UM 1/72 Sherman w/T1E3 Mine Roller Kit First Look
|Date of Review||July 2010||Manufacturer||UM|
|Subject||Sherman w/T1E3 Mine Roller||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||0221||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Simple build, nice details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$12.80|
The M4 Sherman was the first of series of US medium tanks that incorporated a larger turret ring to facilitate a larger main gun in the turret. Its predecessor also had a large main gun, but this was located in the bow while a smaller caliber gun was placed in its turret.
The Sherman was also a result of a US combat strategy where tanks were not intended to fight other tanks, rather they were designed to create and exploit weaknesses in enemy lines attacking softer targets and reinforced positions. The job of killing German armor was left to the infantry, who quickly adapted a number of tank chasses to carry high-velocity armor piercing guns.
In reality, the Sherman faced off against German armor and held its own through a series of improvements and field modifications designed to counter improvements in enemy armor.
Unimodel has been releasing a series of Sherman kits in 1/72 scale, this is the first one I've had the pleasure to see. This kit an M4A1 (I believe) equipped with the heavy T1E3 Mine Roller which is pushed ahead of the tank, provides a similar ground footprint as any other Sherman tank, and is designed to detonate land mines. This system is used to clear a path forward for a line of tanks trying to cross through known or suspected minefields.
UM (generally Unimodel, but also Ukrainian Models), has released this nice looking kit in 1/72nd scale and it is molded in green styrene and presented on 10 parts trees, plus a single fret of photo-etched parts. The molding is crisp and clean and free of flash. The layout of the kit is straightforward with no use of photo-etch or other multimedia parts, so this will be a relatively simple project, but it does have some details and complexities that will require some patience.
The Sherman kit appears to be a straightforward build with the lower hull built up from several parts to create the tub, then installation of the suspension, wheels and track.
The upper hull is also straightforward and together with the turret, will build into an early Sherman should you wish to set aside the mine roller.
The mine roller is a rather large assembly in its own right and evidently the Sherman crew that was stuck with pushing this beast found it difficult to maneuver and even more difficult to take off of roads across country. There is a bumper on the rear of the kit (and the real tank) to allow a second Sherman to add additional pushing power to get this roller moving.
Decals are provided for several examples, one with some interesting hull artwork.
This is a nice-looking kit of a rather unusual variant of the Sherman series which did see combat in Europe. This kit will really look nice with the proper amount of weathering and drybrushing to bring out the details molded into this kit.
My sincere thanks to HobbyTerra.com for this review sample!