U.S. Medium Tank M4A3(76)W Sherman
Reviewed by Brett Green
The M4A3 Sherman was powered by a Ford GAA 500 horsepower petrol engine and featured a welded hull. In 1944, the angle of the M4A3 front glacis was changed to 47°. Vision slots were also deleted and replaced with periscopes in the top of the hatches.
These later model M4A3 Shermans moved ammunition stowage to the hull floor, with additional water jackets surrounding the main gun ammunition stowage. This decreased the likelihood of the tank catching fire. A U.S. Army study in 1945 concluded that only 10-15 percent of wet-stowage Shermans burned when penetrated, compared to 60-80 percent of the older dry-stowage Shermans (note 1).
One of the key improvements to the Sherman was the introduction of the larger T23 turret, which incorporated two big hatches in the roof and the 76mm gun as the main armament. Although the 76mm gun was an advance over the original 75mm gun in terms of anti-tank performance, it was still incapable of penetrating the front glacis plate of the Panther tank at any distance, and could only penetrate its mantlet at ranges of less than 100 metres. Furthermore, the 76mm high explosive shell was noticeably less effective than the HE ammunition used by the earlier 75mm gun.
Despite these shortcomings, from late 1944 the M4A3(76) became the preferred tank of the U.S. Army in North Western Europe.
Tasca has now turned their attention to this definitive US Army Sherman variant. Tasca’s 1:35 scale U.S. Medium Tank M4A3(76)W Sherman is a substantially new model compared to those Sherman variants that have come before it. The kit comprises around 400 parts in dark green plastic, 16 parts in clear, a small photo-etched fret, a sprue full of clear polythene caps, a sheet of flexible material for cushioning the suspension units and four lengths of flexible vinyl track.
Another nice touch is the inclusion of a clear Commander’s cupola. This will be ideal for modellers who want to mask off the vision blocks for a very realistic result. Periscopes and light lenses are offered as clear parts too. For those who prefer to paint their vision blocks, a solid green plastic cupola is also supplied.
Tracks are T48 Rubber Chevron. As is the usual practice from Tasca, these are supplied in four flexible lengths. Two of the brown vinyl lengths make up each side of the track runs.
The M2 .50 cal machine gun has been seen in earlier releases. This is a little gem. Jerry cans are supplied too.
The modest photo-etched fret includes brush guards for the lights and periscopes.
Three marking options are provided for U.S. Army vehicles in northwest Europe 1944-1945. These include one distressed option with partially overpainted stars. The printed effect looks great.
This new1:35 scale U.S. Medium Tank M4A3(76)W is presented to the same high standard as Tasca’s earlier Sherman variants. The bulk of the sprues are all-new mouldings, but I have no doubt that this kit will be just as nice to build as Tasca’s previous releases.
Now, how about the other late-war U.S. variants such as the Easy Eight and the Jumbo?
Note 1: Source – Wikepedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M4_Sherman
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