Dragon 1:35 Kit #6462
Review by Terry Ashley


Dragon continue to mix and match parts from previous kits with a few new parts added to produce “new” kits and this is no exception with the end result being a Sherman M4A2 75mm Late Production labeled as those used by the USMC in the PTO (Pacific Theatre of Operations).

The kit:

The kit has 395 parts in light grey plastic, 22 parts in clear plastic, an etched fret, a length of steel wire and two sets of DS vinyl T54E1 track plus the decal and instruction sheets with sprues A, C, D and V coming from kit #6188 M4A2 (76)W Red Army as well as numerous other Dragon Sherman kits with sprues A and V having their lineage back to the original Italeri kits with small updates added along the way.


There are actually two sprue Bs in the kit for the turret parts, sprue B from kit #6062 M4A2 Tarawa and others minus the early 75mm turret shell and sprue B from kit #6354 Sherman M4A3 (105mm) HVSS for the late high bustle 75mm turret parts which is not new from the ground up as falsely stated elsewhere.

The two sets of tracks sees one set of DS vinyl T54E1 steel chevron tracks coming from kit #6313 Sherman Mk.III and a new set of DS vinyl T54E1 steel chevron tracks with duckbills for this kit.

The only really new parts for this kit is sprue J with appliqué armour panels and wooden plank panels to use on the hull sides for alternate additional armour fit plus a few retooled parts such as the hull welds and other hull details, the cupola hatch as well as a new set of fancy drive sprockets which are not used for this kit, interesting?

The kit is labelled 2 in 1 and I can only assume that refers to the alternate hull side appliqué or wood panels and the alternate track as all other details are common to all marking options in the kit.

The standard of moulding is typical Dragon with good crisp details and a minimum of flash, pin marks or other blemishes with only the usual minor moulding seams to be cleaned off the parts as with any kit plus the array of small plastic nodes that help keep pin marks at bay and the little extra cleanup is worth it.

Lower Hull:

The lower hull tub is from the M4A2 Tarawa & Sherman III kits and has the underside bolted strip at the front and includes sponson covers and the lower engine compartment detail applicable to the M4A2 with inserts at the sides to take the suspension bogie plates as well as the upper rear section with engine exhaust deflector also a separate part.

The original sharp nosed cast transmission housing from numerous previous Dragon Sherman kits is included and this is moulded in one piece with subtle cast surface texture but no casting foundry numbers or underside drain plugs are included. The upper bolted strip is a separate part that fits neatly to the top of the cover but there are a couple of issues with the parts.

Firstly the sides of the transmission housing are separate parts and when fitted to the housing are not flush with the edges as they should be but indented. The older bolted final drive housing are undersized and don’t reach the edge of the transmission housing as they should due to this indenting of the side plates. The new final drives included in the recent Sherman Mk.III (Sicily) kit are depicted correctly and it’s a bit like Academy correcting parts in one kit then reverting back to the older incorrect parts in their next kit.

The transmission housing should be trimmed flush with the side plates from just above the final drive housings as per the corrected transmission cover in the Sherman Mk.III Mid Production Sicily kit or you can overlook the issues as they are mostly hidden by the drive sprockets and tracks when fitted?
These modifications would also apply to any other Dragon Sherman kit that uses these original transmission parts.

The transmission housing with the sides trimmed flush with the side plates as they should be,
this exposes the undersized final drive housings even further unfortunately (left).
Image (right) with drive sprockets added to transmission housing which partially
hide the issues if you don't want to address these?


There should be 8 prominent bolt heads on the hull sides to attach the transmission housings but these are missing and I added these using a hex punch & die set to punch out the bolt heads from plastic card and glue in place on the hull side just in front of the first bogie mounting plate, again all very easy.

Hull bolts added

There are additional weld seams that can be added at the hull sponson join and at the back of the sponson covers as well as the drain plug on the undersides of the sponson covers if you want to add this additional detail as they can easily be seen as this kit does not have side sand shields to hind the omissions. 

The two towing shackles as well as the tow brackets are added to the transmission cover to finish off the assembly.

The separate rear plate has the M4A2 exhaust arrangement with separate top exhaust deflector but watch this as the instructions tell you to trim a little off the upper deflector (part A53) to fit to the revised hull. But I found the parts fitted okay without any trimming as indicated so test fit your parts before cutting anything as you can probably disregard the trimming instructions? There is a 2mm gap at the front of the sponson fillers but this will be covered when you fit the front fender extensions (etched parts MA1, MA3).

Added to the rear hull plate are the idler mountings, lower tow hitch and the exhausts as mentioned for a fairly simple arrangement without any fit issues.


Two sets of suspension bogie housings are provided in the kit with the original straight arm suspension arm and spaced return roller support which are based on the original Italeri Sherman kits and the later angled return roller arm which would be more appropriate for this kit.

There are separate track guides that could do with some thinning as they are quite thick and the four securing bolts should be added. These are actually included separately on sprue V although the instructions don’t mention them but you can cut these from the sprue to add to the guides if you wish to use them? The bogies and arms are nicely detailed with the three bottom bolts and fine casting numbers on the bogies and arms although these were often in different places depending on the manufacturer but add a nice detail touch.

There are also two sets of road wheels and idlers wheels in the kit, the pressed solid spoked type which have basic grease nipple detail and back inserts and the open spoke wheels and while photos show the solid spoke wheels are the most commonly fitted there are a few shots of these M4A2s showing open spoke wheels.

There are now three types of drive sprocket supplied, the ‘Fancy Smooth’ sprocket, “Revised Fancy Smooth” and the solid ‘Simple Plate’ sprocket with photos showing the solid ‘Simple Plate’ being the most common on these M4A2s. These have the two sprocket discs separate from the inner hub/drum which allows quite good hub bolt detail to be included.

Note; while there are alternate bogie housings and road wheels in the kit you can only make one full set of suspension bogies as there is just the one set of lower bogie arms provided.


As mentioned the kit has full length T54E1 steel chevron tracks in light beige coloured DS vinyl which have excellent detail incorporated on the end connectors and links and these can be glued together using normal plastic cement.

Also included is a second set of T54E1 steel chevron tracks with duckbills in the same light beige coloured DS vinyl and again have excellent details with fully hollowed out duckbills for excellent detail definition with many photos of PTO M4A2s fitted with this type of track..

Nicely detailed DS vinyl track
T54E1 steel chevron

T54E1 steel chevron with duckbills

Upper Hull:

This is the later 47° hull with big hatches which is moulded in one piece with cut-outs for the turret ring, front crew hatches and rear engine deck and is basically the hull from kit 6188 M4A2 (76)W Red Army but with quite a few detail improvements for a far better rendition of the 47° M4A2 hull.

These improvements are:
1. All hull welds are now raised instead of the trenches in the previous hull. The welds do have the fine pitted appearance and not the flowing style as seen on most M4A2 hulls but if this is an issue you can smooth these out a little with liquid cement?
2. A guard is added around the rear fire extinguisher handle box.
3. The two pericopes in between the crew hatches have been revised and better depict the detail of the actual periscopes.
4. The moulded on hull side and rear fender attachment strips have been removed replaced with the etched strips with bolt holes for a better appearance.
5. Paint spots added to the rear hull for placement of the separate etched bolt heads (see below regarding these)
6. The forward hull extensions at the side of the transmission bolted strip have been lengthened to better represent this area of the hull.
7. The overall moulding and details are crisper than on the previous hull.

The instructions indicate to open up 10 locating holes from the inside of the rear hull for the placement of the pioneer tools before gluing the upper and lower hull parts together.
Personally I would not open these out if you intended to replace the tool brackets with etched items to leave the hull intact for a better appearance. It may also be cleaner to leave the holes closed even if using the kit tools as the overhead view in the painting instructions show the location of the tools which are standard for any Sherman in any case.

The hull features separate parts for the fuel filler caps, lifting eyes, head and tail lights with a choice of plastic or etched bush guards, hull cal .30 MG and barrel travel lock on the glacis as well as all the pioneer tools which have moulded on tool brackets.

The two front crew hatches are free of pin marks and have separate periscope mountings and clear periscopes that can be rotated as per the real things. Added to these are separate periscope opening covers as well as finely moulded bush guards, but note that not many if any USMC late M4A2s had these guards fitted so it would be best to leave these off.

The engine deck is also separate with separate engine access doors with louvre detail on both sides with the fit of the doors to the deck and the deck to the hull being very snug not requiring ay trimming.

The rear grouser compartment covers are too long by about 1mm meaning the inner edge is too close to the engine deck by that distance and to fix this it would be best to shave off the moulded on grouser covers and replace with plastic card. This would also allow the edges of the covers to be more sharp than depicted on the kit parts as well for a better appearance.

On the rear hull are ten small bolt heads which have the locations marked with painted dots on the plastic and you are provided with the bolt heads on the etched fret. There is one small issue where the later 47° hulls didn’t have the 4 vertical bolts, only three so you can just leave off the second bolt from the bottom and all is well. The bolts on the centre line have the correct slight offset to the left and the etched bolts are simply glued onto the paint dots.

There is also the later stowage rack added to the rear hull which has etched side supports allowing you to fit the rack raised or lowered and when this is fitted the bolt issue is hidden anyway.

Etched parts are included for the front fenders and the fender attachment strip along the lower sides of the hull sides with the metal tow cable supplied but would need to be annealed by running through a candle flame to get a natural sit on the vehicle as it is very springy as it comes.

Additional parts for this kit are the standard appliqué armour panels and large wood planking panels for the hull sides but these wooden panels were not usually fitted to USMC M4A2s but to the later M4A3s as seen on Iwo Jima.

There is a notable omission for USMC M4A2s in the PTO and that is many still retained their rear exhaust wading trunks long after landing and including these would have been a nice bonus. Also many USMC Shermans had elaborate wire cages and spikes added to their hatches to guard against Japanese magnetic grenades and while it would be difficult to include these in the kit adding them from wire or thin sprue will give a different look to the model.


The late high bustle 75mm turret is taken directly from kit #6354 Sherman M4A3 (105mm) HVSS as mentioned with the only alteration being the inclusion of the small bulge to the left of the gun mounting, this has a mould seam around the bulge that will be easy to remove but you will have to add back the cast texturing.

Separate parts are included for all the periscope mountings with clear plastic periscopes as well as the separate pistol port door with inner support bracket plus a choice of Commander’s split hatch or the later cupola with 6 clear vision periscopes to use as required.

There are a number of parts left over from the 105mm turret which can be consigned to the spares box with the turret shell having nice subtle cast texturing but to achieve the pistol port details, slide moulds were used which have left a raised mould seam around the port which you will have to remove and then reinstate the cast texture with “Mr. Surfacer” of similar. This will also be needed at the rear upper and lower part join, but it should be noted that there is actually a raised weld seam where the join line is (not the exact same location) and this should also be added.

On the inside of the gun opening is added a separate bolted ring for the gun shield which of course can’t be seen after assembly but it is nice attention to detail to add this as a separate part.

The turret is fitted with the M34A1 gun mounting and there are two gun shields provided, the initial type with the bolted strip on three sides (part B17) and the later type with wider shield and the bolted trip along the top and bottom only (part B14) which is the shield you should use for this kit. The late rotor shield (part B13) has fairly heavy cast texture that could do with light sanding to reduce a little and this includes small indentations at the top which are as a consequence of the contours along the top of the shield for the central bulge.

It should be noted that the gun shield/rotor used in this kit is from the Tarawa/Sherman III kits and so avoid any of the size issues with 105mm kit parts.

The contours on the shield appear straight when viewed from some angles while the indentations appear more substantial when viewed from other angles and for mine they are a little exaggerated on the kit shield but that may not be considered an issue on the finished kit?

The 75mm gun is moulded in one piece with hollowed out muzzle and just the small moulding seam the be eliminated and the co-ax .30 machine gun has very nice perforated jacket detail and the muzzle is also hollowed out slightly but you may want to drill this out further for a better look.

The forward vane sight is moulded extremely finely in plastic and care will be needed removing the part from the sprue and there is also a finely moulded .50cal MG clip on the hatch ring but no cal.50 MG is included in the kit. This is not really an issue as photos show these USMC vehicles rarely carried the cal.50 MG on the turret.

Other details are a nicely detailed search light, alternate aerial mounts at the back and the rear turret cal.50 storage brackets and clips which again are very finely moulded in plastic.

The kit includes two different Commander’s hatches, the later type round split hatch and the cupola with six periscopes and opening swivel hatch with both cleanly moulded with excellent details included.

You have to be careful as there are actually two split hatch rings and some other parts in the kit due to the two sprues B included from different kits and you should take care to use the correct parts as called in the instructions.

The split hatches have no pin marks to worry about with separate periscope mountings with clear plastic periscope body which allows you the position the periscope rotated to any position. The hatch has inner detail and fine casting numbers on the outside of the hatches.

The round cupola has well defined bolt head details with openings for the clear plastic periscope visors with the top hatch having separate inner rotating section that in turn has a separate clear plastic periscope body which again allows you to position this at any rotation.

On the left roof is the separate oval Loader’s hatch with inner detail and the outside springs moulded onto the hatch and while cleanly moulded replacing these with thin wire would improve the detail definition. The hatch can be positioned open or closed as you see fit and both the fixed turret roof periscopes have separate clear plastic periscope bodies and separate opening covers.

Overall this is very good late 75mm turret and is one of the better turrets you will find in plastic but there are a few things to watch for as mentioned but overall there shouldn’t be any real problems.


These are the usual exploded view drawings that are a little busy in places and can be confusing unless you study them very closely before any assembly but overall are there shouldn't be any real problems as the kit is not overly complicated.


The small decal sheet is well printed with markings for 4 vehicles all in white with a selection of vehicle numbers and names with the 4 vehicle markings being:

USMC, PTO, 1944/45 (shown fitted with wood planking but with no other markings)

Co. C, 1st Tank Battalion, USMC, Peleliu 1944

Co. C, 2nd Tank Battalion, USMC, Tinian 1943

Co. C, 2nd Tank Battalion, USMC, Tinian 1943

  1. Dragon

This is overall a good rendition of the later 75mm M4A2 Sherman using a mix and match of available parts plus a few new parts as well as the bonus of two sets of T54E1 track DS vinyl tracks.

The kit will build fairly easily into a nice model but there are some detail and assembly issues mainly due to the continual use of the original Sherman parts that date back to the initial Italeri Sherman kits. A completely new Sherman kit from the ground up is long overdue, especially the suspension that would benefit greatly from today’s moulding technologies.

The details on the revised hull and later turret are well done with some extremely finely moulded details allowing for good detail definition on the finished model but as with any kit there is room for additional detailing to make a standout model.

This kit will make a nice inclusion to the Sherman ranks and will be welcomed by Shermanholics everywhere.
But if you want to be a real stickler for accuracy you may find that the hull featured in the kit is for the later production 47° hull while those used by the USMC were early/mid production hulls.

These late 47° hull M4A2s may not have been in production before the USMC switched to the M4A3 and it is likely most of the later M4A2 hulls were sent under lend lease to the French and Soviets fitted with the T23 76mm turrets.

Highly recommended 8/10

The Sprues

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Detail images
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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
US Marine Corps Tank Crewman 1941–45
Osprey Warrior 92
ISBN 978-184176-717-8
Tank Battles of the
Pacific War 1941-1945
Concord Publications #7004
ISBN 962-361-607-4

Thanks to my credit card and the excellent service fromRainbow Tenfor the review kit.

Page created May 18, 2008