17/06/2015

Review: 1/56 Plastic M4 Sherman (Warlord Games)


Warlord Games M4 Sherman Box Art

I have recently built and painted the Warlord Games / Italeri M4 Sherman Medium Tank and here’s my review.
First impressions
First impressions are good, when you pick up the box you’ll notice the slick Box art with the added gun flare, smoke and dust which are all digitally added. Set in a great piece of scenery it looks gorgeous but that might just be my opinion. The next thing you’ll notice is that the box is very light, well at least if you’re like me and used to put together resin tanks. The plastic tanks are really light and that’s something to get used to. You can also see that although Warlord Games sells these boxes they are produced by Italeri who have been making plastic model kits for years. Making this 1/56 kit specially for gamers is a nice step forward for both companies. But hey that’s just the box, it’s about time we have a look inside..


Contents and tools

What’s in the box?
In the box you’ll find just 2 sprues to put the tank together with. This is not a scale model this is a wargamers model so you don’t have to fiddle around with tiny bits and pieces that break off easily anyway. It’s nice that this kit also comes with a sheet of decals and you don’t have to buy them separately like with the resin tanks. The decal sheet has enough nice signs, letters, numbers and insignia to personalise your model the way you like. There’s also a comprehensive instruction manual something else the resin kits don’t include and you have to download from warlord’s website.


M4 Sherman Built
Putting it together
The kit fits together very nicely and hardly any mold lines have to be removed. The detail is crisp and clear and there’s enough to make for an interesting model to look at. I had my model ready within 20 minutes. If you want extra stowage or a driver/commander you will have to buy them separately. The only minor issue is that when you fit the top half of the hull on the undercarriage you see a nasty line on the front of the model but this can be removed with greenstuff and some sanding, this is the same on the front and back of the tracks but this is much harder to get rid of. I have solved this problem with adding Vallejo pigments so it looks like there’s mud on the tracks and you do see the lines.


The M4 Sherman Medium Tank Finished
Painting and decals
Because it’s a plastic model you don’t have to scrub and wash the model like you do with resin models. There’s no release agents left on the model and you can prime them straight after you’ve put it together which is very nice. With resin models you always have to hope that the paint will stick to all parts of the model after you have given it a good soak.
The transfers or decals are really nice to work with. You just pick the decals you want to use and cut them from the sheet. Then put a few drop of water on it and the slide right off without breaking. They stick to the model nicely but I will always advise to use a decal agent or solvent to get the best result.
After you’ve painted the whole model you can really see and appreciate all the small detail that are on this model and you can start to play games with it.  
Pros:
  • It’s a good kit for this price (20 pounds).
  • Nice and crisp detail.
  • Fits together easily and can be assembled in 20 minutes.
  • Comes with decals and instruction manual.
  • No need to wash, scrub and bathe the model before painting.
  • Plastic is easy to convert.
  • Looks great on the table next to your Warlord Games infantry models.

Cons:
  •   You can see the hull is hollow if you flip the model upside down.
  •  The antenna and HMG can snap off.
  •  There’s a little work needed in hiding the lines where the two track sections and front hull come together.
  • There's only one type of gun barrel included unlike other plastic tank manufacturers’ Shermans.
  • No tank commander or driver included.
The Final Verdict

I had a blast putting this model together and painting it and I think it looks smashing on the battlefield. I wouldn’t mind building another one or two for a tank platoon. I like working with plastic models so I’m definitely looking forward to making more Warlord / Italeri models like the M3A1 halftrack I have on the shelf.
Score
4 out of 5 Service stars


Cheers,
Seb
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