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Tamiya's all-new 1/48 scale
M4 Sherman

Early Production



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Kit No. MM32505
Scale: 1/35
Contents and Media: Olive high-pressure injection moulded plastic; one die-cast, pre-primed part for main hull; markings for three Shermans.
Price: 1,600 yen
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Great fit and easy build; crisp detail; cast lower hull adds add strength to assembly; excellent link and length tracks; markings include two-colour camo option.
Disadvantages: Sponsons not boxed in (open to hull above tracks); ejector pin marks on inside of tracks and hatches; no tow cable; no interior detail (not even a breech); no figures.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


Reviewed and Built by Steve Palffy

with images & additional text by Brett Green

Tamiya's 1/48 scale M4 Sherman Early Production will be available online from Squadron.com




I opened the front door this morning to almost trip over a parcel. Somehow I had missed the courier earlier, but luckily he left his precious cargo. Inside the box were two kits - Tamiya's 1/48 scale Sherman and Sturmgeschutz III.

After a careful and highly scientific selection process (eenie meenie miney moe), I decided that I would start working on the Sherman without delay.

Tamiya's 1/48 scale M4 Sherman Early Production kit is at least as well detailed as the recently reviewed Tiger I, including link and length plastic tracks, and separate hatches to permit the installation of crew figures.

The suspension is very well done and appropriate for this version, featuring the horizontal return roller mounting and "packed" return rollers



In common with the other 1/48 scale Tamiya armour releases, the lower hull and hull sides are supplied as a single, solid metal casting. This certainly lends weight to the overall model, but with the fixed suspension and the link and length tracks, the model would look exactly the same weight with or without the cast hull. I cannot really think of any great advantage to using metal for this assembly unless it has reduced tooling or production costs considerably.

The tracks are beautiful, with full detail on the outside and side faces of the links. I believe that these may be the best detailed Sherman tracks available as standard issue with any kit. The only wrinkle is that the inside of the track links suffer from some ejector pin marks..



The lower rear hull plate is supplied as a separate part that is glued to the die cast hull. This offers hope that we will see different versions of the Sherman being released in the future.

Some of the tools are moulded to the hull, but they are very well done. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to tell which tools are separate and which are integrally moulded.

In common with its 1/35 scale cousins, Tamiya's 1/48 scale M4 has open sponsons. In plain English this means that the inside of the hull is open above the tracks. You can see clear through the model from various points, including the mantlet sighting holes and the hull vents. If this excessive ventilation bothers you, it will not take a great deal of time and effort to block off the sponsons with sheet styrene.


I would love to describe construction in detail, but all I can tell you is that I opened the box and the next thing I can remember a completed model was sitting in front of me!

Well, maybe there was more to it than that, but construction was even easier than the Tiger. The kit almost built itself over a single session of around 4-5 hours.



I was especially impressed with the ease and precision of the tracks and suspension.





Tamiya's 1/48 scale M4 Sherman Early Production is another great kit.

In some ways - good ways - it reminds me of simpler kits of my youth. Kits that you could sit down and build in an afternoon. This kit does not have 600 parts, It does not have multimedia. It does not require a degree in microsurgery or origami to make the parts fit.

Of course, it is different to the earlier generation of kits in many other ways. In the 21st century, you can now build a highly detailed, highly accurate kit in an afternoon. And it fits together perfectly. If you are feeling really nostalgic though, you can still leave some gluey fingerprints on the hull.

Now, where is that StuG III?

Highly Recommended.



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Review Text Copyright 2005 by Steve Palffy and Brett Green
Images Copyright 2005 by Brett Green
Page Created 13 January, 2005
Last updated 13 January, 2005

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