Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale
M4A3E2 Jumbo Black Dog
Kit #T72040
Article by Doug Chaltry; last updated 8 January 2015

Although there have been several Sherman Jumbo kits and conversions produced over the years, very few are currently available, this being one of them (as well as the newest). It is typical of the Black Dog line-up, being very well designed and molded. Almost everything one needs to convert an existing Sherman kit into a Jumbo is included in this set.

The primary parts are of course the hull and turret. The hull is modified from a Dragon M4A3 W hull, and has had the appropriate changes made to it, those being the addition of the armor plates along the hull sides and front. Not much else was changed on this part, and I assume it will be a drop fit onto any Dragon M4A3 Sherman kit. Making it fit another manufacturer's kit, such as Trumpeter or UM, may require some adjusting to achieve a good fit. The turret is a modified T23 76mm turret, with the massive armored walls very well represented. Although you cannot see it in this scan, there is a very nice cast metal texture to the turret walls. All crew hatches are molded open, with only the loader's oval hatch cover being provided with this set; the others need to be sourced from the kit being converted. There is no smoke grenade launcher on the front left face of the turret (thank you to Rob Haelterman for pointing this out).

Notice the opening on the turret roof in front of the loader's hatch. This is a holdover from the Dragon turret that was modified for this set, and is a periscope opening (which also needs to come from the converted kit). On the box cover, it shows a ventilator added to this opening, which is quite incorrect.

Very few parts are needed from the converted plastic kit, those being the lower hull, the running gear, hatches, and other minor hull details. Note that these Jumbos did not have headlights mounted on the front hull plate, but it does need the bow machinegun added. This set includes both 75mm and 76mm gun barrels, giving the model builder a nice option of which tank to build, assuming suitable decals can be found (none are included in this set).

The only difficulty when building a Jumbo Sherman, not only with this conversion set but with all others on the market as well, is the availability of tracks with the extended end connectors. Almost all photos I have seen of Jumbo Shermans had the T48 rubber chevron track with extended end connectors. As far as I know, the only available tracks of this type are a very recent release by OKB Grigorov in resin, which are superb tracks.

The casting of the resin parts is first rate, with only a couple of very minor holes in the resin at the very tips of the gun barrels.

So, all in all, a very nice set.

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Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale