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COREE 1/35th RESIN SHERMAN CRAB MK.I
CONVERSION SET FOR
DRAGON's M4A4
KIT NO. CE3503

MSRP: $52.98
GREATMODEL PRICE: $42.38

 

by Ray Mehlberger

 

HISTORY

Many experimental mechanical devices were fitted to Shermans to allow them to remove German mines or destroy them in place. All of them had definite limitations and some could be used only in certain situations. The two types of land mines most often encountered by US tankers were anti-tank mines and anti-personnel mines.

The first mine-clearing device was the rotary flail. Developed by the British and used by the Americans, it consisted of a large cylindrical rotor with chains attached. When rotated, the chains beat the ground ahead of the vehicle carrying it in the hope of detonating any mines at a safe distance. The British consistantly worked on the basic device throughout the war and fielded a number of improved versions.

The first British-developed flail device fitted to a Sherman was known as the Scorpion. The US Army used the device in Italy, but it was not problem free. The flail itself was powered by two auxiliary engines mounted in a armored box on the right side of the hull. When the British developed an improved flail device known as the Crab, which was powered by the tank's engine, the US Army dropped the Scorpion device and employed the Crab system. Unlike the Scorpion system, the Crab device could be raised clear of the ground by large hydraulic arms when not in use. To steer the vehicle when the flail was operating, the crew had both a gyroscopic and magnetic compass. At the rear hull of vehicles mounting the Crab system were lights and a system for dropping markers to guide following vehicles through a mine field.

WHAT'S IN THE BOX? (Click on thumbnails for full image)

The kit has several zip lock type cello bags holding the resin parts. This is a good idea, that a modeler can reseal the bags. That way you can pull out just the parts that you need as you go along.

There are about 50 resin parts in the kit for this conversion. These are done in a light tan resin of good quality. Included in these parts is a British tank crewman. Although the usual flash is on some of these parts, clean-up looks to be an easy chore. I could find no surface bubbles on any of the parts.

Also included is a length of metal keychain. Coree wants you to cut individual balls off this keychain and then attach them with lengths of copper wire (also provided) to the ends of each flail chain. Over 6 ft - in two lengths - of brass chain is given in the kit for the flail chains. I really don't look forward to this fiddly job of attaching those balls later - but it will make it very detailed.

A fret of brass P.E. is included with 68 parts on it. two pieces of 0.5mm of brass rod is given to do the rear fender markers supports.

The instruction sheet, in my humble opinion, is the WEAKEST part of this kit. It consists of a single 10" x 7" sheet, in full color, printed on both sides. This is like the page out of a magazine. The instructions are a bunch of postage-stamp sized pictures of various parts of the finished model. It is not all that clear what parts are used in each of these small pictures or where they wind up. Then there are arrows going every which way from one picture to another. I highly recommend that a modeler gets his hands on good reference material to build this conversion. I personally am scrounging around for more pictures and drawings of the apparatus.

I think it will make up very nicely once done. I don't advise it to a beginning armor modeler, but it should be a nice project for a modeler who has had experience with multi-media after market sets.

Coree is the new-kid-on-the-block to after market armor accessories. They are based in Seoul, Korea. In spite of my reservations, about the weak instructions, I think Coree did an excellent job on this kit.

I want to thank the fine folks at Greatmodels for this review kit. By the way, it arrived about a month ago with the P.E. parts missing. An e-mail to Greatmodels had the missing P.E. in my hands in no time. I cannot say enough for Greatmodels great customer service.



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