I consider decals & color drawings to
be impressionism, not accurate historical reference.
Would be curious to see a period photo that clearly shows
T144895 painted on an M4A1.
As far as the model goes, I have at least assembled the
one in question, so have a few insights.
The upper hull makes or breaks a Sherman kit (IMO) & I
would give the Dragon a C.
The Tasca M4A1 DV is done with a little more finesse, but
they flubbed the drivers' hatch area, so C +.
Two companies provided the 200 or so early production
M4A1s that the Brits got before El Alamein.
Those made by Pressed Steel Car would have had riveted
lower hulls as provided in the kits, & those made by Lima Locomotive
would had welded lower hulls.
Would guess they got slightly more Lima M4A1s which
had rather complex tail lamp guards, while the PSCs do not appear to have
been equipped with them at the time.
The DML model's upper hull lifting rings are very nice
recreations of what was typical of Lima Locomotive, although they seem a
little large (1/32 scale?).
I wanted to use Dragon's very nice riveted lower
hull on their M4 DV, so did the M4A1 as a Lima, & substituted a
welded lower hull from an old Dragon M4A1, since it has
the appropriate "quarter round" contour where it joins to the belly plate.
The triangular shaped air scoops appear to have been
a little more prevalent in period pix.
I think they were fabricated by Chester Tank
Depot, where most of the Alamein Shermans were processed.
I suspect the quarter round ones were done by Toledo
I used the quarter round ones because those kit
parts are more accurate looking than the triangulars.
>The engine deck has depressions at the corners of the
engine access doors. Dragon have parts to fill these. Which should I use? G14 or
G13 or none or both? Frankly I'm confused.
Just flip a coin, since this is unlikely to be seen
in any period photo.
I filled in the rear ones, & left the front ones open.
There's a very early Lima built M4A1 monument in France
that has both front & rear open.
Period pix show straight 75mm gun barrels.
Suggest you add the rail shipping tie downs to
the bogies for interest.
Mount the drivers' hatch handles toward the back of the
hatches & on an angle.
The lifting rings on the gun shield should be in the early
position where they nearly touch the rotor shield.
DML's rotor shield sits tight against the gun shield,
whereas the real ones stood out a bit.
The engine crank tool that DML provides comes with most of
It represents a one piece extrusion that didn't appear in
production until about mid 1943.
The earlier ones were three piece affairs with square
edges. Tasca provides a nice one.
Optional, just for interest, I put a
couple "pepperpot hole" blank off plates on either side of the engine access door in the rear.
I've attached a couple pix.
Enjoy the build,