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Third Group #35017 Sherman #1

Frank De Sisto

THIRD GROUP Water slide decals for 1/35th scale AFV's. 35-017, Sherman #1, M4A1 (early, mid & late). Contains one water slide decal sheet, approximately 4 x 6 inches, one, double sided instruction sheet with painting and placement instructions and references. Available from retail and mail order shops. Price: $7.00 US.

This recent release from these folks give three schemes for US-crewed M4A1 (cast hull, 75mm, dry stowage) Sherman medium tanks. The quality of the decals themselves is first rate, being printed by Microscale. They are crisp, in register and have excellent color saturation. In some cases, blue drab as well as white serial numbers are given.

The instruction sheets are the strong points. They list references and they detail colors and stowage peculiar to the vehicle depicted. They will also show production differences such as track, suspension and mantlet styles.
The only shortcoming with this particular set is the actual subjects depicted, as they are currently available either as in-the-box markings, or from other after-market sheets. Also I think that three subjects is a bit too few to give good value for money. Certainly there should be at least four or perhaps five subjects included. As white stars take up much of the space on the sheets, and most US AFV modelers should have many spares, perhaps they could be deleted from other releases in the future in the interest of including more subjects.

Subject #1 is the familiar "Eternity", a two-color camouflaged example from the Sicilian Campaign in July of 1943.

Subject #2 is for the well-known "Weenie One", also in two-color camouflage, from Italy in March 1944.

Subject #3 is for the M4A1 seen on the cover of the Squadron "In Action" book on the Sherman, "Battling Bitch" in Normandy in August of 1944. It is in plain OD.

Recommended with reservations, skill level: basic. Value for money: fair

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