M4 105mm Israeli Sherman not operational gun, from Tamiya kits

1/35 scale

by Pablo Raggi © Modeler Site

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For all Sherman lovers, the variants and possibilities this vehicle offers are countless. Perhaps due to the mass production or to the versatility, quantity and variety of Shermans, it’s more than funny for the modeler to build, take a model to pieces or even kitbashing various kits.

The existing versions makes it difficult to build a model replicating the original thing and undoubtedly this is true in a theatre of operations like the Middle East where the modifications of these vehicles were innumerable, special versions appeared and a sole vehicle suffered different modifications.

This is my first Sherman, and with this kit I begin a series of Sherman used in the Middle East, opening even more the range of possibilities this model offers.

I was thunderstruck at seeing the different versions this theatre offers, specially about all the Israeli conversions: hundreds of possible variants!!!

I knew I would need specialized help, so when searching for references, I found an out of print book “Israeli Sherman” by Tom Gannon, which would be essential to accomplish a serious project of this kind.

The curious version I choose

If we try a conversion over the basic Sherman, there is a wide range of possibilities. So, for my first Sherman, I decided to face a straightforward project, with no scratch or difficult improvements.

I planned to accomplish a M4 105mm featuring a disabled gun.

This vehicle comes from a batch sold by Italy to Israel in the 50s. Due to foreign policy matters, at the moment of selling the vehicles, the Italian leave the guns disabled and the Israelis had to get spare cannons some other way.

The story tells that up to the moment of getting new guns , the Shermans were used for ” psychological warfare”, they were added a wooden ring and painted to make them run around the city at parades, giving the image of a powerful Army.

The picture I got shows one of these Shermans with a 105 mm gun (is an howitzer). Something to note is, that instead of being at a parade, it’s in the battlefield, running on the combat rests, carrying infantrymen.

Over the original coat of paint, the new bad quality paint, mistreated, chipped, dusted can be appreciated.

The kits

For this version, I used the hull from the early Tamiya M4 (#35190), and the turret from Tamiya 105 mm M4A3 (# 35351).

The early Tamiya M4, is a kit which was released in 1995 featuring parts coming from the M4 A3 from the 80s, and though the whole is well detailed, it suffers from the typical problems of all the Tamiya Shermans: the weld seams, and the poorly detailed bogies( coming from the M4A3). To solve this, I decided to redo the welding and use wheels and bogies from Academy and Dragon. The rest of the improvements were made from scratch.

Discarded running gear

Used running gear from Dragon

Used hull from the kit 35190 Used turret from the kit 35251

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