Sherman M4A4 Chrysler
Multibank Engine
(late & very late)

Resicast Kit No. 35.269
1:35th Scale

Review by Terry Ashley


Chrysler A57 Multibank Engine: (Notes from instruction sheet)
The 30 plug engine was composed of five flathead six cylinder gasoline engines with the individual blocks bolted to a crank-case casting. The five crank shafts were geared together to a common master gear and each individual engine drove at 3100 rpm while the output shaft drove at 2600 rpm. There was an accessory shaft driven by the main output gear that ran through the central crankcase, driving two oil pumps and a central fuel pump. Early models had five individual water pumps driven from five separate belts.

In later models the central fuel pump was replaced by a central cooling water pump and the fuel pump was driven from engine number four and the carburetors were also moved to top of engine to avoid drowning problems. The engine had a 1253 cubic inch displacement and delivered 500 hp gross, 445 hp military net giving a maximum speed for short intervals of 25 mph.

Chrysler built 7499 M4A4s from July 1942 to September 1943 used in the US as training vehicles but most were sent overseas to Commonwealth Forces and China under the Lend Lease program. The M4A4 was heavier than earlier models of the Sherman but the longer tracks reduced the ground pressure. By simplifying the design, an intense training program for maintenance personnel and improvements in components such as valves and piston rings, made the engine very reliable and improved serviceability by the troops. The tank's engine compartment was enlarged to fit the bulky power plant and the vertical fuel tanks were removed and new 80 gallon sponson tanks were installed.

To allow for the engine cooling fan, a bulge was required in the floor pan and another rectangular bulge with filler cap, in the engine deck and the hull was elongated by 11 inches with 83 track shoes per side were now required. The longer tracks and increased spaces between the bogies allow for easy identification of the M4A4 and other identifying marks were the five part welded front glacis plate; three part front transmission and small plates over the turret weep holes. This version of the Sherman was very versatile and was seen in other forms as Fireflies, Crabs, OP and Command vehicles, Dozer tanks, ARVs, Tulip devices, DD tanks and other "Funny" versions.

The Engine Set:
Resicast have released this detailed Chrysler multibank engine designed for the excellent TASCA M4A4 Sherman Firefly Vc (kit #35-009) but can also be used with the Dragon M4A4 kits or Resicast M4A4 kit with minor alterations to fit.

The set consists of 78 parts cast in light grey/green resin plus two soft vinyl water hoses and a short length of thin plastic rod as well as an extensive 20 page A5 sized instruction sheet.

Vinyl water hoses

Quality of the resin casting is excellent without any air holes or other blemishes evident and just the usual casting blocks to be removed as well as some fine resin film on some parts which is easy to remove. There are many very small parts that require care during cleanup and with some such as the piping it is best to leave these on their numbered casting blocks till needed to avoid confusion as some look alike but have subtle differences in profile.

The main engine block has the central crank casing with the five cylinder bank as separate parts and each has subtle differences in detail so it is very important to position these correctly around the crank case. Thankfully Resicast have included fine identifying numbers 1-5 on one end of each cylinder bank and the instructions clearly show where each is fitted. To ensure there were no mix-ups I also used a fine felt marker to write the number on the bottom of each cylinder bank and corresponding locating bay on the crank case.

Main engine parts

The fit of the five cylinder banks to the crank case was good although there was some minor play on the five as cylinder banks so make sure they are lined up evenly and the two end sections also fit snugly to make assembly of the basic engine quite straightforward with the rest of the parts being the many smaller engine accessories and extensive piping, all of which is provided in the set.

Basic engine assembled

The next major assembly is the large radiator which is cast in one piece with nice details on both sides and on the top with the intricate 14 blade fan and the fan coaming which is again cast perfectly. The fan probably has the most cleanup of any part with some minor casting seams on the blades and thin resin film but these are easy to deal with using a sharp #11 blade.  


For the remainder of the assembly there are the many piping sections and other smaller parts such as the carburetors, air cleaners, fan belt pulleys and exhaust piping which do look quite daunting and intimidating when first looking at the instructions. Also included are the two main radiator hoses in flexibly vinyl that makes fitting correctly on the radiator and engine very easy.

But after carefully studying the numerous assembly photos which show each step from different angles with the parts clearly marked as well as the photos of the actual engine included at the back of the instructions things will work out easier than they look.

Added to this is the very good fit of the parts which during the partial assembly and many test fits shows the piping sections all fit nicely in place but again take note of the instructions and assembly things in the sequences shown and there shouldn’t be any major problems?  

As mentioned it’s best to leave most of the piping and smaller parts on their numbered casting blocks until needed and this slows things a little but makes sure you don’t mix up any of the parts.

There is a myriad of wiring that can be added to the engine for the 30 spark plugs and the distributors and again the photos of the actual engine all taken outside of the vehicle as well as some tech manual drawings will help identify the location of much of this wiring.


This is superbly detailed kit of the Chrysler Multibank Engine for the M4A4 with the quality of the resin casting first class with a minimum of cleanup required. The good fit of the parts along with very clear instructions should make what appears to be a daunting task a lot easier but the set is not for the inexperienced builder given the intricacies of the assemblies.

Highly recommended 8/10

The assembled engine can easily be fitted into the rear engine bay of the TASCA kit without any alterations but if you really want to detail up the bay Resicast have also released a detailed etched and resin engine bay set #35.270 for the TASCA kit with a review of that set here.

Resin Parts:

Click on thumbnails for larger view

Additional images of assembled Multibank engine
courtesy Resicast
Click image to view slideshow

Close new window to return to review

Sherman Firefly
Mark Hayward
British Tanks of WWII (1)
Concord #7027
Sherman VC M4A4 Firefly
Military Ordnance Special No.19
R.P.Hunnicutt. Presidio Books
ISBN 0-89141-080-5
Modeler's Guide to the Sherman
MMIR Special.
Ampersand Publishing Company, Inc

The set is available direct from Resicast in Belgium, website or email for details of stockists. Thanks to Graham from Resicast for the review sets.

Page created August 27, 2007