The barrel is produced from actual measurements of the real barrel to include the slight flair at the muzzle applicable to this early barrel and is cleanly turned with the muzzle hollowed out to about 4.5mm but there is no rifling included.
To allow the barrel to be used on any 75mm Sherman kit the barrel only has the portion of the barrel outside of the mantlet and so some minor alterations are required on the target kit barrel to fit.
This consists of dry fitting the plastic kit barrel and marking where the barrel meets the mantlet face and then cutting the barrel at this point. Next drill a 2mm hole in the remaining kit barrel stub and fit the new metal barrel, the rest of the assembly is then as per kit instructions.
There is one issue with the length of the barrel which appears to be about 1.5mm short when compared to available data. Kurt Laughlin's detailed analysis on Track Link shows the length of the barrel from the front of the mantlet to tip as 67.625 inches but allowing for minor differences in the cylindrical section relative to the gun shield a figure of 67.5 inches would be more likely which equates to 48.986mm (or close enough to 49mm) in 1:35 scale. This barrel measures 47.5mm long but this can easily be remedied when cutting the kit barrel by moving the cut 1.5mm further up the barrel.
The test model used here is the Dragon M4A1 Early version (kit #6048) and after the above mods the fit was very good except I shortened the metal barrel locating pin slightly to allow for the kit barrel mounting pin which fits into the barrel from the inside but apart from that it was a quick and easy fitting.
A quick and easy replacement barrel with the correct dimensions to update any applicable early Sherman and should be a welcomed additional for Sherman fans.
Thanks to Leo from LionMarc Model Designs for the review set.
Page created January 8, 2006