1/48 IRON DIVISION RESIN REPLACEMENT LOWER HULL FOR TAMIYA M4/M4A1 KITS 3-PIECE BOLTED FINAL DRIVE #48006

1/48 IRON DIVISION RESIN REPLACEMENT LOWER HULL FOR TAMIYA M4/M4A1 KITS BLUNT NOSED FINAL DRIVE #48007

US retail price $9.95 each.

If you don't like the metal lower hulls in the Tamiya kits, then these are for you.

THE KIT

Each kit consists of 6 resin parts: a lower hull, differential cover and 4 wheel axles packaged in a plastic bag. A 1 page instruction sheet is included. Reviews of the differential covers can be seen HERE.

The Tamiya M4 Sherman series of kits all come with metal lower hulls. They are disliked by many modelers for various reasons. One of those reasons is the lack of detail on them. Iron Division addresses that issue with their resin conversion set.

The Iron Division lower hull is nicely detailed with bolts added to the bogie mounting plates and idler mounting plates . The bottom plate of the hull is detailed with the escape hatch, various drain plugs and the lower engine access panel. Measurements of a real M4A1 indicate that the Iron Division access panel is a bit narrow with the real one being approx 549mm wide or approx. 11mm in 1/48 scale while the Iron Division one is 9mm wide. The escape hatch on the Tamiya lower hull is a bit larger than the Iron Division one. At this time, I'm not sure which is correct but will have the measurements in 7-10 days. .The hull rear plate has been added as well so you don't have to add the Tamiya one to it.

The instruction sheet recommends sanding the mating surfaces to ensure a good fit. I also recommend the use of some styrene sheet to get a real good fit plus, this would fill in the open sponsons.


CONCLUSION

This is a nice alternative to the metal Tamiya lower hulls. The engine access plate dimension issue is very minor as most modelers don't know the dimensions of the real deal and when weathered, it'll be covered up anyway. The inclusion of the differential covers is a nice touch and will help make an already good Tamiya kit into an even better one. Highly recommended.

REFERENCES

Hunnicutt, R.P, Sherman, 1978, Presidio Press; Novato, CA.

Franz, Michael, editor U.S. WW II M4/M4A1 SHERMAN MEDIUM TANK Tankograd Technical Manual Series #6001; 2005; Tankograd Publishing; Erlangen, Germany

Mesko, Jim, Walk Around M4 Sherman Armor Walk Around Number 1; 2000; Squadron/Signal Publications; Carrollton, TX

My own personal photo collection


Thanks to Bob at Top Gun Military Apparel for the review sample. It can also be purchased on eBay. Their eBay i.d. is "topgunmilitary".


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