Sherman VVSS Suspension Set C Initial
Tasca 1:35 Scale Kit No. 35015
Review by Terry Ashley


Following the release of the British Army Sherman II Direct Vision (kit #35014) Tasca have now released the early M3 style VVSS suspension from that kit as a separate update set that can be used to update any of applicable kits. These include the recent Academy M3 Lee/Grant/M7 Priest kits as well as any available early M4/M4A1 kits.

The Set:

The kit consists of 138 parts in dark olive drab plastic, vinyl poly caps and a small sheet of rubber material plus a small instruction sheet. The set gives you a single set of six bogie units with a choice of two styles for the front suspension housing plus three style of drive sprockets and two styles of idler wheels, these are the same parts as included in the various Tasca Sherman kits.


The suspension is the M3/early M4 style bogie units with the design allowing these to articulate after assembly slightly and as mentioned there are two styles of front bogie housings, one with the two central vertical cast reinforcing strips and the other including two smaller horizontal reinforcing strips to offer a nice choice. But you should note that only one set of bogies can be built from the kit with just the alternate front bogie plates left over.

Also included in the kit are the small U bolt lifting eyes sometimes fitted to early Lee/Grant/Sherman bogie units and these can be added as required to add to the nice detail included in the kit, but note these are only fitted to the first and third bogie units and not to the middle bogie.

There is just the one set of open spoke road wheels provided as applicable to early M3 and early M4 types along with a choice of open spoke and solid pressed dish idlers to use as required.

There are three types of drive sprockets included with two styles of Open Spoke fancy sprockets and the later Solid Plate sprocket and it's best to refer to references to determine the appropriate bogie detail and sprockets for the kit you are building.

The drive sprockets have small poly caps trapped inside to allow these to be added to the final drive axles at any time to make this easier and also allow the sprockets to rotate after assembly.

The detail on the road wheels, idlers and drive sprockets is excellent with fine crisp details that include the grease plug and relief valve on all the road wheels and idlers with fine bolt head details on the inside of the drive sprockets.

The bogie units don’t have any noticeable cast texture and feature one of the styles seen on the M3 type bogie units, other styles include an additional two bolt heads on the swing arms and bolt holes on the wheel bushes. Some bogie units also have foundry casting numbers while others don't show any casting numbers and this allows opportunities to vary the detail on the bogies with a little extra work for different kits.

Bogie Assembly:

The bogies fully articulate after assembly due to the separate lower suspension arms that trap the road wheels between them and are then in turn trapped between the inner and outer bogie halves. The upper suspension arms are in one piece as are the volute springs with two small sections of rubber sheet you cut from the larger sheet provided being added to the top of the volute springs that give the ‘spring’ when the suspension is depressed.

Added to the rear bogie section are the upper reinforcing fillets that also form the sides of the volute spring mountings and these fit together without any problems.

The upper suspension arms are attached to the one piece volute spring without glue if you want the bogies to articulate, you should also note the orientation of the suspension arms which have a small kink and these should kink outwards when viewed from above so take care to fit the arms the correct way around. There is an overhead illustration in the instructions showing the correct fitting which should alleviate any problems.

After cutting the small sections of rubber sheet using the template provided in the instructions these are added inside the volute spring mountings and the top return roller, volute springs and lower suspension arms/road wheels are all slipped into place on the rear bogie half again without any glue. This may be a little fiddly but the precise fit helps out here and finally the outer bogie half of your choice is fitted in place trapping the return roller and suspension arms in place.

The fit was such that the bogies held together without any glue as they are in the images but of course you would glue the outer bogie half to the rear half ensuring you don't get glue on any of the suspension arms or springs if you want the bogies to articulate after assembly.

There were no traps while assembling the bogies but it did help to lightly glue the rubber pads to the insides of the inner bogie unit to keep them in place (I used white glue) while fitting the lower suspension arm/road assemblies and outer bogie half. The design on the bogies and suspension arms allows both wheels to be depressed at the same time and not just rock back and forth as with most other suspension sets available for the Sherman.

Tasca bogie units, modified (left) and as per the kit (right)
Additional bolt heads added to swing arms and road wheel bushing modified.
Note; the kit bogies correctly depict one style of the M3 bogies while the modified bogies
show another variation which can be made with a little extra work.
Images of real bogies showing the bogie variations as depicted above.
M3 suspension
Images © PMMS & Toadman's Tank Pictures
Casting numbers added using the Archer Fine Transfers "Surface Details #7
Armor casting symbols and markings" Set #AR88007

Note with the image above the position of the horizontal ribs on the Tasca bodies are lower then the actual image (Middle), but this represents another variation on the bogies with the image (right) showing the ribs lower as they are on the Tasca bogie.

Also included in the set are the under hull brackets for fitting the bogie units to the hull, these are designed for the Tasca Sherman kits and depending on the target kit some minor modifications will be required and test fitting to the kit will determine what is needed.


The instructions are the usual exploded view drawings which are easy to follow with both Japanese and English text and includes a 1/1 template diagram of the M3/M4 hull side showing the position of the bogies for the correct ride height. This template should make fitting the bogie units to any available kit a lot easier and it also shows the correct height of the bolted bogie mounting plate.


The release of this suspension set will be very useful for those wanting to correct the Academy M3 suspension as well as for the older Tamiya M3 kits or any other applicable kit. The detail on the bogies units is finely done with excellent fit of the parts and with a little extra work other bogie variations can be represented.

Highly recommended

The Sprues:

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Detail images
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See the Sherman Subject Page for additional reviews of Sherman related kits and accessories.

R.P.Hunnicutt. Presidio Books
ISBN 0-89141-080-5
Modeler's Guide to the Sherman
MMIR Special.
Ampersand Publishing
M4/M4A1 Sherman
Tankograd Technical Manual
Series - No 6002
M3 Lee/Grant vol.1
GUNpower 32

Published by AJ Press
ISBN 978-83-7237-203-1
Medium Tank M3 to M3A5
General Lee/Grant

Tanks in Detail 4
by Terry J Gander.
M3 Lee/Grant
Medium Tank 1941-45

Osprey New Vanguard
ISBN 1 84176 889 8

Thanks to Tasca Modellismo Co.,Ltd. for the review kit.

Page created March 9, 2009