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M4A2 76mm 'Wet' Sherman

Italeri 1/35 M4A2 76mm 'Wet' Sherman Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2015 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject M4A2 76mm 'Wet' Sherman Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6483 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $48.95

First Look

M4A2 76mm 'Wet' Sherman
M4A2 76mm 'Wet' Sherman
M4A2 76mm 'Wet' Sherman
M4A2 76mm 'Wet' Sherman

The M4 Sherman was the first of series of US medium tanks that incorporated a larger turret ring to facilitate a larger main gun inside 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. The early 75mm gun which was an effective general-purpose weapon was not effective against later German panzers. The 76mm gun offered a higher velocity and an effective armor-piercing round which was fitted to the Sherman. The M4A2 was unique as it was the only version to be powered by a diesel engine. While the US Army rejected diesel-powered vehicles due to the additional logistics strain, diesel power was welcomed by the US Marines as well as key lend-lease partners like the Soviet Union.

Italeri has reissued their M4A2/A3 Sherman kit as part of its Victory in Europe series. This kit is molded in olive green styrene and presented on four parts trees plus a set of rubber (vinyl) track. The kit represents an M4A3 'wet' Sherman with the 76mm gun but without the tell-tale supplemental armor plates on the hull and turret. The kit provides a replacement engine deck cover to replicate the look of the diesel-powered M4A2 though that deck shouldn't slope down as much given that the diesel engine compartment was deeper than the gas-powered engine of the other Sherman variants.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Detailed VVSS suspension
  • Nice lower hull (no motorization holes)
  • Choice of gasoline (M4A3) or diesel (M4A2) engine deck
  • Spare track stowage on hull and turret as part of 'wet' supplemental armor
  • Nicely detailed 76mm main gun with breech and shield inside turret
  • M2 .50 caliber machine gun on turret pintle

The decals provide markings for four Soviet Army examples:

  • M4A2, 913, Austria, 1945
  • M4A2, 154, Germany, 1945
  • M4A2, 79, Germany, 1945
  • M4A2, 79, Poland, 1945

This is a relatively quick build which doesn't have any surprises in its assembly though care will be needed with the spring-loaded suspension parts. AMS modelers will want to take 10 or so degrees out of the rearward slope of the engine deck if they want to replicate the look of the diesel-powered Sherman.

My sincere thanks to Hobbico for this review sample!