Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sherman Hunting...

There were a lot of Sherman tank variants used in the Second World War, and an equally bewildering variety of Sherman tank models available in both 1/76 and 1/72 scales.  The problem is that some are better than others (a lot better in some instances), and that they all vary widely in price and- probably most importantly when looking at the number of vehicles I'd be needing- availability.

My first port of call was "The Guild" wargamer's forum.  A plaintive cry for help there got myself lots of good and very helpful responses, as well as some fascinating links concerning what tanks the 761st may have used in '44 and '45.  Most of the tanks appeared to have been the M4A3(76) with some M4A3E2 Jumbos as well.

So I have come up with two options for collecting the battalion (as organized for use with Blitzkrieg Commander) as follows:

Option "A"
  • 3x M4A3E2
  • 7x M4A3(76)
  • 1x M4A3 w/105 (CS)
  • 3x M5 Stuarts

Easy Model's pre-painted M4A3(76) Sherman (above)

For the Shermans my first choice will be for the Easy Model or Dragon kits- The Easy Model M4A3 (76) seems a good bet- already assembled and painted, although I'd probably repaint them to my taste as I don't want the whole battalion sporting the same tank number!

And the price doesn't seem too bad at all; one is listed in a major on-line hobby store here at only 750 yen,  but getting the quantity I need will evidently be a hassle and I'm still waiting to hear about stock levels.

The Dragon kits are likewise proving elusive, at least in the numbers I'd need.  I've emailed a number of online hobby stores to see about availability.

If my search for a Jumbo comes up blank (as it has so far),  I may have to go for assuming an earlier organization and adopt option "B" which would be to "downgrade" the Shermans across the battalion, and use the Easy Models or the Armorfast kits. On the plus side it would certainly be the cheaper option of the two. 

Option "B"
  • 3x M4A3(76)
  • 7x M4A3(75)
  • 1x M4A3 w/105 (CS)
  • 3x M5 Stuarts
The Armorfast models are not nearly as detailed as the Dragon offerings, so I would not want to mix the two in the same unit.  But I'm pretty sure I could tart 'em up so that they pass muster on the gaming table, and they would certainly be robust enough to stand handling.  

Oh, and did I say they're cheap?  Two vehicles to a box, at the same price or less than other companies charge for a single model. 

Figures will probably be AB for the tank crews, and I'll be using Battlefield and Elheim for the "dogfaces".

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