M4A3 76mm Sherman
Italeri Kit No. 6440
1:35th Scale
First Look Review by Terry Ashley

This kit from Italeri is the latest incarnation of their eternal M4 Sherman based line with previous kits being #203 M32, #204 Kangaroo, #206 M7 Priest, #225 M4A1, #250 M36B1, #253 M4A2 Jumbo, #288 M4A3 Calliope and most recent #6389 Marine M4 (hope I haven’t missed any).

This latest kit combines the M4A3 hull from a few of the above kits and the T23 turret from kit #225 to give us the M4A3 76mm version with the only new addition being the decal sheet.

I’ll just give a brief rundown on the contents as most will know them already with the kit having 177 parts in olive drab plastic with another 23 not used in this kit plus a set of vinyl T54E1 steel chevron track and the decal sheet.

The lower hull is from the M4A1 kit and unfortunately has the underside panel details on the M4/M4A1 and not the correct arrangement for the M4A3 but unless you go crawling around under the model this may not be much of an issue.

The suspension has also been around the traps in most previous Italeri Sherman kits as well as some early Dragon Sherman kits and has the raised roller arm bogies with pressed solid spoke road wheels and idlers. The bogie units have movable suspension arms that rock back and forth but don’t move independently which will allow a degree of articulation for dioramas of you wish.
The bogies are fairly basic without the three lower bolt heads or track skid bolts but these can be added quite easily while the drive sprockets have a choice of Fancy Smooth or Simple Plate sprockets discs.

The road wheels and idlers have details on both sides which is something Tamiya still haven’t cottoned onto and are some of the features along with the many separate smaller detail parts that made these kits from Italeri quite advanced for their time, another being sponson fillers on the hull something else that has escaped Tamiya all these years. Some parts unfortunately are showing their age with a few nasty sink marks on a couple of the road wheels and bogie units with those on the wheels being impossible to fix but most Sherman fans will have plenty in the spares box.

The rear hull plate is correct for the M4A3 and included the intake louvers under the rear hull overhang.

The upper hull is that of the late M4A3 wet and captures all the features such as revised tool layout on the split rear deck and front lifting rings moved to the outside of the glacis and along with raised weld seams and is not a bad representation of this hull.

At the front is the later sharper profiled 1-piece cast transmission cover with double tow hook mounts although there are no pins supplied and you can also add the underside drain plugs if you wish as these are not included.

All of the smaller detail items such as head and tail lights, light bush guards, front ventilator cover, pericope guards on the separate hatches, lifting hooks and tools are all separate parts but you may want to thin some of these down a little for a better scale appearance.

The T23 turret is the later type with round loader’s hatch and Commander’s cupola both with separate hatches as well as a separate pistol port that can be shown open you wish and again is not a bad representation on the turret although the surface is very smooth without any cast texturing.

The 76mm gun has the thread protector on the muzzle as well as the perennial step partway down the barrel which will need sanding off if you don’t use one of the available metal replacements and this includes a basic breech and gun guards on the inside to partly fill the turret void.

The T54E1 steel chevron vinyl track has quite nice pad and end connector details for the medium but the vinyl used is quite stiff and you will probably have to glue this to the return rollers to get a good sit of the track. There are small pin marks on the inside of each pad but these may not be all that noticeable once the track is fitted.

The new decal sheet is well printed with good colour register but the carrier film has a matt finish and may need a good decal setting solution for a result.

The sheet has markings for six Shermans for plenty of choice with these being:


While the kit is rather long in tooth it will still build into a nice Sherman with a bit of TLC and has plenty of scope for added details or the addition of the many aftermarket etched, barrel and track sets available.



The Sprues:

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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
M4 Sherman
Wydawnictwo Militaria 13
ISBN 83-86209-09-7
M4 Sherman Vol.II
Wydawnictwo Militaria 99
ISBN 83-7219-057-7

Thanks to Italeri for the review kit.

Page created January 8, 2006

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