Kit Preview : 1/76 SHQ M4A1 Sherman II early

SHQ carries an extensive range of 1/76 (20mm) wargaming models and figures in white metal, many unique. Vehicles tend to be on the chunky side, mainly due to the thickness of metal panels. Those trucks are as well armored as Tiger tanks.

About the vehicle

About the kit
I was looking for a decent Sherman II hull in order to replace the dreadful Milicast one. SHQ being on sale at Brookhurst I took a chance on SHQ's Shermans. They only had 2 left, this one and a bizarre Jumbo HVSS, which is not a variant that existed. This M4A1 is a pleasant surprise. The hull looks accurate in size. It is an early version with direct vision blocks and comes with two transmission covers, cast and bolted. The bolted cover is too coarse for my taste. The one on the milicast kit looks better. It will probably be the only part of the hull that I will use. The kit also includes sandshields. My bag must be incomplete as the MGs and headlights are missing. Not much of a loss as they are probably too thick. The tools are all separate, a nice touch even though they are a bit oversize.
The single piece VVSS suspension and track assemblies are the right size. They have a band of metal reinforcing the tracks, which makes them look very thick from the side. Ideally the space between the guide teeth should be hollowed out. This is more easily said than done. The sprockets are missing their axle. I suppose you have to provide them yourself or use the thick rod provided. I would have preferred the earlier M3 type suspensions for an El Alamein Sherman but these will have to come from a Matchbox Priest. As is, the model can depict a tank used in Tunisia, Sicily and Italy.
The turret has both M3 and M3A1 mantlets and 2 applique armor pieces. The upper periscope on the left side of the turret’s roof should positioned further back, at least when compared to other M4 early turrets. The 2 part stowage box provided does not match known models.

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