CPL Overby's Motor Pool M50 Israeli Sherman (Late Model)
Kit #MP049 Review by Doug Chaltry - 172 tankmodeler(at)comcast.net

Although this kit is very similar to the M50 kit previously reviewed by Jorit Wintjes (kit #MP043), it differs in two distinct ways: 1) is represents the late model of the tank with HVSS and the Cummings engine, and 2) it is not a complete kit, and requires the suspension parts from a Hasegawa donor kit.

The hull appears to have been originally based on an ESCI Sherman hull, but very heavily modified. It is a welded-hull version of the Sherman, meaning it was originally either an M4, M4A2 or M4A3. It is far too short to have been based on an M4A4. The engine has been replaced with the Cummings diesel, making it difficult to determine the original version of this tank. All of the pioneer tools are molded onto the hull, with fairly decent relief, though I will likely replace them anyway (I'm very picky about that). All lift rings are molded open, which is pretty impressive for a resin kit, though the crew hatches are closed, and are in fact, sitting on top of the crew's armored hoods, when they should be sitting flush with the armored plates when closed. Spare track links are molded onto the hull sides, and additional stowage (spare wheels, tool boxes, fuel cans, bags and packs) are provided as separate parts. Headlights are separate parts too, although they would benefit from being replaced by new lights with etched brass brush guards.

The turret is a modified 75mm M4 turret from the ESCI kit. The gun mount has been modfied, as has the rear bustle. The hand-hold around the bustle is molded on, though it's a little heavy. Both crew hatches are molded open. Smoke grenade launchers are provided as separate parts, and a very nice .50cal machinegun (cast in silver) is also included. A gun travel lock should probably have been included for mounting on the engine deck but wasn't, so we'll have to fabricate one of our own.

This kit is designed as a conversion for the Hasegawa HVSS Sherman, and needs the wheels and tracks from that plastic kit. Although I dislike the tracks in the Hasegawa kit, cast metal tracks have been marketed by Fine Scale Factory which could be used instead. (Keep in mind that both UM and Dragon will release HVSS Shermans hopefully this year. Their tracks and wheels will both likely be far better suited for this conversion than the Hasegawa parts.)

The casting of this kit was very well done, with very few holes in the resin, all of which are easily fixed. This is a nice addition to CPL Overby's ever-expanding line of Sherman kits.

Thank you to CPL Overby for providing the review sample.

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Last updated: 16 January 2006