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Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
with Blake Coster

By late 1944 there was no such thing as a standard M4 Sherman tank. The basic design had proliferated into a variety of improved and specialised models. These were issued as available and mixed together in whatever fashion the commander on the spot desired. The same can be said for our new plastic M4A3 (late) Platoon, the latest addition to the Flames Of War plastics range.

Learn more about the M4A3 (late) Platoon here...
Bridge At Remagen
On 7 March 1945, lead elements of Task Force Engeman discover that Remagen’s Ludendorff Bridge is still intact, and Brigadier General Hoge instantly recognises that a decisive battle is upon his troops. He orders the bridge to be captured.

Learn more about Bridge At Remagen here...
The M4A3 (late) Platoon box set allows you to model no less than five different variants of the M4A3 Sherman; the regular M4A3 (late) armed with a M3 75mm main gun as well as the Uparmoured version; the M4A3 (late) armed with the M1 76mm gun again with an option for the Uparmoured version; and the M4A3 (105mm). The box set also includes extra upgrades such as the additional AA MG option as featured in Bridge At Remagen plus the customary Tank Commanders and decal sheet that usually accompany a Flames Of War tank box set.

So let's break out the hobby tools and plastic cement and get started but before we begin any assembly, let's ensure the entire contents of the M4A3 (late) Platoon box set are all present and correct.

If you have any problems or issues with the contents of your box set, please feel free to contact our Customer Service team at:
customerservice@battlefront.co.nz.
The Contents of the M4A3 (late) Sherman Platoon Box Set
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Description of Components
a. 5x Plastic M4A3 (late) sprues.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Description of Components Description of Components
a. 1x Plastic Tank Commander sprue.
a. 1x US Tank Decal sheet.
Components Required For The Basic M4A3 Hull
I'll begin construction of the M4A3 (late) Platoon box set by demonstrating how to assemble the basic hull of the vehicle first; using the components that are common to all of the M4A3 variants that can be create using the box set.

The components required to assemble the basic hull of the M4A3 can be seen below highlighted in white on the sprues below.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The Basic M4A3 Hull
Step 1. Begin byattaching the final drive section to the front of the lower hull. Step 2. Next, attach the tracks to the lower hull.

Note: Each track has been keyed to correspond with a particular side of the hull; this aids in ensuring the correct orientation of the tracks when assembling the miniature.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Tip: Although regular Hobby Glue can be used to assemble plastic vehicles, we recommend that you use good quality plastic cement instead. It gives the strongest bond when gluing plastic to plastic.
Below: The left-hand side track attached to the hull. Below: The right-hand side track attached to the hull. Step 2. Next, attach the upper hull section to the lower hull.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Tip: When referring to left or right-hand side in regards to a Flames Of War miniature, the orientation is determined as if looking at the vehicle from the rear.
Below: The upper and lower hulls now joined.
Step 3. Attach the stowage rack to the rear of the hull.
Below: With the stowage rack attached, the basic hull of the M4A3 is now fully assembled.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Components Required For The M4A3 Sherman (late)
With the basic hull assembled we can now use it as the building block to create any of the M4A3 variants, starting with the M4A3 Sherman (late) armed with the M3 75mm gun. The additional components required to assemble the M4A3 Sherman (late) armed with the M3 75mm gun can be seen below highlighted in white; green / blue; and green on the sprues below. In these examples, I've used the same colour-coding as seen on the back of the box.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 Sherman (late) Turret
Step 1. Begin by joining the upper and lower sections of the turret. Step 2. Next, attach the commander cupola to the top of the turret.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Step 3. Attach the hatch to the inside of commander's cupola.
Step 4. Next, attach the .50 cal AA MG to cupola ring.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Step 5. Attach the 75mm gun trunnion to the front of the turret.
Below: The back of the 75mm gun trunnion of the has an arrow to indicate which way is up.
Below: The 75mm trunnion attached to the front of the turret.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Below: The back of the 75mm gun also has an arrow to indicate which way is up. Step 6. Attach the 75mm gun to the gun trunnion. Below: With the 75mm gun in place, the M4A3 Sherman (late) turret is now fully assembled.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 Sherman (late) Hull
Step 1. Begin by attaching the glacis plate to the front of the hull.
Step 2. Attach the hull MG to the glacis plate.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Below: The hull MG attached to the front of the hull.
Below: With the hull MG in place, the hull of the M4A3 (late) is fully assembled. Below: With the turret added the hull our M4A3 Sherman (late) is now complete.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Components Required For The Uparmoured M4A3 (late)
The Uparmoured version of the M4A3 (late) has three changes to the hull; a different glacis plate and the addition of two sections of appliqué armour on each side of the hull. These components can be seen highlighted in yellow below. The turret is exactly the same at the M4A3 Sherman (late) as seen above. 
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The Uparmoured M4A3 Sherman (late)
Step 1. Attach the uparmoured glacis plate to the front of the hull. Step 2. Attach the hull MG to the uparmoured glacis plate.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Step 3. Attach the appliqué armour to the side of the hull.
Below: The appliqué armour attached to the left and right-hand sides of the hull.
Below: With the addition of the M4A3 (late) turret the uparmoured M4A3 (late) in now fully assembled.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Components Required For The M4A3 (105mm) Sherman
The M4A3 (105mm) Sherman only differs from the regular M4A3 (late) by having a different gun arrangement in the turret. In this case, the M4 105mm howitzer.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (105mm) Sherman
Step 1. Attach the 105mm gun trunnion to the front of the turret. Below: The back of the 105mm gun trunnion has an arrow to indicate which way is up. Below: The 105mm trunnion attached to the front of the turret. Don't forget the .50 cal AA MG.
Step 2. Next, attach the 105mm gun mantlet.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Below: The back of the 105mm gun mantlet also has an arrow to indicate which way is up. Below: The 105mm gun mantlet attached to the front of the turret.
Step 3. Finally, attach the 105mm gun barrel to the gun mantlet.
Below: With the addition of the 105mm equipped turret the M4A3 (105mm) Sherman in now fully assembled.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Components of the M4A3 (76mm) Sherman
The M4A3 (76mm) Sherman uses the same hull configuration as the regular M4A3 Sherman (late), the only difference is the turret configuration. Highlighted below in red and white are the components required to construct the M4A3 (76mm) turret.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (76mm) Turret
Step 1. Begin by joining the upper and lower sections of the turret. Step 2. Next, add the hatch to the commander's cupola.
Step 3. Attach the .50 cal AA MG to the pintle mount located on the top of the turret.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Below: The .50 cal AA MG mounted on the turret.
Step 4. Next, attach the gun mantlet to the front of the turret. The back of the 76mm gun mantlet has an arrow to indicate which way is up.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Step 5. Finally, attach the 76mm gun to the gun mantlet. Below: The M4A3 (76mm) turret with paired with the regular M4A3 Sherman (late) hull.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Components Required For The Uparmoured M4A3 (76mm) Sherman
The Uparmoured M4A3 (76mm) Sherman uses the same hull configuration as the Uparmoured M4A3 Sherman, the only difference is a small change to the turret. Highlighted below is the 76mm gun mantlet with the Co-ax .50 cal MG required to construct the Uparmoured M4A3 (76mm) turret.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The Uparmoured M4A3 Sherman
Step 1. Replace the the gun mantlet equipped with the Co-ax .50 cal MG.
Below: The back of the gun mantlet has an arrow to indicate which way is up. Below: M4A3 (76mm) turret fitted with the .50 cal co-ax gun mantlet.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Step 2. Finally, attach the 76mm gun to the gun mantlet. Below: The uparmoured M4A3 (76mm) turret with paired with the uparmoured M4A3 hull.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Adding A Tank Commander
Step 1. Begin by attaching the hatch to the command cupola in the open position. Step 2. Next, attach a Tank Commander figure of choice to the inside the cupola. Below: An Uparmoured M4A3 (late) complete with Tank Commander.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Attaching The Turret
Attaching the turret to the hull can be done two way; using the turret pegs inlcuded on the plastic sprue highlighted below in white or using rare-earth magnets (not included in the box set).
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Using The Turret Peg
Step 1. Simply attach the turret peg to the bottom of the turret. Below: The turret peg then mates with the hole in the top of the hull. Simple!
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Using Rare-earth Magnets
The alternate method of attaching the turret to the hull is to use rare-earth magnets. To do this, simply glue a rare-earth magnet into the recess in the bottom of the turret rather than using the turret peg. Then glue another magnet into recess located on the top of the hull and you have a safe and secure way of attaching the turret to the hull.

Read Chris' guide to Rare Earth Magnets here...
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Adding The Extras
The plastic M4A3 sprue also includes a number of extras that can be added to your vehicles. These are highlighted in black on the the sprue below.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Hedgerow Cutters
Step 1. The hedgerow cutters attach to the underside of the final drive as shown below. Below: The attached hedgerow
cutters.

Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Spare Track Links Extra AA MG
Spare track links can be added to the hull front or turret sides to help add some modelling variety to your miniatures. The extra AA MG is an option in Bridge At Remagen and can be added for +5 points per tank.
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
Assembling The M4A3 (late) Platoon
I hope you find this assembly guide useful when it comes time to assemble your own M4A3 (late) Platoon.

As always; happy modelling!

~ Blake.


Last Updated On Tuesday, September 30, 2014 by Blake at Battlefront