Hi there, and welcome to Kit Kritiques!
Since this is the first article of the series, I will explain what you’ll find within. In this series I want to buy, build, and look at model kits from all sorts of companies, genres, series, and uses. After this, I will rate the model in ten different categories giving them a score from 1 to 10 based on my experiences. Some are more factual; some are simply just my opinions. After the scoring, I will explain my reasoning behind it.
I love models, and I think that model building is an awesome and rewarding hobby. I do know that it can also seem daunting and confusing at first. Which is why with this series I hope I can help veteran and new builders alike find kits that are the right fit for them.
So, without further ado, this week on Kit Kritiques we are taking a look at the World War Toon Sherman M4A1 Medium Tank! Before we get started, I would like to say that I’ve had my eye on this kit for a long time, and after building it I’m very happy with it! As you’ll see in my ratings, I think this is a great kit for beginners or children that might want to get into or try out the hobby!
Category Explanation Score
Price The cost of a kit. Higher = cheaper. 10
Assembly How easy it is to assemble the model. High=Simple 8
Options How variable the kit is. Starts with a 5. 5
Materials How many materials/tools are needed to complete the kit. 10
Time Every kit starts at 10 and loses a point per hour. 8
Enjoyment How much fun I had putting the kit together! Higher=more fun! 8
Appearance How good the kits sculpt is. Higher = more detail 9
Size Size, and how easy it will be to store. higher = less intrusive 10
Use Starts at a 5 for general, gains points for useability. 6
Bonus Based on my personal feelings on the kit! 10
Final Rating The average of all the scores 8.4
Price: (10) As you can see on the box, the price point for this model is a reasonable fifteen dollars. Now being reasonable does not usually warrant a score of 10, but when I bought this Hobby Lobby was having a 40% off sale. This dropped the price to about eight dollars after tax, which boosted its score tremendously! This sort of sale happens often, so keep an eye out and you can find this bargain too!
Assembly: (8) I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this kit is entirely push fit! While I still used superglue in most places, being able to push fit a lot of the smaller pieces was very helpful. The only problem was there was a lot of smaller pieces. While I can’t complain too much, since it is expected on a model of this size, I do feel that some of the pieces could have been molded to the hull of the tank without losing much in the way of detail. I almost broke a taillight trying to fit it into its designated position. Beside that little nit-pick, the instructions were clear and very easy to read and understand.
Options: (5) This kit does what it says on the tin. It is only a Sherman Tank and only contains enough pieces to make a tank that looks exactly like the art on the box. This isn’t a bad thing, and I wasn’t expecting anything different from this kit. However, those who like to go above and beyond customizing their models won’t be able to do much of that with this kit.
Materials: (10) You for sure will need a pair of sprue clips, and an x-acto blade or other type of hobby knife to clean flash and mold lines from the pieces. I also used super glue to make sure some parts would stay in place permanently, but it isn’t needed. One thing that I really liked is that the tank treads were all in one piece of rubber! I have seen some other tank kits that require heating up a screwdriver to melt the tracks together, like what? None of that here though!
Time: (8) This kit took me around two hours to finish, but I was doing a little extra cleaning and a being a bit nit-pickier than most people would.
Enjoyment: (8) So despite my comments about small pieces parts, the model wasn’t all that fiddly! It was a blast and a breeze to put together and set a good tone for the rest of the model line. It wasn’t the most excitement I’ve ever had while putting together a model, but I did have a fun two hours with it. I think that if this was someone’s first model, regardless of their age they would have a great time with it!
Appearance: (9) You wouldn’t expect it from a cartoony version of a historical tank, but this kit has great detail for being what it is. They could have gotten away with doing a lot less, but in my opinion, they did a fine job. The wheels spin, the turret rotates, and the main gun can traverse up and down. I would have liked if the hull gun matched the box art, or if they had given the turret mount a machinegun.
Size: (10) This thing is adorably small and fits perfectly in the palm of my hand! This would take up barely any space on a shelf, desk, or display cabinet. Perfect to start or add to any collection!
Use: (6) For this model, I could see that along with some other vehicles in the World War Toons line it could be used to make a cute and impressive diorama. Also, I plan to use some rules from various games to get some play time with it. For most people though, I can see it being an adorable little display piece!
Bonus! (10) I absolutely adore this style and have had my eye on this model line for a while! Chibi things are inherently cute and packed full of charm and I can’t wait to paint this. Incidentally that brings me into the next thing that really gave this a lot of bonus points. In my opinion this is the perfect kit for beginners to start learning the basics. With a low price point it is affordable just to try, its ease of construction keeps it from being too frustrating, and its small final size is perfect to learn to paint on!