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My liking for the Sherman started 25 years ago when I built the first version of the Tamiya M4 RC kit. In 2007, I decided to build all the versions, at least the available kits. At that moment I realized that to speak about the Sherman, you have to know a lot about it, and that is almost impossible to build all the versions. On the other hand, I found that I didn’t feel comfortable building in 1/35 scale, so, I left the project aside. Anyway, I went on reading and learning about Shermans, mainly the Israeli versions, just to check the little I know and the great many variants that are nearly impossible to list.
After the M51 and M50 models I built during 2012 and were published in the May and July 2012 issues, I decided to go on with a tank very little seen in action in the IDF, the M4 A1E8. M50 > Here - M51 > Here
The very well known M4A1 with VVSS suspension, T23 turret and a 76,3mm gun, was represented in 1/35 scale since many years ago. At the end of the WWII they received HVSS suspension but keeping the same radial engine. Many of those vehicles were delivered to France and at the beginning of the 50’s were sent to Israel to replace the inefficient M4s with 75 and 105 mm guns.
Comparing both turrets, M4 vs. T23
This tank was of particular interest to me because it was the base to build the one that would be in the end, the most advanced (and successful) Sherman that has ever been built, the M51.
The aim of this article is to share with the reader the how to and with what the RC 1/16 scale model was accomplished. I hope that those who like this scale will find this information very useful.
Building the M4A1 but with HVSS
The only reference pictures for this tank related to the IDF, were found in “Lioness & lion of the line”, by Robert Manasherob and in “Israeli tanks and Combat vehicles”. by Steven Zaloga. The last one shows a picture of a M4A1 HVSS in the Jordan front during the Six Day War in 1967. But truthful reference pictures I used were found in the Internet, French tanks, mostly.
What’s necessary to build a M4A1 HVSS?
To build the RC Model (or not), it’s necessary a 1/16 Tamiya M4 kit, or at least its lower aluminum hull and HVSS suspension. Again our sponsor aided us in providing the kit.
But the hull and turret supplied with the Tamiya M4 are not useful to build a M4A1, so I asked my friend Nick Aguilar to send me his resin hull and T23 turret, both of them, excellent parts.
The chassis and running gear will have to be built according to the Tamiya instructions for the M4, so, I proceeded to install and detail the hull and turret.
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Includes more than 66 pics, here we show only the text pages.
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