Trakz has recently released a long missing and much needed late high bustle turret for late war 75mm armed Sherman Tanks. The turret comes packed in the usual black card box with a color picture of the kit contents on the top and the small parts enclosed in a zip lock bag and the larger parts separated by Styrofoam peanuts. The kit contains 5 pieces of cream colored resin with quite a bit of flash and the usual resin casting blocks. Care will have to be taken when removing the blocks from the turret as there is no discernable separation line. The Resin is quite brittle and will fracture easily if care is not taken when cutting the pour blocks off. I suggest using a combination of razor saw and multiple scoring from a new #11 blade. The Kit has some really nice casting details in the form of cast armor texture and casting marks. You don't really appreciate the subtle details untill there is a coat of primer or paint on the turret. There are even casting marks on the pistol port cover witch is omething that is often overlooked by manufacturers and modellers alike. Also the pattern makers included the drain holes in the antenna pot and armored vent covers. These are the areas the kit really shines.
What’s not in the kit
For reasons unknown to me Trakz has decided not to include the loaders hatch or a barrel. These are the two main “missing” items from the kit that most of us Shermanaholic’s out there will have several spares in our parts box to use. I did a little test fitting with mine and found that the Tamiya Barrel will fit but the Tamiya loaders hatch will not. The Italeri hatch from there M4 USMC fit perfectly as the donor turret for the master appears to have come from this kit as well. I also tried several aftermarket barrels to see if they would fit and I had no problems whatsoever fitting them. There are other “detail” parts missing from the kit as well such as the .50 cal pedestal mount and rear turret accoutrements for carrying the .50 caliber. These last items are available in several manufacturer’s photo etch sets so can easily be added from these. That said I wish they had added them none the less as it has become quite common in the industry to receive these “detail” bits.
The build up
I decided to give this turret the once over and see how it builds up. All in all it was pretty straight forward with no major surprises or problems. As I had mentioned earlier its best to use a combination of razor saw and sharp #11 blade to remove the parts from their pour stubs. I found the resin to be a little on the brittle side but nothing out of the ordinary either. I added a barrel from “New Scotland Productions” which can be purchased fromDioart. I also added the missing detail bits from a combination of Eduard and Aber Photo etch sets I had in my parts bin. The kit comes with the loaders periscope molded in the closed postition, added a formations periscope and cover just for to add some variety. I also added a site to the armoured cover from Formations. The .50 caliber pedestal mount was added from the excellent Academy machine gun set. Onenote of caution would be when attaching the M34A1 mantlet to the turret you have to ensure that it lines up properly. I used the guide on the underside without paying close attention and found that it does not line up properly and has to be cut off so you can move it into the proper position as can clearly be seen in picture #2. I also test fitted the turret with two hulls, one from Tamiya and the other from Italeri. The turret was a drop fit into the Italeri hull but was approx 1/16” too large for the tamiya hull. You will have to widen the hole in the Tamiya hull in order to use this turret. Not a major problem but something to be aware of all the same.
Overall this is a good turret with nice detail and good casting. With a bit of work and some additional details added by the builder it does build up nicely and looks nice once all the extras are brought in. I would have preferred it if Trakz had in the very least included a loaders hatch for those of us that don’t have a spare or use one from a kit. A resin barrel would have been a nice addition as well but not as necessary as the missing hatch. All in all it turned out well and will look great on a late war M4A3. I think I know what my next project is going to be.
Many thanks to VLS for providing the Review sample to us.