Thursday, May 26, 2016

Review Thursday: Rubicon Sherman

POW POW! Last tank up for review now.. this time the M4A3 Sherman Tank from Rubicon. A vehicle that if anyone from my club knew I had another one of these up to be painted, then they might be getting more than a bit upset. Considering how powerful and versatile they are in the game, and more so when upgraded to a veteran level.

Triple sprues, instructions and transfer. Not surprising after all the kits now. And quite the variety of parts available within.

Not surprising we can see that there are 2 separate turrets, and 3 options for which barrel it has. Making the Sherman as expected, the most versatile tank available for the Allies ( in my opinion at the very least! ).

I built up the 76mm turret first as this is one of the few that I do not already have ( running 4 75mm Shermans is already impressive ), so a 76mm even more powerful version is even cooler!

However I then see the first problem with the kit. There was only a single turret ring, and commander hatch. So although the options exist to make 3 different versions of the tank exist, you are stuck with only a single version ( unless your good with plasticard to make both missing parts ).

As far as putting the body of the Sherman together, it was a lot simpler than the warlord one. Though with less details, and I suspect that the version of Shermans are a bit different.

Though I did like that the lights had grooves cut into the hull for them to sit on instead of having to drill holes to get them to fit into on the Warlord.

I will acknowledge that I made a mistake on the assembly, but also that it didnt seem to fit the other way. The front sloped section is actually upside down in the photo. Not the end of the world, as I will probably add some extra stowage around it as well. I will load them up like the Warlord versions, but will stock up the front also.

All up together with the 76mm turret in place.. quite lovely tank, and one that will be popping Axis tanks soon enough if all goes well ;) Though I might paint it in Africa campaign colors instead of Pacific or European camo. And if doing so, then I guess wooden sides will not be needed as much..

The immediate things I can see differently between the Rubicon and Warlord plastic Shermans, is that the Warlord one is wider. The turret is also thicker on the warlord version, but I chalk that up to it being a different variant overall compared to what Rubicon had decided to put together.

But looking at the resin version from Warlord compared to Rubicon they seem to be similar variants of the Sherman. Though the biggest difference between them ( and this is suffered with the Warlord plastic also ) is that the resin version rides higher. Mostly due to the way that the tracks are cast up and made to attach to the hull.

The Rubicon Sherman has some extra stowage for the back compared to the Warlords resin. And the plastic has no spotlight unlike the resin copy on the 75mm turret. And the front MMG sticks out more on the plastic than on the resin.

Overall I think I prefer the Rubicon Sherman ( again ) though the fact that some conversion work is needed to make it more modular is a bit of a let down. Though considering that Warlords sell each tank individually for the variants ( 75mm ver 76mm ) this is kind of a moot point ( but one that Rubicon have done well with in the past on other kits like the Crusader or Stuart ).

There is no price difference between the plastic kits ( both retail for 20 GBP ), though the resin version is still going for 23 GBP. So if you want to compare them I would do it as such:

  • Plastic to plastic, same cost, but the Rubicon is miles easier to assemble. 
  • Plastic to Resin, Resin is easier to assemble, but costs 3 GBP more
Therefore for me, the Rubicon wins due to being the middle ground for ease of assembly, and for being the same price point as the cheaper Warlord option. All this not taking into considering any local club or store promotions or discounts that may or may not be available on any or all of the above kits. 

Overall I hope that you have enjoyed this mini-series of Tank reviews from Rubicon. I have had a good time putting them together, and realize that I need to take more breaks while doing so as so not to mess up or seemingly glue random parts in the wrong order ( even if the instructions are easy to read ). 

If I were to pick a favourite out of the bunch it would be the Stuart overall. Ease of use, cheapest to buy, and just a lot of potential on it there. If the Sherman is ever to get redone ( as to make it so that multiple turrets are able to be assembled and used with it ) then I suspect many more of them might be picked up at some point. Though I did hear a rumour that the M10/M36 kit has the ability to create both turrets, and that the M36 turret might fit nicely on top of this here. Of course this might be a rumour so I guess I might need to pick one up to just confirm that as much as I can :D

Any other tanks or vehicles out there that you think I should pick up for my Americans, Canadian Commonwealth or Japanese forces? Let me know, and I will add them to my list for potential reviews in the future. But for now.. off to go POW POW with my latest editions and see if the rest of the club likes the new armor :D

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