Sherman Pioneer Tools
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII


Pioneers tools are a hit-or-miss affair with AFV kits—and most often a miss. Tools in Italeri Sherman kits are universally poor and have British shovels. Tamiya, Academy, and AFV Club kits offer modest improvements. But all tend to miss certain features of the securing hardware used to hold the tools to the tanks, and usually represent the tie-down straps with a simple raised ring around the implement. That leaves the more fussy modeler to try to scrape away these rings without marring the shape of the tool, and then wrapping photoetch parts around the tool and fixing them to the vehicle surface. Some modelers who don't care for photoetch will use paper straps; the diehards will scratchbuild buckles.

If you've grown tired of this process and want better accuracy with less work, this set should do the trick for you. The correct mounting brackets are molded to the tools; you get two different versions for the pry bar and sledge, so check your references. Web straps—someties canvas, sometimes leather—and buckles are molded around the tools and secured by tie-downs. The included tools will essentially outfit any Sherman tank and possibly could be used with others (again, check your references):

  • Shovel
  • Axe
  • Engine crank
  • Mattock head
  • Mattock handle
  • Track tensioning spanner
  • Track pry bar with early style mount
  • Track pry bar with late style mount
  • Sledge hammer with right hand mount
  • Sledge hammer with left hand mount

The tools are molded atop a large square of resin, raised off the block by a seam of resin about as thick as a couple sheets of paper. A new hobby knife blade and some careful scoring should be adequate to remove the pieces without damage. If you prefer to paint your tools before adding them to the vehicle, you have the option of painting the parts in place on the resin block before separating them, and touching up the bottom sides as necessary.

Time is money, and in this instance, $10 will save you time and give you a more realistic look to the rear deck of your Sherman.



Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII © 2002—2007 Timothy S. Streeter