Heller 1/72nd Scale M4 Sherman – ‘D-Day’ Ref:79892 by Simon Ward
“I have just bought this kit whilst attending the 2022 Musee des Blindes Concourse in Saumur, and am jotting down these notes whilst sitting behind our branch display at the show.
Cost: 12 Euros, purchased in the museum shop.
I had seen this kit briefly before, and was impressed, so happily bought this one for the stash. There are so may small-scale Shermans available from many manufacturers. I’m not Shure of the age of this kit, but it must be a fairly recent moulding given the overall quality and options available in the box. I have constructed the small-scale Revell, Italieri, Dragon and Trumpeter Shermans [all of various production types]in recent years, and of course we also have the new Airfix ‘Firefly’ available too. The Dragon kits are probably the best from a detail and accuracy point of view – but they do come at a price.
The Heller kit is well-presented in a top-opening box with easy-to-follow well-printed instructions. It comes with a good quality decal sheet giving three US Army Normandy ’44 options. Upon inspecting the sprues, the first thing which strikes one are the options available. You have the choice of three alternative transmission housings, early [narrow]and later [wider]gun mantlets, choices of drive sprockets and bogie wheels, and all tools are separate, not moulded to the hull as is the way with many small-scale kits. Appliqué armour is also supplied ‘loose’ to be installed as desired. Two glacis plates are available [with and without direct-vision]and protective light guards are included. All hatches are openable There is no PE included in the kit, unlike Dragon, who offer PE periscope guards etc. and the tracks are ‘rubber band’ rather than ‘link & length’ type. As value for money, I think this kit is great – it is less than half the price of some of the alternatives available and I’m sure will build into a great small-scale replica – a further bonus is that wading trunking is also supplied in the kit.
A couple of observations are that the headlamp guards could benefit from thinning down and the tracks are not as ‘crisp’ as the ‘rubber band’ ones supplied with the dragon kits, but with a little mud and weathering this could easily be overcome in a diorama setting.
Overall, I think this kit represents great value for money if you are looking for an easy-to-build early Sherman – and more detail can of course be added by those seeking perfection. Cest bon!”
Simon Ward – August 2022