The instructions for this etched set are black & white exploded
view type and cover both sides of a sheet of paper. The directions
look detailed and not too crowded with information. The plastic
kit parts are drawn in a dark bold line and the etched metal parts
are in a fainter line. I would prefer it the other way around,
as the metal part’s numbers and drawings are too faint and
small for my middle-age eyes.
counted about 108 etched metal parts all on one fret. I used the
term etched “metal” as it is steel colored metal rather
than the typical brass.
The set has a lot of good usable parts with few superfluous parts.
The important parts are: the front fenders (parts 6 & 7) at
upper left, the long strips for attaching side skirts (parts 1
thru 4 and 42 & 43) at far left, the periscope brushguards
(parts 24) in the center, and the light and horn brushguards (parts
8, 9, 16, 17, 37,) and the aiming sights on the turret roof (parts
48 and 56).
Less important parts for me are many of the handtools such as
the shovel (part 28), the hammer (part 38), and the lifting rings
(parts 21, 31 and 33). The handtools are just too flat and my
assessment is that the kit’s molded-on plastic tools look
better. The lifting rings are also too flat and can be better
replicated with thick copper wire.
Additional nice parts are the spare track brackets (parts 61)
common to British Shermans. The detail parts for the 50-cal. AA
machine gun (parts 14, 44, 45, 50, 54, 57, etc.) are very helpful.
The MG will be very delicate when done though.
The replacement track skids are common to etched brass sets for
1/72 scale Shermans but I don’t see them used often; with
the tracks and/or side skirts mounted we cannot see much of the
skids. If you wish to try them, there is a nifty jig in UM Sherman
kits for bending the skids into a consistent and correct shape.
This detail set looks very good and is usable not only on the
Trumpeter M4 but on many early or mid-production M4, M4A2, M4A3
and M4A4 kits and conversions from UM, LEVA Productions and many
other resin manufacturers.
to using the parts I have been advised that soaking them in vinegar
for a while causes the acidity to slightly etch the metal surface
so the parts hold paint better. Some modelers recommend heating
the fret up hot to make the metal more bendable when cooled, called
some parts like the lifting rings and tool handles with multiple
layers of white glue can give the parts some thickness and rounded
I have become fond of Mr. Surfacer products as a primer for metal
parts and to add texture and thickness. Mr. Surfacer is a solvent-based
lacquer so dries quickly and adheres well. Mr. Surfacer 1000 is
good for priming and I like the thicker Mr. Surfacer 500 for simulating
a cast metal texture and blending in seams, almost like a thin