The main part is the lower hull tub which includes the sides, rear plate and
upper sponson covers with excellent detail included on all panels such as the
weld seams between the sides and sponson covers, the lower hull inspection
panels, suspension channels, drain plugs and the forward row of bolt heads
plus the subtle bevels along the hull edges between the bogie mounts.
The casting is excellent without any warping or other distortion which will help when fitting the other parts as you don’t have to worry about fixing this part first but there is a fair bit of excess resin to be removed from the front and some along the sponson sides which is easy to remove with a sharp blade.
The hull is not designed for any particular M4A3 hull and can be used with the Dragon, Italeri, Tamiya or aftermarket M4A3 hulls with the sponson covers being cast longer than required to allow for any trimming while fitting to your chosen hull.
The hull though has been designed to accept the excellent AFV Club HVSS Suspension Set #AF35030 as this is simply the best HVSS suspension available at this time and all that is needed to fit these bogies is to cut off the small locating pin on the inside of the AFV Club bogie mounting and fix to the raised locating marks on the hull sides using thicker cyanoacrylate with the AFV Club return rollers fitting precisely to the raised locating pins on the hull side.
You can use other HVSS suspensions from Academy or Dragon if you wish but
additional trimming may be needed to fit these. The Dragon HVSS bogies don’t
have any bolt head detail on the mounting brackets and you may have to trim
the front mounting bracket for an even sit as well as removing the bogie locating
The Academy bogies have the mounting bracket as part of the kit lower hull tub and this will require a mounting plate to be made if you want to use these bogies. I would recommend the AFV Club HVSS suspension not only for the better details but also for easy fitting without modification to the resin hull.
The rear idler mounts as mentioned are from the HVSS Idler set #F057 and you should note these mountings are not symmetrical as with the VVSS suspension so the only thing you have to watch is that both idler mountings are lined up evenly with each other as there are no locating pins on the parts.
At the front is the late single piece transmission cover and this fits neatly into the hull front but some minor trimming of the resin inside the hull may be required and you also get a bolt strip to help fill in the lower gap between the tranny cover and hull. It is important to get the cover correctly lined up as this will determine the fit of your chosen hull so take care with this assembly and everything else should fall into place as they say.
The large rear exhaust deflector is fitted under your chosen hull and the lower exhaust outlets are provided in resin and fit without any problems to the rear hull plate and there is also the first aid box for the hull side as fitted to the E8.
The new HVSS fenders are finely cast with the inner attachment bolts and outer fender lip with small bolt holes included but will require care when removing the casting blocks to avoid damage. It is best to make a few fine cuts with a sharp blade from both sides of the casting instead of trying to cut them off in one go, this will be a bit difficult on the smaller fender sections as they are cast with two sections on one casting block but with care you can cut them off without problems. After removing the fenders lightly clean up any excess resin till you have a smooth inner surface to attach to the hull sides and the small fender brackets will also need care when removing and cleanup to again avoid damage.
Test fitting with the Tamiya M4A3 hull sees the need to trim the sponson covers as mentioned above and some minor trimming at the front hull join but overall the fit was quite good but again this can be affected by the fit of the transmission cover done earlier. The usual test fitting will determined the amount of trimming required and taking the time to get this right and there should be fewer problems as you go along.
The only other thing required is the appropriate tracks and AFV Club can also help out here with either their set #AF35032 T80 Workable track or #AF35033 T84 Workable track.
Another excellent conversion from Formations with the usual high quality resin and relatively easy assembly, even less if you use the suggested AFV Club HVSS suspension set for another welcomed addition to the Sherman family.
|SHERMAN A History
of the American Medium Tank
R.P.Hunnicutt. Presidio Books
to the Sherman
Ampersand Publishing Company, Inc
Check the Formations website for details of other update sets available and thanks to Rob for the review sample.
Page created January 14, 2006