Thursday, 2 May 2013

Plastic Soldier Company M4A1 (British) 75mm Shermans and my RTR Project

Hot on the tails of constructing the Russian T70's from the Plastic Soldier Company I made three of the (commander type) M4A1 Shermans for my late-1944 RTR project (see below):

Again they are very impressive, though it has to be said on the big side of 1/72 (certainly in close company of Airfix 1/76 and 1/76 Matchbox kits). There is a slight bit of confusion on the packaging as it incorrectly states that US (76mm) and British (75mm) versions can be made, but in fact only the latter British kit can be made (which was thankfully what I wanted). The kits go together well and are sweet being assembled in less that half an hour (nearer fifteen minutes if truth be told). The instructions are clear with only a minor discrepancy in the assembly of the front of the hull, the kit being actually simpler with one 'cast' front (the instructions showed two ribbed, riveted struts, similar to the Airfix models).

The late (as in Firefly equipped) 1944 British RTR project now has amassed the following tank complement as per the Command Decision OrBat (see below):

Note: Each row is a "Squadron" with:
  • Plastic Soldier Company Sherman M4A1 75mm  x 1
  • Airfix Sherman M4 x 2
  • MatchBox (Revell) Sherman M4 Firefly x 1
The "Command Squadron" is a:
  • Airfix Sherman M4 x 1 (I will have to 'tart' it up with a commander figure found from somewhere)
  • Britannia Miniature (resin) 105mm M4A3 Sherman (with a 'too American' looking tank commander)

Still missing from the OrBat is the a (AA) Crusader Tank and the Sherman ARV, which until I can "metal-up" with these up vehicles I will sub in the 'plastic' Airfix Bofor 40mm AA kit and the Scammel Tank Transporter, as they only play minor "supporting roles" on the tabletop. Still lots of WIP to do (including decals) but the tanks are assembled (I even have a spare Firefly [though at time of writing 'unmade'] kit in the bag to add in if need be [I was thiking of the Hell's Highway, Market Garden Operation], as the officers of the British Guards Armoured Division apparently had managed to acquire some 'extra' spares with that useful 17 pounders - it's useful to be well connected with procurement).


Paul said...

Mate, these look the bomb.

They do look large compared to the 1/76 kits, and thats my only issue with them.

I just do not know if I could retire my Airfix and Matchbox jobs.

That being said I suppose one could build up a new force if pressured. I would be interested to see them with Armourfast versions...Casual hint.

Dan said...

Whoa, they are big compared to the 1/76 kits, they look pretty good though, nice collection of cat food there, looking forward to them painted up.

Al said...

Awesome mate, CD is the best for big tank formations

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Paul the PSC Shermans with the British tank commander poking his head out are the nominated "command tank" as per Command Decision OrBats

Al, 100% with you

There's a lot of painting to do now :)

Dan, for a while I was scanning the background for our family cat's feeding bowl until I realised ("Doh!") the 'Cats' you meant were Tigers, King Tigers and Panthers


Trouble is I am in "putting it together" mode rather than painting it!

Arquinsiel said...

As I understand it, the instructions are for the 15mil kits, which actually DO have the huge amount of extras necessary to make a few versions on the sprue.

For the Crusader there's always the Hasegawa kit and some work, and Sherman ARVs are surprisingly easy to make.

Some squadrons of the Guards Armoured Division ended up having two full troops of Fireflies rather than the one as per normal in time for Market Garden, but I have no idea how common it would be outside that formation. Apparently on paper the Fireflies were seperate troops to the 75's, even though in practice they were integrated as support tanks.

DaveM said...

The usual disparity between 1/76 and 1/72 models is made considerably worse by the fact that the PSC M4A1 is significantly overscale - around 1/68.

Cheers, Dave

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Thanks Arquinsel, I'm attacking the plastic pile first then will think about ARV and AA conversions :)

I guess I am modelling the Guards Division then, maybe I should stretch to another Firefly (or two)

DaveM, yes I used the link you sent as reference when I was putting the PSC kits together.

1/68 "hurts" only if you park the kits closely together and at least I can spot the designated Squadron Commander's tank ;)

Longer term they well move to my US Tank battalion and Esci/Italeri and Hat (Armour Fast) kits

My guess is that they will go very well with the Platoon 20 and Valiant late war British infantry

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Note: On reflection I will probably transfer the 'neater' US 105mm (die cast) Sherman with the 'scruffier" British (resin from Britannia Miniatures)