Lend-lease Mainstay

Sherman M4A2 75mm
Zvezda 1/35, Ref. 3702
The kit is attractively boxed up in the now usual Zvezda style, a strong blank cardboard box contained inside a thinner full-colour sleeve.  The later features a Soviet vehicle as box art and at the back, colour schemes (Olive Drab overall) for two tanks on the Eastern Front, one operating in Belarus, the other in Crimea in 1944. Indeed the US Army was not too keen on this diesel-powered variant of the Sherman and if the US Marines did get equipped with it, most M4A2s were shipped to the USSR.
Despite the protection, upon opening the kit, three of the parts are loose in the box and one of the tow cables is broken up in several places.  Not really big issues, the sprues are bagged up and the cables are better replaced by ‘home-made’ metal ones.  Most parts, including the tracks (in sections and individual links) are molded in light grey; headlights, periscopes and viewing blocks are in clear plastic; the level of detailing is very good, ejection marks are present but located where they won’t matter.  Instructions are clearly printed in black and white, while a full-colour sheet offers painting and decaling instructions. Decals are well defined and appear to be pretty thin, with markings for two Soviet and two US Marines Shermans (one in the USA in 1943, the other in the Mariana Islands in 1944). One thing that will need to be improved is the texture of the cast turret and cast transmission housing, both way too smooth in the kit, but neat casting numbers do appear on the turret and suspension parts.  Weld lines on the hull would also improve this offering.  But given its attractive price, those are fairly small issues, easily fixed. This should be a fairly pleasurable build.

zvezda.org.ru

Review by Renaud Labarbe; Pictures by Dominique Jadoul.

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