Wednesday, 12 November 2014

M4A3 (Late) Plastic Sherman Platoon (UBX44) - Review

Hello all

My main focus for the end of 2014 going into 2015 will be expanding my US forces so I can use a number of different army lists. So when I saw the new M4A3 (Late) Plastic Shermans (UBX44) I had to grab them to add to my army.
The Flames of War range of plastics is getting better and better from the slightly awkward beginnings with the Open Fire Shermans and StuG's to the excellent SU-85 and Pershing Box Sets. With that in mind I was interested to see if this set fixed the problems that plagued the Open Fire Versions, and at first glance I am happy to say that this is a completely different model.

Whats in the box?
In the box as with all the boxes (bar the Pershing) you get 5 tanks, a decal sheet and a tank commander sprue. As has been the case with the newer sets there are no magnets, but these can be bought from special order if you wish to use them. The sprues are split into a couple of different sections, it's clear that some of these bits are designed with the other marks of Sherman in mind with a mantle which I believe would be for the M4A1 Sherman, and the gun barrel for later Easy Eight's, maybe the next two Sherman box Sets? (Of course I could be wrong and reading far too much into that).
The commander sprue is the same as the one you get in the Pershing box set You also have enough bits to make both the 75mm and 76mm turrets with the option to make 105mm Sherman turrets instead of the 75mm. This is great as it means you get a lot more bang for your buck, but one gripe would be this means the decal sheet provided definitely doesn't have enough of the larger stars to do both sets of turrets. Also included is the option to up armour all your shermans which is an option in Bridge at Remagen and a great way of getting as much out of the box set as possible.
Clearly an early Sherman must be in the works.
A plastic Easy Eight in the future?
I will be honest I was worried about the construction for two reasons: firstly I was worried that I might have similar problems with the model not fitting together as with the Open Fire versions, and I was also worried about the amount of time these would take me as the last two turret plastic set I made was the T-34 and that took quite a while to make. Well firstly as this a completely different model there is no gap along the hull to worry about!
Secondly the construction time was very quick, I made all five tanks and their turrets in under two hours (it might have been closer to one and a half hours), there isn't a lot of parts to glue together with the only slightly annoying bit being sticking on the front plant as there was a very slight gap (nothing a little liquid green stuff couldn't fix). My one gripe during the construction was the pegs that connect the turrets to the hulls. I used them on the Pershings and found them to be a great fit, but on these they seem a little looser (although I will say that the fit was better once I spray coated the model). I'd also like to say that (and I know I have said this before), but you can clearly see they are getting better and that can only be a good thing going forward.
Closing Thoughts
I really like this kit, it went together like a dream. I only used the assembly guide as a quick reference before I started the first model and didn't really need it again. The amount of options and having both turrets means you can cover a lot with this one box. I plan to pick up a couple more boxes to make 105mm Shermans and enough M4A3's to run a 7th Armored list with them.


  • Much better than the Open Fire Versions
  • Great amount of options, 75mm, 76mm, 105mm and up armoured.
  • Short construction time for a multi-turreted kit.
  • 5 great looking tanks for £26 is priced very well, doubly so when you can have both turrets
  • Like all Battlefront kits, these are a lot tougher than the plastic kits of other manufactures. 

  • The decals lack the numbers of stars you'd want/need. I had to use one and a half other sheets to make up the numbers
  • The lack of magnets for the turrets, I guess this is a cost thing and the pegs are fine but I much prefer the magnets especially when you have the option to swap turrets.
Overall I would give this set 8.5/10. The model is excellent and options make this a must have buy for any US players, the few gripes are solvable with a few extra purchases.

Thanks for looking and until next time



  1. Those look really nice! Well done.

  2. Very nice looking end results and regarding the Easy 8 gun barrel, don't Battlefront sell separate HVSS tracks?

    1. I hadn't thought of that, good point well made, but I think they would need a bit of work to fit the kit.