Many US tank divisions in World War II modified their tanks with add-on armor. The most common was sandbags, even though sandbags often failed to have any effect against enemy anti-tank weapons and were actually nothing more than a morale-booster for the tank crews, making them believe that they have better chances of surviving a hit.
However, the use of sandbags also added more weight to the tank and increased the strain on engines and the drive train, causing the tank to need maintenance repairs more often. Therefore many officers discouraged tank crews from sand-bagging their vehicles, and Patton banned their use in his 3rd Army.
An angry General Patton after reprimanding a tank crew for the sandbags on their Sherman (Public Domain).
The set is packed in a typical DEF Model hard cardboard box (8 x 5,5 x 3 cm). Box art image shows the contents of the set and states it is designed for 1/35 scale M4A3 kits. DEF Model website specifies the set fits best to M4A3 from Zvezda (#3676), but that it can be applied to most other M4A3 kits as well.
The box contains a zip-lock bag with 3 pieces cast in grey resin.
The resin looks really good and I found no imperfections in the cast. The only problem was the damaged gun travel lock… two delicate “fingers” of the travel lock scissors jaw snapped in transport, but I found these tiny pieces in the zip-lock bag and fixed them back on.
The details are nicely defined, sharp and clean. The sandbags feature a delicate texture which should pop right out after painting.
Along with the sandbag front armor, the set also includes two pieces of stowage, one for each side of the Sherman tank turret. These canvas rolls are also nicely delivered with fine details all around.
Removing the casting blocks and cleaning the parts should be very much straightforward. A rotary tool might come in handy for cutting the large block off the front armor, followed by some wet sanding. Remember to wear a mask and not inhale the resin dust. Any eventual “scars” from the cleanup process would not be visible once the parts are fixed on the model.
I can’t comment on the fit of the pieces to the tank model. Being designed for Zvezda’s M4A3 (76) Sherman offering (#3676), DEF Model website shows a perfect fit to that particular model. Fitting the set to other 1/35 scale M4A3 models might require some additional work.
WWII US M4A3 Sherman Sandbag Front Armour (DM35121) from DEF Model delivers some extra sandbag protection for the Sherman front glacis, as well as two turret stowage rolls. Well cast and with nicely defined details, this set is designed to fit Zvezda’s M4A3 (76) Sherman offering (#3676).
A big thank you to DEF Model for this review sample:
EDIT: I just had to add two photos from DEF Model website, as I feel these images showcase the set perfectly. Enjoy.