1/48 IRON DIVISION M4 SHERMAN DIRECT VISION UPPER HULL FOR TAMIYA KITS #48023

US retail price $12.95.

THE KIT

This resin conversion kit consists of three parts: upper hull, left and right sponson covers in a plastic bag. No instructions are included.

This is a real simple and easy conversion for the Tamiya M4 or M4A1 Sherman kits. Drawing from the Tamiya M4, Iron Division has changed the cast driverís hoods into the direct vision slot type. This type was seen throughout the war, especially in Europe as Baldwin Locomotive Works produced the direct vision type throughout the duration of their production run. My review sample was a very nice three piece affair. The white colored resin hull was cast very cleanly with no air bubbles present. The driverís hoods are shaped very well and match up with reference photos. The vision slot covers are molded closed but can probably be opened by carefully scribing with a #11 blade. All of the welds beads are raised and foundry logos/casting numbers have been added as well. However, showing its Tamiya M4 lineage, the pioneer tools are molded onto the upper hull. Some may want to remove them and add tools from the Tamiya M4A1 or from the Hauler set.

No instructions are provided so attaching the sponson covers was a matter of simply test fitting to see which one went on which side. A small amount of clean up with a sanding stick and #11 blade was required to fit the sponson covers. Plus, a small amount of clean up was required on the hull bottom. The turret ring and driverís hatch openings have very thin resin flash that needs to be removed and that was quickly accomplished with a #11 blade. I test fit the hull onto a Tamiya metal lower hull with a Tamiya early cast differential cover. A slight bit of sanding was required to fit the differential cover bolt strip to the Iron Division hull. When fitting a Tamiya turret to the hull, the locking tabs on the turret will need to be removed and a small amount of trimming will need to be done to the hull for a good fit. Again, very quick and easy clean up to do.


CONCLUSION

This is a very nice and needed addition to the Iron Division Sherman line. With the exception of the molded on pioneer tools, I can find nothing really wrong with it. 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 Iron Division for the review sample.

PLEASE NOTE THAT AS OF SEPTEMBER 30, 2008, IRON DIVISION WILL NO LONGER BE PRODUCING 1/48 ARMOR ITEMS. ORDERS FOR THE 1/48 SCALE LINE WILL BE ACCEPTED UP UNTIL SEPTEMBER 21, 2008.


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