M4 Sherman 105mm Howitzer (1944)
- Kit Manufacturer: Tamiya
- Major Material: Duralumin chassis, authentic steel treads, plastic and die cast metal parts
- Model Specifications: 1/16 Exact Scale for Radio Control
- Work Experience: Although I am no longer interested in R/C models, this is THE dream kit that I've waited for 20 years or so. This kit were first released during 1974, when I was a 19 years old college student. Not to mention the price tag is far beyond my reach, the marshal law of our country at that time also prohibit civilians to own any radio controlled equipment. Therefore I can only look at the catalog and sigh (btw, I still have this '74 Tamiya catalog). Although I've got a job and can afford the price and the marshal law terminated in the 80s, Tamiya cut off the production line of this kit, and hence it is still beyond my reach, until recently I found this re-released version on the web. This kit retains all the high qualities of Tamiya, the parts were well cast or injected, the construction steps are clearly illustrated and instructed in four languages (Japanese, English, German, and French). This re-released version also equipped with a newly developed Digital twin Motor Differential (DMD) control unit, therefore the only R/C equipment required are a 2-channel transmitter and a receiver. The DMD unit is easy to set and adjust, and it makes realistic sharp turns and pivot turns a breeze. Overall, the building of this kit is fun and easy, it took me only four days to complete.
Historical Notes: The M4 Sherman may not be the best tank of WWII, but sure is the most numerous one. Over 50,000 were produced during the war, including M4, M4A1, M4A2, M4A3, M4A4, M4A6, and Canadian Ram II. The types are distinguished by the engine used, the original M4 is powered by a Wright R-975, the A2 adopted two coupled GM 6-71 diesel engine, and the A3 is powered by a Ford GAA V8, which is the majority among all types. There are also four types of guns were equipped on this tank, originally 75mm, later the more offensive 76mm with improved speed, as well as 105mm Howitzer (this model), and 17 pdr (UK). The later models (after August 1944) replaced the original vertical volute suspension to the Horizontal Volute Suspension System (HVSS), developed by Chrysler in 1941 for heavy tanks, to accommodate the increased weight due to the increased fire power. The width of the track was also increased from 16in to 23in. The E-8 shape of the HVSS earns its the nickname "Easy Eight". For more information, see Sherman Register.
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