AFV Club
M4 Sherman HVSS Suspension
Kit No. AF 35030
First Look Review
by Terry Ashley

What AFV Club did for the M3/M5 Stuart suspension in their set No.35056 they have now done for the Sherman with this set of HVSS suspension that will have Shermaholics salivating.

The set consists of 146 parts in olive drab plastic and a further 12 in vinyl for the volute spring stops. The quality of the mouldings is excellent with virtually no pin ejector marks present except for a couple of small ones on a few parts which I’ll cover later while the detail on the parts is exceptional. The plastic used is quite soft and care should be taken when removing from the sprues and trimming the attachment points so as not to remove to much plastic.

Starting from the front the drive sprockets are made up of a central cylinder with the sprockets attached to each end and a central plate with the hub bolts with nice definition, the bolts on the sprockets also have good definition.

Drive sprocket with separate hub and final drive plate with axle
AFV Club AFV Club

The HVSS suspension units are made up of 19 parts each with the volute springs having vinyl inserts for the bump stops. The L shaped hull mounting brackets are designed in a way that should make them easy to fit to any Sherman hull and have well defined bolt details on the side plate as well as on the underside of the bracket.
The central support arm has nice details with a separate outside end plate which also holds the two main suspension arms in place.

Hull mounting brackets
AFV Club Drive Sprocket
Side view bottom view

The two arms themselves have nice crisp details and also include casting numbers on one face which is correct but while the numbers were not on all arms it is far easier to remove them if not needed than it is to add them. There is a small pin mark near the numbers which will need care to remove, this being the only spot on the whole suspension units that have pin marks.

The shock absorbers are in one piece with separate end brackets to fit them to the suspension arms and there is also a separate oil reservoir to attach to the top of the shock absorbers. One thing to watch here is there is a raised ridge (seam) down the centre of the reservoir, this should be there so don't remove it.

Suspension parts
AFV Club Shock absorbers
AFV Club
Volute spring stops
AFV Club
Oil Reservoir. Seam is correct and
should not be removed
AFV Club

The road wheels have nice bolt head details on both front and reverse sides as well as good dish contours and excellent hub details which include the grease plug and small cap bolts.

Road wheel front and reverse sides
AFV Club AFV Club

The larger return rollers also have excellent hub details with the grease plug and there is also bolt head details on the reverse side. The hull mounting brackets also have excellent bolt head details while the smaller return rollers also have nice hub details.

large return roller front and back
AFV Club
Small return roller and hull mounting bracket
AFV Club AFV Club

The rear idler wheels also have the bolt head detail on the front and reverse sides as well as the central hub grease plug mount but you will have to add your own grease nipple from a bit if sprue. The rear of the outer idler wheel has a couple of pin ejector marks but if you can see these after assembly you would have to really keen.

Outer Idler wheel front and reverse faces
AFV Club AFV Club
Inner Idler wheel inside and reverse faces
AFV Club AFV Club

In all another excellent suspension set from AFV Club and is a precursor to the forthcoming M40 SPG (kit No.AF35031) and bodes well for what we get in that kit, do yourself a favour and get a few sets, I have.

Highly recommended.

Construction Update:
Click here to see the construction of the suspension units.

The Sprues:

Click on thumbnails for larger view
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References: While there is a lot of books about on the Sherman, these are probably three of the best from a modellers point of view?

Page Created 26 August 2003
Updated 27 August 2003

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