Monday, 11 June 2012

Plastic Soldier Company 1/72 Sherman M4A1

I haven't bought this relatively new model from PSC yet but my curiosity was piqued when I saw it in my local store. It fills a gap in the market for quick build Shermans as both Italeri and Armourfast have concentrated on the box shaped versions of this tank rather than the sleeker cast hull M4A1 version that PSC have produced.

From a British point of view this is an important tank because it was this version that was among the first to be deployed by them in North Africa in late 1942. But it's also nice that PSC has chosen to do a version that isn't already adequately done as a quick build, thus duplicating models already available from Italeri and Armourfast.

The main feature I want to highlight here is that - from the photos - you can see that PSC have chosen to follow the track system that they established with their T-34 models. This is great news as the quality of the tracks currently available to quick build Sherman models are deplorable and widely bemoaned. They use a multi-part system that has the road wheel component enclosed between two separate upper and lower track units.

This means that the PSC Sherman tracks have a passable track tread texture! In this case a T54E1 Chevron steel tread which - ironically - isn't appropriate for the earliest British versions of this tank! The early British Shermans seem to have been equipped with the T41 rectangular rubber treads. Typical!

Likewise the PSC kit comes with the later gun mantlet with extended shield (M34A1) rather than the early narrow shield (M34). Groan! But, other nice features are the commanders hatch, which can be built open or closed and a nice little .50cal and there are some useful extras like spare track and some stowage.

So - in conclusion - a mixed bag. A good attempt at a much needed quick build Sherman, but a pity about the fact that PSC seems to have chosen to standardize some of the parts between this and it's 76mm 'Wet' variant of the tank and thus spoiling some of the early North Affrican MK. II features that would have been nice to have seen on this kit (rubber track shoes and narrow gun mantlet).


  1. A good price though for 3 models! I'm tempted to get a box of these soon.

    1. Yeah, I'm thinking about it. You can't go wrong, I think it's better value than the PSC T-34 set - especially as it's generally better designed than their T-34s.

      When I think about it I'm glad PSC has split the two M4A1 variants into two different kits - this 75mm and the 76mm 'Wet' Sherman. Had they done what they did with the T-34 set and included both turrets in the one box the price would have been pushed up. As it is £12.95 (£4.31+ per tank) is a very good price