M4 Sherman
Lower Hull Replacement

1:48 Scale - Set No.48-25001
Review by Terry Ashley

Tank Workshop released a while back this replacement resin lower hull for the 1:48 Tamiya M4 Sherman (kit #32505) for those wanting a bit more detail than the plain die-cast hull in the kit.

The set consists of the full lower hull tub and separate front and rear axles with the tub cleanly cast with just a large casting block on one end that will require care to remove but very little other cleanup other than some minor warping of the sponson filler extensions.

The tub has excellent details on the outside as well as interior detail on the floor and sidewalls that include the floor escape hatch and inner bogie bolts while on the outside are the underside access panels, suspension channels and bogie mounting plates. These and the idler mounting plates include the bolt head details missing from the Tamiya hull as well as the front transmission housing bolts.

After removing the casting block you then add the drive sprocket and idler axles which fit nicely in the locating holes although the drive sprocket axle is a little thinner than the Tamiya axle meaning the drive sprockets don’t fit snugly and you may want replace the axle with a slightly thicker piece of plastic rod or firmly glue the sprocket in place with epoxy.

There were no problems with the idler axle with the wheel fitting perfectly without further modifications.

The Tamiya kit transmission housing and side final drive covers fitted perfectly to the resin hull with virtually no trimming needed providing you are careful when removing the casting block not to remove too much material. The rear hull plate was also a good fit to the resin hull making assembly easy.

The side sponson fillers included with the resin hull had a bit of minor warping and you could use warm water to straighten these but as I had no intention of adding an interior to this model I added internal card strip stiffeners to straighten the sponsons, this also made fitting the upper hull easier as the sponsons were held firmly in place.
The rear of the sponsons will needed some trimming to fit into the upper hull underside recesses and it’s best to fully assembly the front tranny cover so the upper hull sits in the right location before attempting any trimming to ensure you don’t trim too much. About 1.5mm was needed to be trimmed from the end of the sponson filler but test fitting will determine the required amount.

To fit the Tamiya bogie units you will have to cut off the lower section of the bogie which fits into the underside recess on the die-cast tub as this detail in included with the resin lower hull for better detail. The locating holes in the resin bogie plates correspond to the Tamiya bogie locating pins so fitting these is quite easy but ensure the bogies sit at the right height as there was a little bit of movement of the pins in the locating holes. Check the bogie position on the cast tub before fitting them to the resin tub and ensure they are the same.

Tank Workshop

The remainder of the kit is assembled as per instructions but if you wanted to use this hull for the Tamiya M10 the sponson fillers will have the be enlarged as the hull width is greater on the M10 that the M4 and also the cast tranny cover won’t fit exactly as was the case with the die-cast hull in the straight kit.

A nicely detailed and cast replacement hull that includes all the details missing from the plain die-cast Tamiya hull with the good fit to the kit plastic parts and just some minor trimming on the sponson fillers makes for an easy update.

Highly recommended

Resin hull with large casting block
Tank Workshop
Views of hull inside and out after removing the casting block
Tank WorkshopTank Workshop
Good fit of plastic kit parts to resin tub
Tank Workshop
View of internal bracing to reinforce and straighten the sponson fillers
Tank Workshop
Good fit of lower hull tub to Tamiya hull top.
Note, this is a dry fit and the front section of the sponson filler will pull
into place when permanently glued.
Tank Workshop

SHERMAN A History of the
American Medium Tank

R.P.Hunnicutt. Presidio Books ISBN 0-89141-080-5
Modeler's Guide to the Sherman
MMIR Special. Ampersand Publishing Company, Inc
Thanks to Jay from Tank Workshop for the review set.
Check the Tank Workshop website for this and other update/detail sets available in 1:35 and 1:48 scale.

Page created December 19, 2005

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