3(76). New parts include: 75mm or 76mm gun barrels; duckbill track extenders; turret; transmission cover; and front and side armor plates. Also provided: photoetched-metal parts; gas/water cans; and optional clear parts for the cupola and periscopes. No figures are included.
I started with the drive sprockets and suspension. The VVSS suspension parts are the same tried-and-true components featured in Tasca’s earlier M4A3(76), with highly detailed, workable bogies. Unfortunately, these still use the fabric inserts that must be cut to size and sandwiched inside. Instead, you could cut plastic card to size. Take note — the kit includes two types of bogie trucks with different trailing arms. The upswept, trailing-arm version is the one to use on this kit.
The T-48 rubber chevron tracks with duckbill extenders were standard on the Jumbo. The tracks are broken down to two runs per side and can be glued with regular styrene cement.
The kit also features optional heavy-duty bogie wheels which have never been provided in other Sherman kits. Also, there are two full sets of other styles of bogie wheels!
The turret captures the look of the uparmored T-23-style turret, a prominent feature on the Jumbo. The sharply defined gun mantlet is impressive. Separate front and side plates complete the uparmoring process for the hull, just like the real deal.
The suspension, turret, and hull all went together without any problems, which is high praise for Tasca’s attention to engineering and detail.
The instructions provide a tip for simulating a retaining board on the glacis plate to hold storage. I followed this tip but used a wood coffee stirrer in place of plastic strip. I finished it off with two of the water cans provided in the kit.
I painted my Jumbo with a combination of Tamiya olive drab and khaki paints.
Decals are provided for four vehicles. The markings are a bit sparse, but the decals applied well.
My primary reference was the Sherman bible, R.P. Hunnicutt’s Sherman: A History of the American Medium Tank (ISBN 978-0-89141-080-5)
I completed my M4A3E2 in 24 hours. The finished model scales out right on the money and catches the pugnacious look I have always liked about the Jumbo. It’s great to finally have an accurate kit of this very interesting M4 variant, and it’s hard to find faults with this one even if the high parts count makes this one better suited to intermediate and experienced modelers. Sherman modelers will be pleased.