Sherman Pioneer Tools
1/35 #F018

Review by Terry Ashley
This set of tools is included in the full Sherman conversion sets, M4A1 Dry Stowage (F001), M4A2 Mid Production (F008) and the new M4A1 With Appliqué Armor (F015) and have now been released as a separate sets for use on any Sherman kit.

They are cast on a very thick backing block with small undercuts where the tools attach to the block so are fairly easy to remove although care will be needed.
The tools have very nice details included as well as the tie down cleats and straps which also have the holes included in them to give you what are some excellent tools for your Sherman. Note that the straps on the two sledge hammers are different for some nice variety.

Pioneer tools before and after removal from the casting block

These tools are superb and will certainly make a difference without the use of etched parts making life a lot easier although you need to take care when cutting from the casting block to keep the details intact.

Trimming small resin parts:
When removing and trimming small resin parts from their castings blocks there are a few basic rules that will make the job easier.

FormationsUse a small very sharp blade such as a scalpel or NT cutter blades (the type where you snap off a blade to expose a new one at the tip) with the usual care taken as you want to cut the resin not your fingers. Don’t try and trim small parts with a dull blade, disaster will be the only result.

When cutting always make two or three cuts using moderate force instead of a single cut with more force, this will place less stress on the resin parts.

When trimming the part after removal from the main block always fully support the part with your fingers in the direction you are cutting, don’t cut in the direction where the part is not supported. Again trim a small amount at a time and cut away from the part, that way if the blade slips you only cut air and doesn’t take a chunk out of the part. It’s better to make several small cuts to trim the excess resin rather than one cut that may crack the part due to the stress the cutting process places in the fine parts.

Remember resin (especially fine parts) has a low tolerance to lateral stress and will snap at the slightest opportunity so take your time in trimming the parts and don’t try and use one section of the part to support another when removing the excess resin. For example where you have made a small cut and twist the blade to snap off the cut resin, this will probably only result in you snapping off the resin section used as the support. Only support the part with your fingers and again make several cuts instead of one.

And lastly take your time, it’s better to spend five minutes trimming a small part than waiting ten minutes for the CA glue to fully cure when sticking the part back together again and you still have to finish trimming the excess resin after that.

Of course for larger parts a fine razor saw is the best option to remove the casting blocks and then trim the parts with the usual care for the resulting resin dust.

Page created 20 November 2003

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