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Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension)

Kit Number:
35-017
Scale:
1:35
Published:
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Manufacturer:
Tasca Modellismo Co. Ltd
Retail Price:
$69.95
Reviewed By:
Roderick Bell

TASCA 1:35th British Army Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension) 

 

Introduction

This is my first review for the AMPS website and I have been lucky enough to draw the tasca British Army Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension).  The kit is 1:35th scale and is tasca's 8th  of 9 Sherman tank kits to be released by them.  If you haven't built one yet you are in for a treat.  

 

tasca 1:35th scale Sherman Kits:  

  • 35-009 - British Sherman VC Firefly

  • 35-010 - U.S. Medium Tank M4A1 Sherman (Mid Production)

  • 35-011 - British Sherman VC Firefly with cast check-armour turret

  • 35-012 - U.S. Medium Tank M4A1 Sherman (Late Production)

  • 35-014 - British Army Sherman II Direct Vision Type (El Alamein 1942)

  • 35-016 - British Army Sherman V (M4A4)

  • 35-L27 - U.S. Medium Tank M4A1 Sherman Direct Vision Type - Limited Edition

  • 35-017 - British Army Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension)

  • 35-L28 - British Army Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Initial "VVSS" Suspension) - Limited Edition

These kits are considered the best Sherman kits on the market with the Dragon/DML kits coming in a close second.  I now own 5 out of the 9 tasca Sherman kits.

 

Box Art

I like to provide the box art with and without the kit wording in my reviews.  Here is the box art without the wording. You can almost frame it and stick on your modeling room wall.

 

TASCA 1:35th British Army Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension) 

Sherman III in Italy
Here is an actual Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension) in Italy in 1943.  Note the sand shields being removed due to wear and tear.

 

 The Kit

This kit is almost the same kit as the 1:35th scale British Army Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Initial "VVSS" Suspension) 35-L28 (Limited Edition). A very nice review on this kit by Roy Chow can be found here:

 

tasca 1:35th British Army Sherman Direct Vision Type (w/initial "VVSS" Suspension)

 

Here is what comes with the kit:

 

1 Instruction sheet for kits 35-L28 and 35-L017 
1 Instruction sheet for kit 35-L017 for the Suspension Arm Assembly and Camouflage & Markings
1 Tank Commander Figure Sprue
1 Gas or Water cans Sprue (This is the 35-L14 kit from tasca U.S. Jerry Can set)
1 .50 cal. MG and mount Sprue (This is the from the 35-L09 kit from tasca - you only get 1 MG)
2

Sprocket Drives and rear idlers (A)

3 "VVSS" Suspension parts (B)
1 3-piece transmission cover parts (C)
2 Hull details, fuel caps, Light guards (D)
1 Lower hull parts (E)
2 Turret and Hull details (G)
1 Upper hull and Turret (H)
1 Transmission cover and parts, turret mantel, 75mm gun, additional turret parts. (J)
1 75mm gun, Fenders, Direct vision slots, additional hull detail (M)
1 Commander figure (N)
1 Rear deck and rear hull parts and detail. (O)
2 Periscope and headlights - Clear parts (G)
1 Rubber sheet for "VVSS" bogies
2 Track blocks (4 pieces)

 

 

Doing a quick look at the sprues I don't see any flash.  There are injector pin marks but they are on the inside of parts that you are not supposed to see.  There are three faint injector pin marks on the commander's hatch.  However, these are light marks and fixed easily in seconds with a sanding stick. 

The tracks are 2 part vinyl pieces that need to be cemented together. These tracks represent the T51 block tracks used on the early Sherman tanks. The tracks are fine and go well with the subject. Personally, I would like to have seen tasca provide WE210 “Double I” pattern tracks.  Dragon did provide their Dragon Styrene (DS) WE210 “Double I” pattern tracks in their Sherman MK III “Sicily” kit. Again, that is my preference and it shouldn’t take away from the review of the kit.

 

tasca British Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/early "VVSS" suspension)
Here are the T51 block tracks used on the Sherman III.  Cementing these two pieces together will make one track.

 

 

 

As mentioned the primary difference of the tasca 35-017 kit and the 35-L28 kit are the suspension arm assemblies. The 35-L28 kit has the initial “VVSS” suspension assembly and the 35-017 kit has the early “VVSS” suspension assembly.

tasca 35-015 Initial "VVSS" Suspension kit

Here is the tasca Initial "VVSS" suspension assembly that comes with kit 35-L28.  Photograph from tasca.

tasca 35-017 kit Suspension Assebly

This is the Early "VVSS" suspension assembly that comes with kit 35-017. Photograph from tasca.

 

 

 

tasca U.S. Jerry cans

The 35-017 kit comes with the U.S. Jerry can set from tasca (Kit No: 35-L14). 

tasca Browning M2 Machine Gun

Here is the Browning M2 machine gun.  It is one of the best 1:35th machine guns in plastic.  

This sprue contains the biscut bins used by the British Army.  Also, the smoke dischargers are included. I have read somewhere that these are undersized and need some TLC to make them look right. Please be the judge for yourself.
Here is the tank commander figure.  Overall, a nice figure.  Some modelers will want to replace the head with aftermarket heads and that is fine but I think the kit head can be used.

Here are the clear parts for the kit.  They are the periscopes, and the lights.  Note: if you don't like the clear periscopes the kit comes with additional periscopes molded  in the tan styrene plastic.

tasca British Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension)

Here are the washers used through out the kit and the plastic sheet for the "VVSS" bogies.

tasca British Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension)

Here are the turret, gun, and transmission cover  parts.  The kit comes with different options for the gun mantlet and gun barrel.

tasca British Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension)

This one of the three sprues that make up the Early "VVSS" sub assemblies.  Two wheel type options are available.  Please note that very small grease nipples need to be shaved off the sprue and attached to the outside of the wheel.  When fully assembled, a working bogie should be ready to be attached to the hull.

tasca British Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension)

This sprue contains the lower hull, sponsons, and engine firewall.

tasca British Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension)

This sprue contains parts for the rear engine deck and tank rear. Also the left and right fenders.

tasca British Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension)

Here is the sprue wit the upper hull and turret.

tasca British Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension)

The sand shield, 75mm gun, and additional upper hull parts are on this sprue.

On this sprue the 3 piece transmission cover, the hull MG, the turret coaxil MG, commaners hatch, hull hatchers, and pioneering tools.

More upper hull details, fuel caps, and the tan periscopes mentioned above.

tasca British Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension)

The drive sprockets and ideler wheel sprue.

  

The instructions are well done (I will comment on them more thoroughly in my build review). The instruction sheets overall have 20 sections with several sections having additional steps. Instructions are in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English. Thank goodness I can read English!

The bogie assembly instruction sheet.

The kit instruction sheet.  A very detailed section by section, step by step instruction sheet.

Paint Schemes and Decal Placement links  

tasca  provides a two-fold handout that contains instructions on how to build the Suspension Arm Assembly and painting instructions for the commander figure as well as the vehicle camouflage and decal placement. tasca provides very nice links to color images of the vehicle camouflage and decal placement  in PDF files on their website.  Color plates with decal placement for three different vehicles are provided. Here are the two links for the Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension):

PDF #1

PDF #2

 The colors referenced for the camoflage are Light Mud (Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow) and Blue Black (Tamiya XF-63 German Grey).

 

Tamiya Acrylic XF-59 Desert Yellow paint

Tamiya Acrylic XF-63 German Grey

Recommend for Light Mud base coat is the Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow color. 

Recommend for the disruptive color Blue Black is the Tamiya XF-63 German Grey color.

 

 

As mentioned above there are decals for three different units / vehicles.

 

TASCA 1:35th British Army SHERMAN III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension)

The Decal Sheet for the British Army Sherman III Direct Vision Type (w/Early "VVSS" Suspension). Printed by Cartograph.

C Squadron, Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, 9th Armoured Brigade, Late 1943, Syria Aleppo

C Squadron, Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, 9th Armoured Brigade, Late 1943, Syria Aleppo.

3rd County of London Yeomanry, 4th Armoured Brigade, July 1943, Sicily

3rd County of London Yeomanry, 4th Armoured Brigade, July 1943, Sicily.

1st Squadron, 1st Krechowiecki Lancers, 2nd Tank Brigade, Fall 1943, Palestine

1st Squadron, 1st Krechowiecki Lancers, 2nd Tank Brigade. Fall 1943, Palestine.

 

Recommendation

This is a first look review and I like what I see. If you haven't noticed by now I really love the Sherman Kits from tasca. I highly recommend this kit.   If you are into British Armor or into Sherman tanks, this kit is for you. Please note that I will be doing a construction review on this kit in the near future and I reserve the right to change my recommendation based on that review.  However, I don't think that will happen. 

 

I want to thank tasca for providing the excellent review sample.