The set consists of 118 resin parts in light cream resin, three M.V. Products light lenses and a length of twine for the steel cable. The quality of the resin pieces is excellent with only some minor resin film on some parts and the usual casting blocks to be removed.
Some of the smaller parts will require care to remove from the casting blocks and with others such as the lifting eyes it could be easier to remove the resin film before cutting them off the casting blocks.
The main components here are a new lower hull panel with all the correct details and to fit this you have to remove the three ridges from the bottom of the Tamiya hull and slightly thin the plastic then simply glue the new resin part in place.
Also included are sponsor fillers to fill the large holes under the Tamiya hull and these fit quite well but some minor trimming could be needed.
The antenna pot on the right front of the hull is provided with better details for the early type and requires the removal of the pot moulded on the Tamiyahull but this is easy enough to deal with.
At the front is a nicely cast Type 2A 1-piece transmission cover that has the casting numbers and underside drain plugs included as well as two very thin front fender sections with nice details including the side mounting brackets. This and the three piece bolted transmission cover in the Tamiya kit allows a choice a configurations depending on the vehicle you are building
There are many small detail parts such as the lifting eyes, lights, ventilator caps, periscopes in either open or closed configuration rear towing pintle, all the fuel filler caps for good detail definition and towing shackles front and rear.
There is the full set of the excellent pioneer tools as included in previous kits and available separately as set No.F018 and for the suspension is two solid spoke idler wheels with detail on both sides to replace the hollow back Tamiya wheels and a set of track guides for the top of the Tamiya bogies that include the bolt head details missing on the kit parts.
About the only other extra would be the light bush guards from any of the available etched M4 update sets from people like Aber, Fine Molds, Eduard and Royal Models.
You are provided with the early M34 gun mount with a choice of rotor cover with and without the collar protectors as well as an early 75mm barrel with flared tip. There is the new hatch ring with casting numbers and the two hatches with detail on both sides as well as the resin periscopes, lifting eyes and other small details to dress up the kit turret.
The inclusion of the early M34 gun mount and M3 75mm gun allows you to choose different gun configurations in conjunction with the M34A1 mount and gun from the Tamiya kit and there is also two .30 cal MG barrels for the co-ax gun.
The instructions are in the form of four ‘letter’ sized pages with diagrams and text notes of the construction sequences as well as showing the modifications needed on the kit parts to accept the new resin parts and shouldn’t pose any problems during construction.
This is a nicely detailed update set and by using the resin parts in conjunction with plastic kit parts allows an almost endless choice of configurations for the M4. There are photos about of M4s with most of the different features from the kits and by checking the available references you should be able to build an accurate model.
A very useful conversion for Shermaholics.
Check the Formations website for details of other update sets available and thanks to Rob for the quick turnaround time with my order for this set.
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Page created 27 December 2003