Voyager Models
M4A1 Mid Version
Voyager Model 1:35 Set # PE 35208
(for Tasca kit #35010)
Review by Terry Ashley

The Set:
Tasca This recent update set from Voyager Models is designed for the Tasca M4A1 Sherman Mid Production (kit #35010) and consists of 11 small etched frets, 2 pre-formed springs, a resin siren and a length of thin plastic rod and length of stainless steel as well as the instruction sheet.

The quality of the etching is first class with clean well defined detail that includes embossed detail and the usual engraved bending lines where required, but care is needed with some of the smaller parts during handling to avoid damage.

Due to the quality of the Tasca kit to start with most of the parts in the set are for the smaller detail items on the kit with the largest part being the replacement front fenders, these require you to emboss out the stiffening ridge and it’s best to anneal the fender first to avoid the usual distortion that comes from embossing these type ridges.

Additional parts
Voyager Models

For the suspension bogies there are replacement track guide skids for the first shorter style and later “standard” extended skids, these are in thicker metal for a better appearance with additional small etched bolt heads to add in the four positions.

Other details for the hull included the rear hull extensions that mould the air cleaners as well as the securing latches for these but as is common with many etched sets these latches are flat in profile and not rounded as they should be. This also applies the etched bush guards and grad handles for the hull crew hatches but the pre-formed steel springs for the hatches add a good detail touch.

Items that are correct in the flat profile etched parts are the headlight, siren (with replacement resin siren) and taillight bush guards as well as all the hull mounted tool brackets, clips and tool securing straps that add good definition to the tools. The small tie down cleats have tiny locating pins that require you to drill very small holes into the kit hull but allow for a more robust join than just gluing the cleats to the hull surface. Just ensue the drill the holes evenly and using a small drill jib the holes are the same width apart for all cleats.

The hull cal.30 MG gets a replacement perforated cooling jacket designed to wrap around the modified kit gun barrel but this doesn’t look that convincing as there is no space between the barrel and jacket as well as the work needed to add the etched jacket and using one of the available brass cal.30 MG barrels would be a better option.

The remaining items are for the turret with the top periscope bush guards and right side vane sight which really does benefit from being the etched brass as does the cal.50 MG travel lock on the rear of the Commander’s hatch sill.

The co-axial cal.30 MG gets the same etched perforated jacket and the hull MG and the same comments apply here while the excellent Tasca cal.50 M2 HBMG is detailed with all the finer parts such as the rear and foresights, firing handle brackets and barrel changing handle as well as a multi-part ammo box rack cal.50 ammo box that have working hinges for the lip and separate top handle.

There are actually four of the ammo boxes in the set so you can use the others as storage or any other use to add some nice definition to the boxes and these finer details add the finishing touches nicely to the kit cal.50 MG.

The MG fret also includes a couple of dozen Y clips for the cal.50 ammo belts but there are no brass rounds included to make use of these so they are sort of redundant.

These are now included as long foldout strips about 75cm long and 10cm high which when folded up fit neatly into the standard Voyager cardboard box these sets come in. There are two strips for this set with printing on both sides that are the usual exploded view drawings of the assembly sequences and I found these easy to follow in most cases.

As usual you should study the instructions carefully before assembly to avoid any traps and overall the instruction trips seemed to take up less space on the desk than the older style full page instructions leaving plenty of room to work.

This is a fairly simple update set due the excellence of the target kit and provides all the smaller details that add an air of finesse to the kit. The only real issues are the flat profile of some parts that should be rounded but this is a issue with all etched sets, not just this one.

Recommended to add the final touches to the Tasca M4A1 Sherman 7.5/10

See the M4 Sherman Subject Page for additional reviews.
Etched Parts
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Voyager Models
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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
Technical Manual CD-ROM
TM9-731A M4 & M4A1

Easy 1 Productions #T002
Easy 1
M4 Sherman
Wydawnictwo Militaria 13
ISBN 83-86209-09-7
M4 Sherman at War
Concord Publications
Armor at War Series #7001

Thanks to Voyager Models for the review set.

Page created April 8, 2008