Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale

HäT Industries (Armourfast)
Sherman M4A3 105mm
Kit #99015

Article by Doug Chaltry; last updated 6 August 2008.

Even though I am not a wargamer, for some reason I have a soft spot for HäT's Sherman kits. Maybe because this company makes no pretensions about their kits being anything other than what they obviously are: wargaming kits. And they are very nice wargaming kits. They are well researched, and scale out very well to 1/72nd. This kit has very few parts and is quite easy to assemble. But it can also provide a good basis for static display modelers to use for upgrade and conversion projects. The hull correctly represents the big-hatch, wet stowage hull design. There is some indistinct detail on the front hull plate, such as lift rings, headlight mounts, and the gun travel lock. All of these can be easily replaced by modelers wanting more and better detail. The rear hull lacks any sort of detail, which is beneficial, so there are no tools and other such items to be sanded off. It's a clean slate for adding additional detail. It would have been nice if the kit had included the exhaust vents underneath the rear deck, so instead we'll have to scavenge one from another kit.

The wheels and tracks are a little simplistic, but look fairly decent when painted. They are ideal for quick build projects, but the tracks in particular, would best be replaced for a static display kit.

The turret is shaped and sized very well, and this kit shows a first for me: open hatches, though I understand that some other HäT kits that I don't own, also have this feature. This is a late, high-bustle turret with an all-around vision cupola for the commander's hatch. The surface detail may not be up to Dragon standards, but it's pretty nice regardless. The gun mount is unique to the 105mm, and the rotor shield is actually one of the most scale accurate pieces available to us, beating even Dragon and Eduard. Once again, the gun barrel is molded perfectly straight, and the machinegun is very nicely done. One item lacking from the turret roof, however, is the extra ventilator that was located on the turret bustle. Not easy to scratchbuild, but some other kits out there come with extra pieces that may be used here.

As with all the other HäT kits, I recommend this one to all wargamers and others who are looking for a simple, but accurate, Sherman to add to their collection. With just a little bit of extra detail work, this model will look really nice.

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Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale