M4 Dozer Tank (X2)
AC350052bBlack Cat Models, 1/350th Scale, Resin
Reviewed by Devin Poore, March 2020
|Dozer conversions were in-field modifications that could
be done to basically any Sherman tank. While most Sherman's never received
this modification, those that did proved there worth in many ways. In Europe,
dozer equipped Sherman's first appeared in Italy, where they proved instrumental
in keeping the roads open for the drive north. During the invasion of Normandy,
dozer equipped Shermans were utilized to great effect in removing beach
obstacles, and later in penetrating the hedgerows during the drive inland.
While they were not used as extensively in the Pacific theater, they did
see service here and there, preparing landing ramp areas for LSTs, general
construction, and sealing up enemy caves.
My references state that a Sherman's length would be between 19' and almost 21', depending on the variant. The hulls here measure out at nearly 18mm, or .71 inches, which at 1/350th scale comes out on the larger size, but still within that 19-21' range.
|The set comes with enough parts to make
two dozer-equipped Shermans. There are 12 parts, 6 of which are cast-resin,
the other 6 are printed-resin, and a sheet of decals. The cast resin pieces,
making up the hull and treads, are finely detailed, free of defects, with
small casing attachments. These attachments are a long thin edge on the
bottom of the hull, and two pins on the bottom of the tracks. All look
to remove and clean up easily, and with them being on the bottom of the
pieces, even if there is an issue with removal, it won't be visible. The
tracks have locator pins on the inner surface that match with holes on
the Sherman's hull. They almost fit, but would benefit from a little drilling
of the mounting holes in the hull to make sure they press-in fully.
The printed items include the gun turrets, the dozer blades, and what appears to be the hull-mounted actuating device for the blades. The turrets have the barrels printed in-place. The guns look great as-is, but if you want to show those barrels hollow, you'll need to swap them out for some micro brass tubing; at a diameter of only .4mm/.016", you won't be drilling out those barrels. The other printed components are the dozer blades, which are printed vertically to avoid excessive support material. The hull mounting bracket, which is what I assume the other part is, is likewise mounted vertically, and well detailed.
The final part of the set is the decal sheet, which contains 45 white stars, in two sizes.
As of this review, there are no instructions for this kit listed on the Black Cat website. They honestly shouldn't be necessary, but for those wishing them, check the Sherman Dozer page in the future; if made available, they'll be linked there for download.
Sherman dozers are another unique and interesting accessory from the Black
Cat line. Obviously intended to be used with their LST kits, they'll also
do well in any 1/350th scale Army, Marine or Navy beachhead diorama. The
mix of cast and printed resin components continues to work well for these
sets, and the multiple variations available for the Sherman tanks in this
line -- also available are the standard Sherman, and the amphibious DD
models -- point to hopefully further variants in the future.
Thank you to Black Cat Models for the review sample.