Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale
M4 Sherman "Direct Vision" 72nd Brigade
Kit #72012
Article by Doug Chaltry; last updated 21 March 2017
72nd Brigade meant for this piece to be a direct replacement hull for the Dragon M4 Deep Wader kit. Replacement engine exhaust parts are also included if one wants to use the set on Dragon's M4A2 Beutepanzer kit instead.

The conversion process began with the hull from the Dragon M4 kit with two key modifications. First was the engine deck, swapping out the forward deck plate with one that did not have the mounting for the wading stacks. As you can see in the scan, the replacement plate was not the exact size of the original, so there are very prominent gaps between the deck plates. Hopefully these won't be noticable once built. They also took the time to alter the lift handles on the rear plate, making them parallel with the hull sides, which was a feature only on the M4s built at Chrysler Defense Arsenal.

The second modification was to the front glacis plate to replace the periscopes with direct vision slots. This work was much more professionally done and looks very good. The radio mount was changed appropriately, but for some reason the rail around the hull machinegun (for attaching the protective shroud) was removed. That should probably be added back on. For those picky modelers out there, the pattern of weld lines denoting the individual components of the glacis plates are not exactly correct.

One other nitpicky observation is that the crowbar is the later, longer version, but can be easily shortened. What will not be so easy to correct, however, is the rear overhanging armor plate, which should be vertical, not angled as seen here, which was a later feature.

All of these are quite picky observations, and I actually think this is a very nice set. Long out of production from 72nd Brigade, it was briefly offered by Iron Division, but now that company is kaput as well.

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Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale