Author Topic: New Rubicon Sherman  (Read 1735 times)

Pinky

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New Rubicon Sherman
« on: April 02, 2017, 01:41:20 PM »
I picked up the new Rubicon M4A3E8 kit yesterday, and have been playing around with it since then.

The first point is that this kit marks another milestone for Rubicon.  It's pretty much an entirely new kit - not much remains of their original (discontinued) M4A3 kit.  There are 4 sprues packed with bits, including optional parts, accessories and crew figures (well, half figures).  The precision and accuracy of the detail is up there with their best kits, but you can also have a lot of fun personalising the model.  It's also going to be easy to build several 76mm-armed Shermans and have them all looking different.  So I think this is their best kit yet in terms of just being enjoyable to build.

The most important options are the tracks and suspension - there are 3 versions, and they take up a lot of the space on the sprues.  The basic version is virtually identical to the original, except that the chevron detail on the treads has been mounded onto the front section (but not the back - the only real flaw in this kit).  The extended end connector version is very nicely cast, and a good example of how Rubicon are prepared to push the envelope with one-piece castings.  They will fit on the original M4A3 kit, so I may replace mine.  They don't fit on the M10/M36 hull.  As an aside, the extended end connectors often broke off, so you can remove a few for added realism.  You only get enough pieces for either the basic tracks or the version with extended end connectors.

The HVSS suspension is one of the big attractions of this kit, and it's very nicely done.  All the details are there, and once again most of it is a one piece casting (although the tread detail is still only on the front section of the tracks).  The tracks are the later T80 type (distinguished by the chevron tread pattern), which were less common in WW2 than the T66 single pin type.

There is one basic hull, with optional parts for the VVSS and HVSS suspension.  The HVSS suspension involved narrow mudguards down the side which (along with the wider 23 inch track) altered the Sherman's appearance significantly, and these are separate parts which slot on very neatly. The hull hatches are separate, and other details like the rear plate and exhaust deflector have been greatly improved.  Even the spare tracks brackets have been improved (remember not to mount these on the HVSS version).

The turrets have been totally redesigned, and look very accurate.  As the instructions point out, you should only use the later version for the M4A3E8 (only very early M4A3E8s had the circular loader's hatch).  The machine-gun storage brackets are included (they are a bit fiddly).  You can't build 2 complete T-23 turrets - you have to choose.  I don't think that's an issue.  There are two .50 cals, one with a slightly thicker barrel for wargaming (a nice touch - I hope this becomes a standard feature in Rubicon kits).  The M36 turret fits the new hull easily - as the M36B1 was often fitted with extended end connectors, you can now build a very accurate model of one.

There are 4 crew half-figures, all identical except 2 are modified to attach inside the hull hatches.  No doubt most of us will replace them with figures from the forthcoming US tank crew set.  The accessories include jerrycans and spare tracks and wheels (for the VVSS version) which are basically from the Allied stowage set.  There are no spare HVSS wheels. There is an unusual version of the Cullin hedgerow device - these would be very rare on this Sherman, which entered service after the US Army left the Normandy bocage. 

So, in summary a very good kit, and a very promising start to the Sherman range.  Go out and buy some!
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 01:02:24 PM by Pinky »

ultravanillasmurf

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Re: New Rubicon Sherman
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2017, 02:48:31 PM »
Very useful review. Thanks.

I look forward to seeing your finished model (and buying mine at Salute).

elias.tibbs

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Re: New Rubicon Sherman
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2017, 02:35:48 AM »
Agree with it all.

I had to clasp at straws to find issues with the kit and he only real gripes I could get was the tread pattern and lack
Of .30 cal for a pintle mount
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
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Pinky

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Re: New Rubicon Sherman
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2017, 03:20:06 PM »
Yes, a .30 cal would have been good.  And maybe separate grips for the .50 cal.

I just realised that you can't build more than one complete set of tracks, as they all share the same inner drive sprocket pieces.  I cannibalised my old Sherman tracks to make 2 complete sets with extended end connectors.  But unless you're happy to leave the inner pieces off entirely, you're going to need to scratchbuild them if you want to use one of the optional sets of tracks on another model.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 07:19:46 PM by Pinky »

ripley

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Re: New Rubicon Sherman
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 08:29:03 PM »
Unless you get down at table level to look , you probably wouldn't notice the missing inner sprocket piece . Most gamers view their toys from above  ;D .  I wonder if the full  sand shields would help hide missing piece ? I used the inner sprocket pieces from my SU-85 to make a spare sprocket for a early warTt-34 .  Missing parts are not noticable at all , but then the T-34 hull is low and crammed with large wheels

elias.tibbs

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Re: New Rubicon Sherman
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 12:46:12 AM »
I'd find it hard to see the sprocket if the tank was upside down!
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
A (Cam)Bridge Too Far - A UK based Bolt Action Tournament

ripley

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Re: New Rubicon Sherman
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 08:17:49 AM »
It easy , if you know where to look elias    :D


Pinky

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Re: New Rubicon Sherman
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2017, 01:16:08 PM »
Here's the kit almost completed, with a lavish amount of Rubicon stowage. 







Rubicon Models

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Re: New Rubicon Sherman
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2017, 04:46:51 PM »
@Pinky, are you going to paint this?   ;D

ultravanillasmurf

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Re: New Rubicon Sherman
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2017, 07:12:49 PM »
Looking forward to seeing this painted.

Lots of gear.

Pinky

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Re: New Rubicon Sherman
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2017, 09:17:55 PM »
@Pinky, are you going to paint this?   ;D

As long as I don't get distracted by another...what's that shiny thing there?

ultravanillasmurf

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Re: New Rubicon Sherman
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2017, 10:57:25 PM »
@Pinky, are you going to paint this?   ;D

As long as I don't get distracted by another...what's that shiny thing there?
You would not catch me doing that...
http://ultravanillasmurf.blogspot.com/2015/12/more-rubicon-wip.html

Pinky

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Re: New Rubicon Sherman
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2017, 12:38:56 AM »
Yeah.  I check your site regularly.  My inability to focus is on a whole different level...

Russians (sorry, Rubicon - all Warlord):


Germans (all Rubicon):


US (all Rubicon):


There are also WiP British Shermans and German half-tracks.  And the Oddball Sherman...

The US tanks are a case in point.  I've basically rebuilt them twice, once when the Allied stowage set came out, and again when the new M4A3 appeared ( the Shermans got new tracks).  The other issue is time - it requires much longer periods of uninterrupted concentration to paint them properly.  That's hard to find.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 12:42:04 AM by Pinky »

elias.tibbs

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Re: New Rubicon Sherman
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2017, 02:17:40 AM »
Well here's my Sherman project..

A full company of Shermans.. 3x platoons of 5 Shermans, 2x command Sherman and a 105mm. Mostly Rubicon. 


First platoon completed.


I can't take credit for this conversion. I needed an M32 to complete my company so I asked a friend of mine (Richard Humble) to make me one using the Rubicon chassis!
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 02:23:20 AM by elias.tibbs »
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
A (Cam)Bridge Too Far - A UK based Bolt Action Tournament

ripley

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Re: New Rubicon Sherman
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2017, 05:40:37 AM »
WOW! Fantastic tank platoon . Your friend did a great job on the M 32 , looks better than the 1/35 Italeri one I built