Modeling the Sherman M4A1 76mm

At this time, Sherman modelers lack a state-of-the-art 76mm M4A1.  The original Italeri kit M4A1, although good for the time, definitely shows its’ age when placed next to one of the newer Tasca/Asuka kits.  Tamiya released what they labeled as an M1 Super Sherman.  This kit combined a new upper hull and turret with their original lower hull and suspension.  Of the three major Sherman players, (Dragon, Tasca/Azuka, Tamiya) the Tamiya suspension looks to be the most crude.

What I have shown below, is a way to bring together the best components from several kits, to provide a good foundation for an early 76mm M4A1.  The lower hull and suspension are from the Tasca M4A1 Late, kit 35-012.  The transmission / final drive housing and early 76mm turret are from the Tasca M4A3 76mm, kit 35-19.  The upper hull is from the Tamiya M1 Super Sherman, kit 35322.

Because the lower hull was welded on the later M4A1’s, the rivets have to be removed, Fig. 1.  I have a few tips on the assembly of the Tasca hulls here.  In order to fit under the Tamiya hull, you will need to remove about .040” off the indicated hull partitions, Fig. 2.

Tasca M4A1 hull with rivets
Material removal Tasca M4A1 hull

To mate the Tasca final drive housing to the Tamiya hull, I found the easiest method was to remove the fender supports and the flat vertical piece off the front of the Tamiya hull, Figs. 3,4.

Tamiya M1 Upper Hull
Material removed from Tamiya MI Sherman Hull

The hull halves are cemented together along with the transmission / final drive housing. Fig 5.  Here, the Tasca 76mm early turret with the circular loaders hatch has been assembled, Fig 6.  From the standpoint of fit, this turret is not one of Tasca’s better efforts.  The turret ring of the Tamiya hull needs to be enlarged .140”.  As a guide, set your caliper for .070” and scribe a line all the way around.

Tamiya M1 Sherman with Tasca Sherman