Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale
Sherman Mk. IC Hybrid 72nd Brigade
Kit #72003
Article by Doug Chaltry; last updated 21 March 2017
Hybrid hulls are hard to come by, as none are yet offered in plastic by any company, and most of the conversion sets once offered in resin are now out of production, such as this one here. It's not a perfect piece, but given the rarity of this hull type, I'm glad I have it in my collection.

72nd Brigade created this piece by splicing together two Dragon hulls, a large-hatch M4A1 for the glacis, and a welded hull that I cannot identify for the rear hull. The splicing was done very well, though some of the other modifications to the part could have been improved. The weld lines between the two hull parts on the top of the hull should be straight across to the turret race, not angled backwards as depicted here. Notice the two engine deck plates - they didn't exactly fit very well into the hull opening, and large gaps exist around their edges. Not sure how to easily fix this; hopefully it won't look bad when painted.

The armored plate was correctly welded over the hull machinegun opening. Although the Firefly did not use the gun cradle on the glacis, the mounting brackets for the removed cradle remain, as they frequently did. There are a few minor errors - such as the fire extinguishers on the rear hull corners are mounted reversed, and not in the correct locations, the first aid box is located in an incorrect position on the rear armor plate (a phone box was sometimes seen in this location, but it was much larger), an oil filler cap was incorrectly added to the rear engine deck plate, and due to the hull that was used for this conversion, the bullet splash guards around the forward fuel filler caps do not connect with the turret race, which they should. As I said, all of these are minor and can be easily rectified or ignored.

The more egregious error to this piece came with the addition of the applique armor plates. First of all, they are depicted as being a double layer of plates. I don't recall ever seeing anything like this in photos. I have seen examples where the welding was done in layers - perhaps that's what they were trying to depict. These plates are also not correctly placed, being too far forward, particularly the right rear plate. As it looks now, we would have to create an awful lot of resin dust by grinding off these armor plates in order to create new ones. Not sure I want to do that.

On the plus side, they included some very nice storage boxes and spare track to add to the hull. I am particularly grateful for the two spare track shoe holders. Can't ever get enough of those.

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Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale