by: Jim Lewis [ ]
Formations Models Set F011 provides modelers in 1:35th scale a quick fix for the bane of those who have Tamiya Sherman model kits - filling the open sponsons. Formations Models set for the M4A3 will work on Tamiya kit numbers 35122, 35250, and 35251. The example I used was free from air bubbles and warpage. I was able to open the package, study the instructions and a couple of photo references, and attach it to my Tamiya M4A3 Hull in about 30 minutes. I am no expert on the M4 Medium Tank, so I thought this a good sign.
My Sponson Filler floors fit onto the Tamiya Hull, but left some areas at the rear to fill. Neither reaming out the circular cuts or sanding away material from the underside of the Tamiya upper hull quite did the trick. However, it was quite simple to fill the rear area with Apoxie Sculpt and sand smooth.
The Formations Models set also includes their number F033 Exhaust Deflector, that replaces the inaccurate part provided in the Tamiya kit. The instructions here were generally okay for a modeler relatively new to Shermans - but mounting the Exhaust Deflector itself proved more than a simple drop-fit. There is no locating tab on the Formations part to locate the resin item, like on the Tamiya part. My example was slightly shorter than the span between the Sand Shield Mounting Plates - so sandwiching the Exhaust Deflector between them was a no-go. The most expedient solution came in trimming away the mounting strip from the Tamiya part and attaching it to the Formations Models replacement.
I recommend the Formations Models set, as it allowed me to quickly address the major shortcoming of the Tamiya M4A3 and got me into finishing up that model quicker. It is inexpensive and easy to work with, providing some nice detail underneath the sponsons of the miniature. It is easy for novices with resin products to use successfully.
This review item was purchased by GunTruck Studios for review on Armorama.