Tanks For The Memories
Tanks. There's just something about them. If you've started collecting a Bolt Action force, then it is just a matter of time before you start hankering for some armour. Who wouldn't want to lead the charge with a trundling behemoth?
For those of us with an American force, a great option is the Sherman, the mainstay of the US army during WWII. And of course, Warlord has a kit for it.
Here we take a look at the M4 Sherman variant, a regular site on the battlefields of WWII. Pumped out in industrial quantities by the US, there were around 50,000 Shermans being churned out by the war's end. Fortunately you don't need that many for a game of Bolt Action; one is often enough for an average game (but like most players you might struggle to keep your tank-buying habit to one).
As well as American forces, the Sherman was also supplied to British and other Commonwealth nations, with tens of thousands being distributed through the Lend-Lease programme.
Now, I know what you're thinking: the history is all great and all, but is it any good on the tabletop? Well, see for yourself. It has a Medium Armour rating of 9 and its medium anti-tank gun is a match for any Axis tanks. Its points value is rather reasonable too and it can put out considerably more High Explosives damage than others in the game, making it lethal against infantry. And that's without accounting for its machine guns. It sounds good, but counterbalancing all of this is its Easily Catches Fire rule, which pretty much does what it says on the tin.
Open The Hatch
Opening up the box, you're greeted with the sprues, as well as the stat card, a full colour water-slide decal sheet and even some neat damage markers. The tank itself is made from hard plastic, so get your poly' cement out for sticking it together.
Here is a little tip: superglue some pennies at the inner bottom of the tank. It doesn't make for an easier modelling experience, but it adds some weight to the model, which seems fitting considering the real thing is meant to be over 30 tonnes. There is just something about having that little bit of weight to it that appeals.
The bulk of the M4 Sherman model is easy enough to get together; it's a case of sticking the two halves of the hull together and then adding the tracks either side. The turret may need some enquiring of the instruction leaflet to make sure you get all the components in the right way. It's then a case of putting in place all of the smaller details and accoutrements, like turret-mounted machine gun and some of the sections on the front.
You have the choice of adding a tank commander poking out of the turret or to place the hatch closed.
Altogether, a relatively straight forward modelling project. And if you have made some of the other Bolt Action tanks, especially Sherman-based vehicles, you will be familiar with how this one comes together.
Once painted, the box comes with a decal sheet that has many symbols and signifiers to represent various units.
Just like the real thing, this M4 Sherman is going to be a workhorse in your force. It's a good, all-round tank and the model from Warlord does a great job of representing it on the table.