kit represents a late production M4A1 Sherman with the larger 76mm gun and "wet"
stowage. This tank first saw action in Europe in late July, 1944 with the Operation
Cobra, when the 2nd and 3rd Armored Divisions spearheaded the breakout from the
hedgerows during the Normandy Campaign. The tank was introduced to U.S. forces
in Italy in August.
T-23 turret on this kit is the early version with the round loader's hatch and
split cover. The later version of the turret has an oval hatch. You can achieve
this with Verlinden's "Sherman Update Kit" listed below. Both types
of turrets used the same commander's cupola.
is an old kit from Italeri but still ranks as one of the best. With some minimal
work this kit can easily be brought to competitive standards. There are some ejector
marks under the hatches and an occasional sink mark that need attention. The kit
does provide periscope and headlight guards that, while thicker than their photoetch
counterparts, are probably quite acceptable to the modeler who doesn't yet feel
comfortable with using photoetch. Most
modelers build this kit without the sandshield, which was rarely seen intact in
kit includes one figure that, being to typical Italeri standards, is totally expendable.
Adding DML's U.S. Tank Crew or even the more recent Tamiya tank figures is an
inexpensive way to outfit your rig. Otherwise, there are many resin figures that
will make fine additions.
I have not yet built this kit, which has been surpassed by the DML "Operation
Cobra" Sherman. But this article provides ways you can address its relatively
few shortcomings in rough order of their significance. Along with the other usual
references, you might want to pick up a copy of Military Modelling (Vol.32,
No.7, June/July 2002) for Steve Zaloga's buildup of a "Cobra Sherman"
(he recommends using pressed spoke wheels with the Italeri's suspension rather
than original open spoke wheels).
"old wive's tale" that often comes up about the Italeri hull is that
the sides are not vertically true. This is true and they are not
supposed to be true. Check out Kurt Laughlin's convincing article
on this slippery slope.
has inaccurate stepped-up section near mantlet.||Replace
with barrel from Jordi Rubio or Chesapeake Model Designs, or putty and sand the
stepped area smooth. Do not use the replacement barrel offered by Elefant, as
it is an exact copy of the inaccurate Italeri piece.|
mantlet, upper hull, and transmission cover lack texture.||Use
Gunze Mr. Surfacer 500, or Bondo thinned with Testors liquid cement, to add texture;
be care not to overdo it, because Sherman texture is more flat and with shallow
pits rather than raised and bumpy. Do not apply to rolled steel engine deck and
are stiff and springy.|
smooth rubber block tracks are less common on late models represented by this
kit. Replace with rubber chevron tracks from Tamiya's M4A3 or DML's M4A1, or the
AFV Club set of individual links. RHPS hard-to-find steel cleat track is another
port should not have seam.||Use
Testors Contour Putty or similar to blend seam where port frame meets turret.
tools are poor.||Replace
with others from Formations, Tamiya,
Verlinden, or Collectors Brass.|
mount is British style.||Replace
with aftermarket item from Formations
or Verlinden update set.|
are missing on gas filler caps.||Add
with bits of plastic rod or sprue.|
numbers missing from turret top and under transmission nose.||Add
numbers carved from sprue, or from KMC or Aber photoetch products.|
air cleaners are less common round type.||While
these are acceptable, it was more common to see the square air cleaners that are
found in Tamiya's M4 and DML's M4A1. There is an unused set on the M4 sprue of
Tamiya's Breakthrough and 105mm Shermans. Or go with the resin version from Formations.|
machine gun detail is soft.||Replace
with Tasca, Academy,
Verlinden, or other kit spares from Tamiya products.|
late M4A1 Shermans had spoked wheels as supplied in the kit, but...||You
can use solid dished wheels. You can even mix solid and spoked, as was done when
necessary repairs forced the use of whatever was at hand.|
you want to make an "early late" M4A1...|
the kit's vertical suspension, with its upraised roller return arms. Tasca
makes an excellent horizontal return arm suspension that accommodates the Italeri
kit. Or pull the suspension found in Academy's M12 GMC.
the raised ridge at the end of the kit's barrel (you will still need to fix the
rest of the barrel to get the appropriate taper).
can use a plain barrel with cap over brake threads (as in kit), or...||Use
a plain 76mm barrel or one with muzzle brake.|
it olive drab, or...||Go
with black camo bands of paint as used by the 3rd Armored Division.|
you're doing a Sherman used in "Operation Cobra"...|
a Cullin hedgerow cutter, available from Custom Dioramics or The Tank Workshop.
do not use the air vent dome on the back exterior wall of the turret. It was recognized
in the mid-2000s that this feature was missing on the Cobra Shermans.
you want to build an M4A1(76)HVSS for a WWII diorama...||You're
skating on thin ice. According to Steve Zaloga, U.S. Army records indicate the
M4A1E8(76) was built during the lates stages of the war and some were sent to
Europe. But no photos have been found to show them in combat service.|
some other update sets that you could use with this kit:
- Sherman M4,
M4A1, M4A3 (35032) - Extensive photoetch set for those who want to go whole
Sherman Gun Barrel (CMD 16D) - Metal gun tube, includes muzzle brake.
Tank Tools w/Mounting Straps (CB0039) - Brass replacement tank tools.
Pioneer Tools w/Mounting Straps (CB0043) - Brass replacement tools, such as
shovels, axes, etc.
Detail Set (CD2001) - Photoetch details.
Periscopes (CD2002) - Resin and photoetch periscopes and guards.
Caliber U.S. Machine Guns (CD 2003) - Resin and photoetch parts to make two
- M4A1 Sherman
(35339) - Another large assortment of photoetch details.
U.S. AFV Periscope Set 1 (MG24) - Set of clear plastic periscopes; you carefully
paint the metal areas, leaving the periscope lens clear.
76mm M1A2 (TG-32)
- Metal barrel includes both the flash suppressor and and threaded brake cap.
76mm M1A1 (TG-42) - Plain style barrel, without threads or suppressor, in
Sherman (TTWD 105B) - Small fret of photoetch with such essentials as the
periscope and headlight guards.
U.S. Metal Chevron Individual Link Track Set (RH04) - Link-to-link late war
track with metal chevron.
Sherman Detail Set (SH-078)
- Photoetch set, includes numbers for casting marks.
- .50 Cal M2
Machine Gun with M31 Truck Mount (F3501)
- Nicely molded gun in plastic.
Update Kit (2024) - Offers periscopes, two antenna mount styles, dished road
wheels, oval loader's hatch, and more.
Super Detail Set (0263) - Photoetch periscope and headlight guards, machine
gun cradle, tool straps, and more.
Tank Periscopes WWII/Early '50s (0341) - Various periscopes for detailing
Tools, Racks, Clamps (1476) - Resin and photoetch tools, straps and buckles,
and racks for most U.S. AFVs.
.50 Machine Guns (1729) - Four resin guns with cradles and five spare ammo
boxes. Much improved over more fiddly resin and photoetch set # 0372.