Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale
Sherman V with FL-10 Turret UM
Kit #452
Article by Doug Chaltry; last updated 18 February 2024
One has to wonder if UniModel (UM) lacks research capability, or if they simply don't care. This is the second of their special plastic/resin releases for unusual variants of the Sherman that I have purchased, and just as with several other of UM's Sherman kits, it is beset with errors.

The following sprues include all the plastic parts for the subject kit, plus many that are not used. The sprue on the left comes with all of UM's M4A4/Firefly kits. The middle sprue is new to me, but based on the parts it contains, I believe it previously came with UM's "Sherman V w/60lb Aircraft Rocket" kit. The sprues on the right, shown front and back, are the new track sprues that I first encountered in UM's Sherman Jumbo kit. This is the one that has replaced the terrible T-48 tracks of all of UM's earlier Sherman kits, with very nicely designed T-51 rubber block tracks.

The primary problem with this kit is that even though the Egyptians mounted the FL-10 turret on the hull of an M4A4 Sherman, they re-engined the tanks with the twin GM diesels of the M4A2, with the engine deck and exhaust parts modified accordingly. This kit doesn't include the M4A2 engine deck from their earlier kits, thus one cannot accurately build a model of this tank from this kit. Curiously enough, however, it does include a resin exhaust (see below) for the diesel engines, so it appears as though UM was somewhat aware that something was different about this tank's engine. There are a number of details that the modeler would have had to add anyway, such as additional applique armor plates on both hull sides, an odd exhaust shroud on the rear overhang, numerous handholds etc. Much of this could have been provided in either plastic or resin, but honestly, that stuff won't be too hard to fabricate on our own. But the lack of the appropiate engine deck is troublesome for someone who may not have an extensive Sherman spare parts box.

Also, as can be seen in the instructions below, the kit was supposed to include four metal handholds, I assume preformed bent wire, but none were included in my box.

Shown below are the new resin bits for this kit, along with the turned brass gun barrel. Overall, the resin is cast to a higher quality than UM's Jumbo kit, which had pretty horrible resin parts. The detail is pretty well done on these, and I appreciate the small amount of resin plugs that need to be removed. As you can see, the crew hatches are molded closed, and the baffle for the gun barrel has a rod sticking out of what is supposed to be an opening at the tip; that will be fun to clean up. Other small parts are a gas can in a turret storage rack, and two antenna bases.

Like most UM kits, etched metal parts are included, with the track return skids being particularly appreciated.

As for the decals themselves, they look to be very nicely printed as far as colors, registration, very thin carrier film and so on. These markings are the ones seen on the tank preserved at the Latrun tank museum in Israel. I assume that there was potentially variety in the wheels and tracks that could be mounted on these tanks, but in order to use these markings (if they are in fact, correct to how the Egyptians marked their tanks), then you must use the sprocket wheel with the solid sprocket plate, and the open-spoke idler wheel. Both are included in the kit, though not illustrated on the box top, nor called for in the instructions. I have seen photos of these tanks with both T51 rubber block tracks (as included in the kit), and T54E1 steel chevron tracks (not included). The tank at Latrun has the T51 style.


While this kit has a number of problems, one can easily overcome them, if you have the spare parts at hand. But be aware that this kit cannot accurately portray this unique vehicle if built out of the box.

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Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale