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M4A1 Kit

Italeri 1/35 M4A1 Sherman w/U.S. Infantry Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2019 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject M4A1 Sherman w/U.S. Infantry Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6568 Primary Media Styrene
Pros New glueable track and a set of tank rider figures Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $57.99

First Look

M4A1 Kit
M4A1 Kit
M4A1 Kit
M4A1 Kit
M4A1 Kit

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.

Italeri has reissued their classic M4A1 Sherman kit which was first released in 1977, back when Italeri was still spelled Italaerei. This release does feature new glueable tracks and a set of infantry rider figures. Molded in olive green styrene, this kit is presented on three parts trees plus two trees molded in gray and the new glueable vinyl tracks. Considering the age of this kit, the molds have held up well and Italeri didn't do what other manufacturers of that time did - mold outlines of the various pioneering tools on the hull, nor did they simply mold those tools as part of the hull. As has been described in previous reviews of this kit, Italeri did okay with the details though it does have a few shape issues that also plague just about every other Sherman kit produced worldwide. There is also a wealth of aftermarket products to address those issues for the die-hard Sherman lover, though this kit will look fine out of the box or with some simple modeling skills.

While the hatches are all positionable, there are no interior details to see inside other than the main gun breech in the turret. There are no crew figures provided in the original kit to pose in open hatches, though there are also many aftermarket solutions there as well.

What is new in this release, in addition to the glueable tracks, are a set of tank rider figures by MasterBox which provide a variety of seated poses for placement around the hull and engine deck. When you load all of the figures onto the tank, they will obscure many of the details of the tank, but provide a nice vignette right out of the box. The MasterBox figure set also provides a tank commander figure, but since the periscopes are molded closed for the driver, you'll want to either modify those details or add an aftermarket driver, as a minimum.

Markings are provided for three examples:

  • M4A1, B Company, 752 Tank Bn, V Army, Bologna, Italy, 1945
  • M4A1, I Company, 32 Armored Regt, 3 Armored Div, Normandy, France, 1944
  • M4A1, 1st Platoon, D Company, 66 Armored Regt, 2 Armored Div, Normandy, France, 1944

This is a good kit for the modeler coming back into the hobby and not quite ready for the hyper-detailed kits from other manufacturers that try to recreate intricate details and end up with a box of really tiny parts. The kit provides two good examples of two-color camouflage tanks to avoid the monotony of an overall OD green Sherman.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!