AMPS is all about armor modeling and the preservation of armor and mechanized heritage.

Tamiya M1 Super Sherman

Catalog Number: 35322 Manufacturer: Tamiya
Published: Monday, September 5, 2011 Retail Price: $55.00 USD
Scale: 1:35 Reviewed By: David Manter





During the Summer of 1956, France delivered about 250 of the 76mm gunned Sherman tanks to Israel to give them a version with more fire power than the standard 75mm gunned tanks then in use. In order to distinguish them from the 75mm gunned Sherman's, they were designated as the M1 Super Sherman. Most were of the M4A1 variant but some M4A3s were included as well. A number were fitted with a muzzle brake and had their two piece loader's hatches replaced by a late type one piece hatch.

The Super Sherman's  first saw action when the Suez Crisis broke out on October 29, 1956. The 7th Armored Brigade was used to push ahead of the infantry, bypassing the Egyptian defenses and capturing the Sinai Peninsula in just eight days. During the campaign, the M1's gasoline engine was found to be troublesome to maintain and was prone to catch fire when hit. However, since the M1's were low on the priority list for conversion to diesel engines, most were used as they were and some soldiered on until the 1970's.




The model consist of 214 very well molded parts, of which 152 are used for this version. Everything up from the tracks is new. The lower hull and suspension is from the old Sherman kits. The kit does include parts to enclose the sponsons. The tracks are also new and very well detailed. Also included is a history sheet and markings for 3 vehicles, 2 from the 1956 Sinai campaign and 1 museum vehicle. Cast texture on both the hull and the turret is very well done.











Step 1 has you put the cast nose piece onto the lower hull. The fit is good here, but you are left with 2 large gaps on each side. On the older Sherman kits, the differential cover blocked these. On this version they will need to be filled. I cut some small pieces of styrene and then used some putty to fill the holes. After this was done and dry, I re-textured the cast nose piece using Gunze Mr. Surfacer 500. Not a big deal, but kind of strange on a Tamiya kit.


The gaps!


Filled with styrene


Part B24 is the part with the bolts molded into it. It has 2 bevels on the back side that must be sanded flat or else the upper hull will not fit properly. Here again, a quick fix.


Notice the bevels on the rear of the part? These must be sanded flat!


Fixed and re-textured with Mr. Surfacer.


Step 2 is the construction of the suspension components. No problems here and detail is nice.


Step 3 has you assemble the idler wheels, the drive sprockets and the air filters. Again, no problems.


Step 4 is the assembly of the rear panel and fit is excellent.


Step 5 has you attach the bogie assemblies and the rear panel to the lower hull. Also included are parts K25 and K26. These enclose the rear of the upper hull so you no longer see daylight through it like the old Sherman kits!


Steps 6 thru 10 have you add all of the upper hull details to the upper hull. Everything fit fine and was typical Tamiya, no problems!


Step 11 has you attach the upper and lower hulls together. After fixing the fit on part B24 in step 1, everything lined up perfectly except for the front fenders. A sizable gap needed to be filled. I used some sheet styrene to do this.
Tamiya also has you putting the tracks on in this step. The tracks are a little loose, but usable. I did take one link out of each side on mine. As the tracks can be glued with liquid cement, this is very easy to do.


Notice the gap!


Fixed with styrene.


Step 12 has you make the main gun barrel. No breach is included.


Steps 13 thru 15 have you assemble the turret. This is all new, but the upper part, J1 has some very poor molding. While the detail is good, there are substantial gaps that will need to be fixed.





I have never seen this kind of problem on any Tamiya kit before. I left the glue to set up overnight and began to do some major sanding! Again, this is basic modeling stuff, but we really shouldn't have to do it. After I had the seams sanded down, I had to re-texture the turret sides. Again I used Mr. Surfacer 500 to do this.




Step 16 is the final step and has you add the turret to the hull.







As this was a early Israeli Sherman, I decided to finish it in a faded Olive Drab color. I base coated the model with Tamiya XF-62 Olive Drab. I then mixed several shades of XF-62 mixed with XF-60 Dark Yellow and applied them in a random pattern on all of the large flat areas. After this was done, I did all of the detail painting. After all of the painting was done, I applied the markings (not included with the kit!). These come from a very old Verlinden set of Dry Transfers. They represent the change that followed the 1956 war when it was discovered that by not having the tanks clearly marked, coordinating mobile operations was near impossible. I used these instead of the kit decals just to add a little "wow" factor to the kit. The kit decals consist only of the vehicle registration numbers. I then applied 3 different Mig Filters to alter the base coat to more of a brownish color. This was followed by a pin wash to bring out all of the details. A final application of Mig Pigments finished the weathering process.










While not without its faults, this kit will allow you to build a pretty cool version of the Sherman right out of the box. The turret requires the most work, but it is well within the scope of most modelers.





My Sincere Thanks to Tamiya USA for the Review Sample!


Model built and painted by Dave Manter.