The barrel is produced from actual measurements of the real 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 models used here were the Academy M4A2 Sherman (kit #13203) and Tamiya M4 Sherman early production (kit #35190) although the same would apply to their other Sherman kits. After the above mods the fit was a very good except that the chin armour extensions on the Academy mantlet had to be thinned on the inside as the kit barrel is too thin and the new Micro Chisel from Mission Models with round chisel head was the perfect tool for a quick and easy job. The Tamiya mantlet was a tight fit but didn't need thinning as did the Academy with the new barrels giving a new look to the kits.
A quick and easy replacement barrel with the correct dimensions to update any applicable 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