Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale
M4A3 Sherman "Calliope" Lexa/Dragon
Kit #001
Article by Doug Chaltry; last updated 11 November 2022
This kit is a collaboration between Dragon and a new company named Lexa Models. It is called a "hybrid kit" because it includes a complete plastic M4A3 from Dragon, along with resin parts for the T-34 rocket launcher (the combination of the T-34 rocket launcher on the Sherman tank was called "Calliope"). Do not think that the version of Sherman tank in this box is anything related to a "Hybrid Sherman"; it's not.

The hull and wheels of the M4A3 kit is the same as Dragon's prior M4A3(76)W kit, but with the 75mm turret that previously came with their M4 Sherman with Deep Wading kit. Please refer to those previous articles to see scans and comments for the plastic parts. A scan of the resin parts is provided here:

I can't tell how the resin parts were made; they look like they were 3D-printed, yet the scans show what suspiciously look like air bubbles. So I think that the master parts were 3D-printed, and copies were cast in resin for the kits.

The early version of the T-34 launcher had the elevation arm connected directly to the Sherman's gun barrel, which restricted the use of the main gun. The later T-34E1 had the elevation arm moved to the rotor shield, which helped with the elevation. Parts are included for both the early and late elevation arms. The launch tubes are provided with rockets loaded and ready to fire. Also included in the kit, though not pictured here, are lengths of steel and copper wire to be used for the electrical connections for the rocket launcher.

The tracks are of the T-48 rubber chevron variety, but are no longer molded in Dragon's DS100 material (we all know what happens to those after years on the shelf). They have instead been provided molded in old-fashioned black vinyl. I have no idea how well these glue together with cyanoacrylate or other plastic cements, or if we really need to melt the ends together as instructed.

Markings are provided for COLD STORAGE, a well-known Calliope in photos and video. A photo is presented below that shows some specifics regarding weathering and stowage (note the German helmet on the lift hook). Also note that this tank mounted T-54E1 steel chevron tracks with extended end connectors, not the T48 rubber tracks that are included in the kit. And if the spare road wheels on the front hull are any indication, COLD STORAGE mounted the open-spoke style of road wheels, not the stamped style included in this kit.

The T-34 rocket launcher was mounted on several versions of the Sherman tank, such as M4s, M4A1s, and M4A3s, both large and small hatch vehicles.

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Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale