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In-Box Review
172
M4A1 (76) W VVSS
DML #7304 M4A1 (76) W VVSS
  • Boxtop

by: Sven-Åke Grufstedt [ MGDSIGN ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction
When I decide which kits to buy, one of the first thing I look at is the level of detail that the kit provides for me. Finer and more delicate details equals less need for optional parts like resin and photo etched accessories which keeps costs down. This kit is Dragon's latest in its series of Shermans featuring the 76mm gun and VVSS suspension. As always, it's a treat to open the box for the first time to inspect the parts.

Kit Contents
Inside the box are:
5 sprues of grey plastic
1 lower hull in a separate plastic bag
1 small fret of photo etched parts
1 length of metal towing cable
1 set of DS tracks
1 sheet of decals from Cartograf
1 construction manual

Parts Evaluation
Once again I'm amazed with what can be done with modern molding technology. Dragon uses slide molds for many of the parts and the details on some are so small that they can't be seen without a magnifying glass. There are, as far as I can see, no flash or sink marks on the parts. The upper hull has unfortunately some of the pioneer tools molded on which I personally think is a shame but otherwise the details are very crisp. Another downside (also a personal thought) is that both the hull and the turret lack a little bit of texture compared to the real thing but that's just a minor problem which can be fixed quite easily.

A small fret of extremely small parts are included and they would really test anyone's eyesight and patience. However, once they are in place on the model they will heighten the end result dramatically. All the provided photo etched parts can of course be discarded if they seem too hard to handle by using the regular alternative plastic parts provided and still make a beautiful tank. A 75mm long spun metal wire is provided for the making of the tow cable which I think gives the tank a more realistic feel when such parts as this are made from metal.

The tracks are very crisp and easy to work with. Since they are from Dragon's specially formulated styrene, they take paint very well and can be glued with ordinary plastic glue. The decal sheet, which is nicely printed by Cartograf, provides us with markings for 5 different vehicles with both US and Polish markings available, all from 1944: 2nd Armored Div. France, 2nd Armored Rgt. Polish 1st Armored Div. Holland, F Co. 33rd Armored Rgt. 3rd Armored Div. Belgium, I Co. 32nd Armored Rgt. 3rd Armored Div. France, and D Co. 66th Armored Rgt. 2nd Armored Div. France.

Instructions
The layout is Dragon standard with clear and precise drawings of the parts and where they should go. The downside is that for the beginner it can be a bit confusing since Dragon uses many standard sprues with a lot of parts for other versions so it is possible if one doesn't read the manual very carefully to construct a never-before-seen Sherman version. The painting and decal instructions are very good and clearly show the different cammo and marking options possible.

All in all a very nice kit.
SUMMARY
Highs: Extreme detail which gives the builder an exceptional value for his/her money
Lows: Maybe too complex for the beginner but other than that no problems as far as I can see.
Verdict: Very good indeed... Puts a silly smile on my face when I look in the box... Recommended!
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 7304
  Suggested Retail: $14.95 USD
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Apr 19, 2007
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.75%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.23%

Our Thanks to Dragon Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Sven-Åke Grufstedt (mgdsign)
FROM: SKåNE, SWEDEN

This is my second time in modelling. Recently started again after 20 odd years of absence so I basically have to relearn everything again plus a lot of new stuff that has come up since last time... I build mainly 1/72 scale armor from both the WWII and modern era... When I build, the number on...

Copyright ©2017 text by Sven-Åke Grufstedt [ MGDSIGN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Nice write-up Sven-Ake! DML has really put out a very detailed kit, including of all things you would not expect in that scale, PE! Jeff
APR 19, 2007 - 11:28 PM
Hi Sven! Nice review, can't wait to see your Sherman built!
APR 20, 2007 - 06:20 AM
Yes, it's quite amazing how small those parts are but with a pair of tweezers and a steady hand it shouldn't be any problems Sven-Åke
APR 20, 2007 - 08:27 PM
I'm pretty curious too about how it will look when finished so I think I will go to it quite soon... I'm just finishing off a few other projects first and then it's a competition next weekend but after that I will start building it... Sven-Åke
APR 20, 2007 - 08:31 PM
I'm pretty curious too about how it will look when finished so I think I will go to it quite soon... I'm just finishing off a few other projects first and then it's a competition next weekend but after that I will start building it... Sven-Åke[/quote] Oh she builds into a beauty of little kit. I've got two under construction (M4A3 76mm & M4A3 105mm) and they're awesome. The detail in the scale is brilliant and the PE isn't to much of a hassle to use, regardless of how down right puny they are. My only complaint is the running gear. The road wheels(?) don't seem to line up with the bogies right and it takes some clamping w/CA glue to get them to stay in the right spot. This is my only gripe build wise. The rear stowage rack is a nice touch, not as intricate as it may look. In building the above two I've developed a penchant for DML Shermans. I've ordered a Firefly Vc, M4A1 (76)w and M4A1 (Normandy). BTW the Normandy kit comes with a large PE fret with heaps, ESPECIALLY a hedgegrove cutter.
FEB 22, 2011 - 11:54 PM
I would agree that getting the bogies right is the sticking point, but a little patience and it works out. I'm working on building a platoon of M4A3 76s, as well as a conversion M4A3 75 wet, I need one more M4A1 75 for a platoon of those, then I'll finish my M4 with wading stacks and move on to some Sherman Vs and Fireflies (maybe a troop of each?)
FEB 23, 2011 - 09:58 AM
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Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • Boxtop
  • Manual
  • Decals
  • Sprue_A
  • Sprue_B
  • Sprue_C
  • Sprue_D
  • Sprue_E
  • Detail_Turret
  • Detail_Upper_Hull
  • Lower_Hull
  • DS_Tracks
  • Photo_Etch
  • Towing_Cable