Tasca M4A3(76)W Build Report 1: Initial Inspection

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Before diving into the actual build, I wanted to devote a post to looking at what, exactly, this kit brings to the table. Tasca Shermans have a fearsome reputation, but why? And is it deserved?
After inspecting the sprue, I would say the answers to those questions are:
  1. The attention to detail, from surface textures to kit engineering to even the tiny size of the sprue gates. Someone has put some crazy thought and heart into this kit (and if you know anything about my modeling preferences, you know that’s the stuff I love to build).
  2. Yes.
Of course, the rub will be in the actual build, but looking over the sprues, I’m mightily impressed by this kit.
So…what’s to see?
First, the quality of the detail and surface work. Check out the weld beads on the hull. The casting texture on the turret. The casting numbers. There’s even detail where you wouldn’t expect. Access ports on the underside of the sponsons. I mean…they’ll be invisible, hidden by tracks. Who does that? Tasca, apparently.

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So, the textures and detail are impressive.

But so is the thought given to how things go together. Just check out the jerry cans included with the kit (these, like the suspension bogies and M2 .50 cal machine gun, are sold as separate “mini-kits”.

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Most jerry cans come as halves that have to be glued together, leaving seams that have to be dealt with. Not these. The entire bottom of the can is a single piece, and the top just drops in. Elegant.

The M2 .50 is another little work of art. I built one of these for my Achilles awhile back, and it’s fantastic.

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Tasca’s Shermans come with flexible “rubber band” style tracks. I know some people hate these things. I’m not one of them. Spare me the agony of indy links anyday! And on a Sherman, which kept its track under tensions, rubber bands are fine. And these are of solid quality. Good detail, daylight between the individual links, and so on. Here’s hoping they’re the right size!

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Here’s another interesting touch. Tasca provides the cupola parts in regular styrene and clear. I got a tip to use white glue to mask the port windows, and I believe I’ll try going that route!

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Finally, if there’s one downside to this kit, here it is.

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I mean, really? In this age of slide molding, in light of all the brilliant detail elsewhere in the kit, gun halves?

Fortunately, my one bow to aftermarket with this kit should address the problem. This is the LionMarc LM10039 M1 76mm barrel.

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After the inspection, I broke into the kit and built up the lower hull and the transmission cover. The cover gave me some headaches before I realized I was approaching it upside down (oops!). The lower hull, though not one piece, slots together extraordinarily well. A test-fit of the upper hull reveals all is going according to plan…

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More to come!

2 thoughts on “Tasca M4A3(76)W Build Report 1: Initial Inspection

  1. It’s pretty obvious your opinion & examples of Tasca’s quality warrants the kinda pricey cost of this [ & other Tasca Shermie’s ].While I’m sure you might very well have an L.H.S. that gives you a price break because of Your recent fame & building abilities, [ tisk,tisk ] may I ask where you puchased it ? I did use King’s to buy two .Tasca .50 cal kits after you mentioned thier quality from King’s & they did Me right. The one thing You didn’t get into was their instruction clarity.I’m still pretty much a “newbie” & have lost enough of my scarce hair over Dragon/DML’s enigmatic nersions of instruction sheets,both older & newr kits. Can’t wait to see the progress reports [ & the final Vorpanzer, as well ] . Semper fi , keith r.

    • Keith – it’s been awhile since I picked this one up (last fall), but I think it may well have been at Kings. The thing with Tasca is that they don’t really get discounted all that much on the usual online sites, the way Dragon does. So the 20% coupons at Kings usually make them very competitive on these, Broncos, and a few like-minded kits.

      The one thing I found a bit frustrating with the M2 was just knowing which box setup to use…thankfully the instructions for the tank so far are fantastic (they even tell you…do this kind of sprocket if you’re doing the third marking option…imagine that!). I mean, not Wingnut Wings or Eduard good, but the best I’ve encountered in armor.

      As for the Vorpanzer – it’s done! I just haven’t gotten around to a final wrap-up post, but you can check it out in the completed builds.

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