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Sherman V OP

What started me down the path to create this tank was a photograph in the book “The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps An Illustrated History”. The photo is featured in the book on page253 and also blown up and used on the dust cover. The tank commander in the photo bears a striking resemblance to my Uncle who was in the Canadian Army during WW2. Unfortunately he passed away a number of years ago and details of his military service (which lasted until the early 70s) are scarce. Still I was intrigued because I recalled him saying he was in a Sherman from D-Day onward to the end of the war but I also knew he was part of the Artillery.

This tank is listed in the book as being a Sherbrooke Fusiliers tank with the photo being taken in Caen, France on July 10, 1944. Elsewhere in research I did it has been stated that the identification of the tank was incorrect (can also be evidenced in the visible markings on the vehicle in the photograph) and the Sherman is actually a Sherman V OP (Observation Post), C Troop Commander, RCA 12, 13 or 14 Field Regiment. Normandy (Caen), France. 10 July 1944.

So while I have no positive proof that the tank commander in the photo was indeed my Uncle I decided that I wanted to model the tank as best I could. Now let me also state this is my first real Sherman project. Prior to this I had built 1 Firefly from the early Dragon kit and that was out of the box when I was getting back into modeling after my long absence. So I decided to dive into this Sherman project and I was amazed at the amount of details and differences with the Sherman tank. I could probably build nothing but Sherman tanks for the next 20 years and not manage to model every type.

Materials used
I purchased the Dragon Firefly kit #6182 to give me a basic M4A4 hull to work from along with ordering the Formations Sherman V Conversion for DML Firefly - Kit #F049 which was designed for that kit. Additional details that I used are listed as follows.
  • Maple Leaf Models 4” smoke dischargers (oop)
  • Formations Sherman Foul Weather Drivers Hood- Kit #F035
  • Academy .50 cal machine gun from their excellent weapons set.
  • Karaya Sherman TC Set w/ 7.62mm Gun Barrels KTC35003
  • Blast Stowage set (pieces from several sets used)
  • Friulmodel Sherman T-54E1 All Steel Tracks (ATL-12)
  • Quartermasters Depot “Canadians in Normandy” Decal Set
  • Various scratch built items using styrene stock, lead foil and wire.
  • Construction of the Hull
    Basic construction was done following the Dragon kit instructions for the hull. The Formations kit requires you to remove the front portion of the plastic kit hull and graft on the resin front 3 piece bolted transmission. This was very easy to do and the fit was perfect. Formations supplies road wheels and idler wheels to replace the kit ones. These are nicely details and the idlers include the detail missing from the inside of the Dragon kit ones. All stowage attachment holes were filled in and the hull was detailed with raised weld beads to correct the sunken kit ones which are incorrect. This was done using stretched sprue and liquid cement and turned out to be quite easy to do. The tracks were a set of British Chevron Fruili that I got on a bargain table at a LHS sometime ago. The kit tracks are also quite good but I decided I wanted to go with the Fruils.

    In the photograph you can see the Foul Weather Hood was installed presumably to give the driver better visibility in the dust which is quite evident in the photo. I also scratch built the front stowage bin which appears to have been made with simple angle iron welded on to the tank. Two road wheels can be seen mounted on the front fenders and I added these also. A karaya .30 cal barrel was added along with their excellent tow cable. On the rear deck you can just make out some stowage in the picture so I decided to add some stowage from Blast and I purchased several sets before I found the one I was happy with. This was detailed and installed along with some wire to tie it down.

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    About the Author

    About Rob Feehan (rfeehan)

    My main interests are 1/35th scale WW2 and modern armor with some aircraft and sci-fi when the mood hits me. I am particularly interested in Canada's armor and aircraft and I enjoy modeling those subjects as much as I can. I am Canadian born and moved to the USA in 1994. I am currently living i...


    This article is a pleasant surprise! I saw this tank "in person" Wednesday night at the Kansas City AMPS meeting. It's very good -- the photos don't really show all the details Rob added. As a guy who builds lots of Sherman variants, I can honestly say Rob did a super job on this and I'm a bit jealous.
    APR 22, 2006 - 10:30 AM
    Hi Rob, Thanks for sharing the pictues, nice clean build and looks excellent. The addition of the 4" Smoke dischargers is a neat addition. It's a pity the company is closed until the fall, they have some good and useful items. Vinnie, thanks for posting Rob's pictures. Cheers Al
    APR 22, 2006 - 04:23 PM
    Very nice mod. Clean and I love the air recognition star on the turret top. Excellent work.
    APR 22, 2006 - 04:29 PM