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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Bolt Action - Trenchworx M4A1 76mm Sherman Review

Hello, everyone! Seamus here with a review for your perusal. I recently picked up a resin kit from Trenchworx, grabbing a M4A1 76mm Sherman to add to my nascent U.S. armored platoon. This is my second Trenchworx kit, but one that I really paid attention to as I built it after tearing through the Jagdpanther kit with reckless glee without taking pictures.



Upon opening the box, I was blown away by the quality of the kit. It came in a pretty standard set up with separate hull, tracks, and turret in resin and then a bag of metal bits. What made the kit stand out, for me, was the construction. The tracks locked in to the hull in a pretty straightforward manner, having specific notches to allow the track pieces a nice seat. Neither of the tracks were warped, either, so everything fit together nice and snug.


This kit, being the cast hull versus the welded hull design, was all smooth lines and gentle curves. Having built several of Warlord's plastic kit, I was very used to the straight, hard lines. I must say, I really enjoy the look of this one and the contrast with my plastic Shermans will make her stand out rather nicely. In the pic above, you can see some of the detail, and just how clean it is. Often with resin kits there would be mold lines or holes from air bubbles. Neither was present here, I'm happy to say. There was a minor amount of flash, though most of it was around the tracks as you'd expect. There was a very small amount on the turret as well, but this cleaned up quite quickly.


One interesting thing I noticed, and I didn't notice it on the Jagdpanther, was the appearance of what may have been air bubbles on part of the hull. They almost look like they were filled in, because the area was very smooth. It looks a little strange at first, but seems like it will disappear with primer.


After going over all the parts, I cleaned up the mold lines. On the resin components there was just a small bit to do on the reverse side of the turret and of course on the metal bits. It all cleaned up quickly, and then it was time for one of the most important parts of a resin build... the bath!


A little dish soap in some warm water, let it sit for a bit, and then gently scrub with an old toothbrush. This gets rid of the mold release agent common to resin kits, plus any of the detritus from my filing and trimming flash. I set the pieces out to dry and wait anxiously. I could use a hair dryer to speed up the process, but since I do my modelling after the kids go to bed this isn't an option today.

Once the parts are all dry, I started in on the assembly. As I mentioned earlier, the pieces all fit together quite well. The biggest problem I had was being patient while the glue dried! There was one part where the metal track guards on the front line up with the resin hull that had a small gap. Whether I lined them up incorrectly, or that gap is supposed to be there I don't know. I ended up adding some green stuff to fill the space, then filed it down so it was seamless.


That sorted, the rest of the build went very smoothly. Another thing I liked about the kit was that they provided magnets to hold the turret to the hull, and the magnets fit into pre-molded holes. Nice touch, guys!


Here she is fully assembled. I'm really happy with the way the kit went together, and the way it looks all finished. That 76mm barrel looks pretty cool!



I have added a crewman from a Tamiya 1/48 U.S. Infantry box to add a little character to the kit. It looks pretty spot on to me. In hindsight I might have put the crewman in the other hatch so that I didn't have to position the .50 cal at such an odd angle. Still looks cool to me, like he's ducking down behind the gun to avoid incoming MG 42 rounds.

The big test came when I set it next to a plastic Sherman I had assembled earlier that night. I was relieved to see that they scale pretty darned well. The curves of the Trenchworx kit play with your eyes at first, but the two kits really do work well together.



That's it. The Trenchworx Sherman 76mm is a really good kit. It has excellent detail, is largely free of the work normally required for resin kits, and scales really well with my Warlord plastic Shermans. I would highly recommend this kit if you're looking for some bigger guns for your Americans, especially if you don't want to do an Easy Eight Sherman. In the new rules, the 76mm has the same template as the 75mm Sherman, and is that much better for killing enemy armor, so I think they're very much worth it.

I've got a few more Shermans to finish up assembly on before I break out the airbrush and start putting paint on these babies. More on that later.

Seamus, out.

Seamus, often going by the nom de guerre of “Weekend General,” is a long-time wargamer and sometime contributor to various podcasts and online forums, based in Chicago. Occasionally dabbling in other miniatures games, it is Bolt Action that really turns his gears. No, REALLY.


1 comments:

David Skibicki said...

Even if it was not so spot on, the Trenchwrox 76mm Sherman you built was based on an M4A1 versus the 75mm Sherman M4A3. It is bound to look a little different. However, your review is very informative. Trenchworx has a great product.

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