M4 Conversion for Dragon Sherman III
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII


Some time ago I bought an out-of-production styrene kit produced by MP Models International that converts the Tamiya M4A3 to a mid-production M4 75mm dry stowage Sherman or the M4A3 with the Ford engine (as seen on pages 32, 33, and 56 in Modelers Guide to the Sherman). Though the replacement upper hull and all the fittings aren't cast as crisply as the Tamiya donor kit, it looks to be a serviceable conversion. However, there is another option that could produce a more distinctive M4 mid.

Formations has designed this resin set to convert Dragon's Sherman III (#6313) to an accurate intermediate production M4. The set provides a new upper engine deck, armored air intake cover. The replacement rear deck overhang on the upper requires removal of the kit plate, a fairly simple surgical procedure. The rear wall of the lower hull is swapped with a new resin wall with the rounded bottom corner.

The DML hull's flat grouser vent covers need to be removed to accommodate the resin raised covers. New fuel covers, fishtail exhausts, and armor plates separating the tracks from the air filters are also included. Formations provides the round style air cleaners (MP Models has the more common square air cleaners). A length of wire is provided to create the handle for the engine doors and fuel caps. Some of the carriers provide additional parts not needed this conversion. The details are crisp and the casting is good with no bubbles.

The illustrated instructions are straightforward and this should be a good project for someone who is just beginning to get into working on resin conversions. I don't have the Dragon donor kit on hand so I can't comment on fit, but Formations has a good reputation for precision.

With the MP Models kit a virtual collector's item, it's great to have this option for Shermanaholics who want to add an intermediate M4 to their collection.



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