Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale

M4A3 Sherman 105mm
Kit # 7603

Article by Doug Chaltry; last updated 31 October 2007.

This kit comes in two versions: the standard version with a small fret of photoetched details, and a ProfiPack version that has new decals and a more extensive fret of photoetched details. The standard kit is covered first, followed by the ProfiPack version at the bottom of the page.

Both kits shares most of their parts with the previously reviewed Eduard and Extratech Sherman kits. The majority of the kit, including the hull and running gear, are the same as the Eduard M4A3 (76)W, and I refer the viewer to that article for a description of those parts. The only sprue differentiating this kit from the 76mm kit is the turret sprue.

The turret is essentially the same as the turret included in the Extratech M4 kit, but with some minor changes. First of all, it comes with the 105mm gun and mount, which are nicely done, though not as sharply detailed as some of the resin versions I have seen of this gun mount. The only change to the main turret piece itself is the addition of the loader's hatch, which unfortunately is molded closed. It is difficult to tell at this scale whether or not the right turret cheek has had its armor thickened, but if it had been, there should be a notch at the bottom of the thickened portion around the turret ring. That should be easy to add. The gunner's periscope should have an armored cover on it, and etched brush guards should have been provided for the loader's and commander's periscopes as well. The glaring deficiency of this turret is that it is a low-bustle turret. This was correct for the Extratech M4 kit, but is not correct for Shermans with the 47° large-hatch hulls. It should have been a high-bustle turret, and I don't think it would be very easy to convert this on your own, unless you are skilled at scratch-building. Perhaps some aftermarket firm will provide us with a nice high-bustle replacement turret (with open loader's hatch please). One nice feature of this kit is that it gives you the option of building either the early or late 105mm turret by using either the commander's split hatch or cupola (although the cupola probably is not appropriate for a low-bustle turret either).

The fret of etched parts is the same as included in the M4A3 (76)W kit:

Markings are included for only two versions, both US:

  • 756th Tank Battalion, February, 1945, Germany
  • Unidentified Unit, Trois Vierge, Luxembourg, 24 January 1945

Being single color, registration is luckily not a problem. Otherwise, they are very finely printed with sharp edges, and opaque ink.

M4A3 (105mm) Sherman ProfiPack
Kit # 7604

As mentioned above, this kit is the same as the standard kit, but with different decals and an extensive fret of photoetched parts. (I must say that I prefer the Extratech Extrapack kits over these Eduard ProfiPack kits because in addition to the enhanced photoetched, the the Extrapack kits also include a turned metal gun barrel, resin detail parts and accessories.)

As you can see, a great number of details are included on the etched fret, including brackets to attach the tools to the hull, and track return skids, which I think are a necessity for this kit, considering the poor plastic parts. One minor thing that I do find disappointing, however, is that the new fret of photoetch includes only a single set of brush guards for the head and tail lights, whereas the original kit release had a double set of pieces, which came in handy if you botched up a piece, or for use on other kits. Oh well.

The markings are for two vehicles:

  • 756th Tank Battalion, February 1945, Germany
  • 501e RCC ère Division Blindee, Paris France, August 1944

The decals are thin, sharply printed, and the register is almost perfect. One would have hoped that for an advanced kit like this that they could have included more than two schemes, but considering how cheap these kits have become over the past couple of years, I guess I won't complain too loudly.

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Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale