The Chrysler Multibank engine depicted by this kit came about due to a need to get tanks into the fight as soon as possible and because of a shortage of suitable engines. The engineers at Chrysler actually bolted 5 engines together and linked them to a common crankshaft. The Multibank engine proved entirely suitable and was fitted to 7,499 Sherman M4A4s.
The kit arrived well wrapped in a cardboard box. It consists of 78 resin parts in five zip lock bags, a length of .5mm round rod, a twenty page instruction booklet and an A4 sheet printed on both sides showing parts layout and a few errata contained in the instructions.
The instructions come in the form of a twenty page booklet. The first page gives a history of the engine and the M4A4 Sherman. Page two contains a list of parts. The next thirteen pages are the actual instructions in the form of two B/W photos per page showing part numbers with arrows directing their placement. The instructions are quite good with only 3-4 parts being placed per page. Page thirteen of the booklet (Reproduced here) is very complex and crowded so take care and dry fit as the sequence of fitting the parts is not given. Because all of the parts are the same colour and the photos are in black and white the placement of one or two parts is not very clear, more contrast in the photos might help. The last five pages are given over to photos of the real engine and drawings from a technical manual. The last page has a voucher to use in case replacement parts are needed.
The parts are very crisply cast in a cream colored resin with no air bubbles and very little flash which is easily removed. Resicast have a clever way of casting each part to a resin rod and then to a larger resin plug which makes removal of the part very easy. I used a razor saw and a no 11 blade fitted to my craft knife for this task.
Now for the fun part, I don’t mind saying that when I laid out the parts to photograph for this review I was a bit daunted by the prospect of fitting all those pipes, hoses and small parts together. I took a methodical approach to assembly removing each part from its resin plug as I needed it. I adapted the old carpentry rule “Measure twice – cut once” to “Dry fit three times – superglue once” I quickly sorted out the errata - misnumbered parts - and paid particular attention to the instruction photos as well as the photos of real engines in the instruction booklet as well as those I found on the web.
The fit of parts is excellent and slowly and steadily the engine began to take shape. I departed from the sequence of instructions a few times when dry fitting showed me that my thick fingers would have trouble fitting small parts into small spaces. For example I fitted the soft resin pipes to the engine block before attaching the radiator and I fitted the carburetors to the air pipe before I fitted the air pipe to the engine block.
The length of .5mm plastic rod supplied with the kit was lost as soon as I photographed it so I replaced it from stock. This I did without reference to the instructions, breaking my own rule I know, and it turned out the piece I used was way too thick for scale. However by the time I realized this assembly had progressed too far and I have to live with the mistake. I also lost one of the radiator stays and not wanting to send away for such a small part replaced it with a length of stretched sprue.
I chose to show the whole engine together though it could be shown in sub assemblies. Although it doesn’t mention it in the instructions I sliced off the bolt heads on the radiator to give a better fit to the fan cover.
This resin kit though complicated went together more easily than some plastic kits due mainly to the excellent fit of parts and the constant dry fitting and referencing to photos I did.
I gave the whole assembly a coat of Halford’s grey car primer and then Tamiya Olive drab. I painted the exhausts a reddish colour and the washed the whole thing in a sloppy wash of Citadel Chaos Black. Further weathering will take place when I'ce decided how to use the engine
I don’t have a huge amount of experience with resin kits but despite my initial misgivings about the complexity of this kit building it turned out to be a highly enjoyable experience. Some people do Sudoku or play Nintendo brain games to keep their minds young, others read Harry Potter novels or do cryptic crossword puzzles, -as for me, I plan to build more kits of this type. The sense of achievement I felt when I had nothing left on my workbench but a built engine and some resin plugs and dust was immense. I did try fitting it to the Resicast M4A4 Engine bay but I would have had to remove a few parts from the engine bay so I am going to show the engine outside the tank. Now All I need is a Scammell Heavy Wrecker to show the engine being lifted from the tank!
Highs: Choice of subject. Quality of casting and fit of partsLows: One or two parts of the instructions could be clearerVerdict: This is a great little kit and builds up into a very good replica of the original engine. This is the sort of accessory that the excellent Tasca Firefly deserves.
I served three years in the Irish Army.
Then I studied fine art for five years.
Acted professionally since leaving college (Look me up on IMDB- Pat McGrathIII)
Interested in Allied Armour 1942-45 and German SPGs.
Other interests are figures and Sci Fi models