IDF M4A1 (76) W

With the comparatively limited selection of 1:48 scale armour available these days, the arrival of another Sherman kit is always welcome news. So, as you can imagine I was excited to get my hands on the Hobby Boss M4A1(76)W. I held high hopes for this kit. Unfortunately, every silver lining has a cloud. This kit is a mixed bag of nice detail marred by inaccurate dimensions and dodgy fit.Overall this isn’t a bad kit. However, since it is the only plastic M4A1 (76) W in this scale it is very disappointing to run across problems like the dimensional issues which are difficult to fix and abysmal vinyl tracks which are impossible to fix. I decided to do this kit up in IDF colors, circa 1960. Following several unfortunate fratricide incidents in the 1956 Suez Campaign the IDF went a little overboard festooning their armor with identifying marks. They toned it down a little by the time of the 1967 war but to this day the IDF is very sensitive to friendly fire mishaps. I made positive masks of most of the markings and left them covered while I painted the OD base coat.
I tried and experiment with the turret markings. I used the kit decals there over the uneven surfaces so a side by side comparison could be made between painted and decal markings. Aside from a little sheen on the turret decal I think they came out pretty close.I used a mixture of Tamiya XF-62 Olive Drab and XF-51 Khaki Drab for the base coat. Following that I post shaded with the mix lightened with XF-60 Dark Yellow.
Once the base coat was on I gave it a wash with black and umber oils to heighten shadows and bring out details. The main weathering was done with pastels. I concentrated this on the bogies and tracks.

The kit supplied .50 cal machine gun was pretty awful. I decided to have a little fun and alter it to sit on the stowage rack. It's still pretty basic but with a few vent holes drilled out and some some spare photo etch bits and bobs and I think it worked out pretty well. The blue cross ID marking is some artistic license on my part. These were placed on IDF vehicles in 1956 for the Operation Kadesh campaign against Egypt. It's conjectural whether many were left on vehicles by 1960. Some photos show Israeli AMX-13s still sporting the markings around that time period so I added it. Besides, it was a chance to put some color on a Sherman. Such opportunities are rare so I couldn't resist.
There were some nice photo etch parts which helped redeem the other flaws in this kit. With a retail price under $20 I can't say I feel like I got ripped off but there are some things the rivet counter in me really needs to wink at. Still, overall it can build up into a nice little kit.

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