1/48 IRON DIVISION M4 COMPOSITE SHERMAN CONVERSION SET FOR TAMIYA M4A1

kit #48016 US retail price $11.95.

Another variant to add to your M4 Sherman collection.

THE KIT

The kit consists of 6 resin pieces packaged in a plastic bag. No instructions are included.

This is another well done bit of casting from Iron Division. It consists of a resin upper hull, 2 front fender pieces, a driver and co-driver's hatch, and a main gun travel lock. The upper hull in my sample was free of warping and for the most part, free of air bubbles. However, on either side of the lower edges of the hull, where the sand shield strip is, there were a few air bubbles These can easily be fixed with superglue or epoxy. In my case, I was planning on removing them anyway and replacing them with drilled out pe strips.

The hull rear was clean of air bubbles and even includes the opening for the engine starting crank.

The welds for the front casting appear to be in the correct places with the applique armor well shaped. One detail that appears to be incorrect is the ventilator cover located on the front of the upper hull just behind the co-driver's hatch. Iron Division has it as a raised dome like on the Tamiya M4A1 kit. However, all of the photos I have seen indicate that this should be a flat disc with four bolts on it. The reason for this is that the hull ventilator was moved to a position between the driver and co-driver. This piece can be snipped off and replaced with a disc of styrene. Bob at Iron Division has already told me that this minor error will be fixed.

I tried the upper hull on both a Tamiya lower hull and a HobbyBoss lower hull. Much like the Formations M4A2 this upper hull will need some sort of template for sponson fillers to get a good fit. When using the HobbyBoss lower hull, I found that it fit quite well. However, I would recommend the addition of some styrene strips on the lower inside edge of the upper hull so the HB sponson floors have something to hold onto. I think future issues of this conversion would benefit from a small instruction sheet like that in their M4A1 Wet Hull Conversion advising the modeller on what maybe the best way to get a good fit on either of the two lower hulls.


CONCLUSION

I found this conversion to be another overall winner! The ventilator cover is nothing major and is being taken care of. The only other recommendation for Iron Division would be to include a small instruction sheet. Other than that, another nice job! 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 "topgunmiliary".


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