Perfect Scale Modellbau
Perfect Scale Modellbau Set #35012
Review by Terry Ashley


The M74 Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV) was the last ARV built on the M4A3 HVSS Sherman chassis being itself an update of the wartime M32 ARV and was eventually replaced with the M88 ARV.

The appearance the M74 is very similar to the M32, being fitted with a large A-Frame crane, a main towing winch, an auxiliary winch, and a manual utility winch as well as being fitted with a front mounted spade that can be used as a support or as a dozer blade.

The Kit:

This full kit of the M74 ARV from Perfect Scale Modellbau consists of 131 parts in light grey resin, 9 parts in etched stainless steel, 3 lengths of braided copper wire and 1 length of steel wire.

Also included is the AFV Club set #AF 35030 M4 Sherman HVSS Suspension and set #AF 35033 M4 Sherman HVSS T84 Workable Track to add some nice detail to the kit and eases the assembly of the suspension.

The quality of the resin casting is very good overall with the most notable thing being the absence of casting blocks on the larger upper and lower hull and superstructure parts due to the use of one large casting pour point on the inside of the parts leaving just some minor cleanup of the edges. The remaining stub from the pour point can be left as is unless you wanted to add an interior as they are fully hidden after assembly.

The remaining parts have the usual casting blocks and some fine resin film to be removed which is quite straightforward with a few of the parts having some minor warping which can easily be rectified with warm water as well as a few air holes but these are in the minority.

There are quite a few very small parts that will require careful handling and some of these had excessive resin film to be removed but nothing that should take more than time to clean up.

Detail on the parts is good in the most part with crisp well defined details but as mentioned care will be needed with the smaller parts during assembly and cleanup.

The two largest parts the upper and lower hulls are cast without any warping for a good start and after minor cleanup of the of the edges the fit of these and the front transmission cover was very good for resin or any parts and no other trimming was needed.

Provided in the set is the HVSS suspension from the AFV Club set #AF 35030 and assembly of this is straightforward (see full review here) but you don’t use the bogie mounting brackets (parts S13) as these are included on the resin lower hull casting with the remaining bogie assembly fitting very well to the resin hull bracket thankfully.

A couple of things to watch when fitting the plastic parts to the resin hull is the smaller locating pin on the final drive housing (AFV Club part S15) doesn’t match the locating hole on the resin hull and cutting this from part S15 will allow it to be fitted correctly. There is no locating position for the smaller return rollers above the bogie units but it shouldn’t be too hard to fit these in the right place while the two larger return rollers have locating pins for easy fitting of the kit parts.

Also included as mentioned is a full set of AFV Club workable HVSS T84 rubber chevron tracks (from set #AF 35033) and these can be a bit fiddly to assembly with just a couple of small assembly drawings provided in the instructions but for anyone experienced with this type of track there shouldn’t be any real problems?

The upper hull includes the side and rear mounted storage boxes with the main casting and fitting the many smaller detail parts such as the hatches with separate thin resin periscope guards and the numerous other Sherman and ARV parts will require patience but there shouldn’t be any real problems as most parts test fitted only required minor trimming if at all for a good fit.

Fitting the upper superstructure was also good after minor clean up of the mating surfaces and again the detail on the parts was good with possibly exception the cupola and periscope vision ports being a bit of the basic side and you may want to cut off the resin cupola and replace with a more detailed part either from another kit or aftermarket (see the Sherman subjects page for available accessories).

The large A frame crane has numerous smaller parts added including the many ‘steps’ up the side of the frame from the wire provided and the minor warping of the frame was easily straightened with a quick dip into warm water.

The etched fret has parts for the large storage box on the engine deck as well as other smaller items and the detail on these are fairly plain as is usually the case with stainless steel but are adequate for the parts they are used for.

Also provided is a resin .50cal machine gun, ammo box and pintle mount and these had quite excessive resin film to be removed and while the .50cal is nicely detailed the cooling jacket is again a letdown being cast parallel without the tapering of the actual jacket.

The 8 page instruction sheet has exploded view drawings of the assembly sequences but some will require careful study to get the assembly right and additional references would be handy. Also included are 4 photos of the assembled model to help in seeing where the parts are supposed to go along with showing where the markings included on the small decal sheet provided all go.

The decal sheet has markings for one Bundeswehr and one US Army M74 with national insignia, unit markings and vehicle registration numbers to use as required.

Metal parts
Perfect Scale Modellbau
Decal Sheet
Perfect Scale Modellbau


This is an extensive and quite detailed kit of the M74 ARV that due to the many smaller parts in both resin and plastic and the intricate assembly would see this kit more for experienced modellers.

But the fit of the major parts was very good overall and with the usual work required for a kit of this type a very detailed model of the later M74 ARV will result and will fill a void in the Sherman family that should also add to the appeal of the kit.

Highly recommended 7.5/10

See the Sherman Subjects page for reviews of additional kit and update sets.

Resin Parts:

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Thanks to Perfect Scale Modellbau for the preview sample.

Page created April 25, 2007