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Asuka Shermans


M3talpig
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I would like to ask our resident Sherman guru @Das Abteilung his take on Asuka's kits....in particular there "E2 Jumbo" and their "China clipper" composite hull Sherman..as im off to Dorset on Sunday ready to have a day at the tank museum Monday and would like to support the museum in my own small way by picking up some bits from their shop...any flaws i should know about inaccuracies that might be considered unfixable.....any help appreciated.

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I may be resident but I'm by no means an expert..........

 

The Museum shop doesn't have much of a stock of Asuka at the moment.  It's a brand that's hard to find in the UK at the best of times and the supply situation with many Far East brands is poor at the moment because of limited shipping space and very much increased shipping costs.  IIRC the Museum imports Asuka directly as there is no appointed UK importer.  The cost of a container from China has gone up 600% since before the Great Pandemic and space is in short supply with long delays for part loads.  I do recall seeing an M4 Composite on the shelf when I was there yesterday, but it might have been the "value" version which comes without decals or etch at the "value" price of about £50 🤣.

 

I did see a stack of the RFM Firefly, which I prefer to the Asuka if only because of the indy link tracks, but I don't recall seeing the RFM E8 or either of the Meng kits.

 

I haven't built an Asuka Composite but I have built the Dragon version and the Asuka offering must surely be better.  The accepted wisdom is that Asuka is still KIng Of The M4 Hill.  That being said, the Meng M4A3E2 has been very well reviewed.  Cookie Sewell's review on Missing Lynx here http://www.missing-lynx.com/reviews/usa/mengts045reviewab_1.html said it has zero disadvantages.  It also comes with workable indy link tracks (but also vinyl) and so gets my vote as I hate vinyl tracks.  It has optional parts to make pretty much every possible variation and a metal barrel.  If it were me, I'd be looking for the Meng kit: but it isn't me........

 

For my money, the Meng and RFM M4 version offerings are equal to or better than their Asuka equivalents.   Otherwise, Asuka is probably still better than anyone else - if you can get hold of them.  Oddly, the Meng Jumbo is also available in an Academy box but I don't think that's imported into the UK.

 

Strangely, I might have been there on Monday too.  But visiting relatives' altered travel plans changed that.

 

If you're staying in the area longer you could check out Setchfields in Poole and possibly Frank Herring in Dorchester.  Physical model shops are getting hard to find and those are the only others in the area I know of.

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There’s a thread on Missing Lynx right now in the Allied section on the Taska/Asuka Sherman’s. 
Ron Owen-Hayes has been hitting the thread hard. 
I have three of their kits, or is it 4 now ??

 

Anyway. It’s a good read. 
 

Here’s a link. 
 

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missinglynx/asuka-sherman-s-a-bit-thin-on-the-ground-t328712.html

 

 

Edited by Longbow
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11 hours ago, Das Abteilung said:

I may be resident but I'm by no means an expert..........

 

The Museum shop doesn't have much of a stock of Asuka at the moment.  It's a brand that's hard to find in the UK at the best of times and the supply situation with many Far East brands is poor at the moment because of limited shipping space and very much increased shipping costs.  IIRC the Museum imports Asuka directly as there is no appointed UK importer.  The cost of a container from China has gone up 600% since before the Great Pandemic and space is in short supply with long delays for part loads.  I do recall seeing an M4 Composite on the shelf when I was there yesterday, but it might have been the "value" version which comes without decals or etch at the "value" price of about £50 🤣.

 

I did see a stack of the RFM Firefly, which I prefer to the Asuka if only because of the indy link tracks, but I don't recall seeing the RFM E8 or either of the Meng kits.

 

I haven't built an Asuka Composite but I have built the Dragon version and the Asuka offering must surely be better.  The accepted wisdom is that Asuka is still KIng Of The M4 Hill.  That being said, the Meng M4A3E2 has been very well reviewed.  Cookie Sewell's review on Missing Lynx here http://www.missing-lynx.com/reviews/usa/mengts045reviewab_1.html said it has zero disadvantages.  It also comes with workable indy link tracks (but also vinyl) and so gets my vote as I hate vinyl tracks.  It has optional parts to make pretty much every possible variation and a metal barrel.  If it were me, I'd be looking for the Meng kit: but it isn't me........

 

For my money, the Meng and RFM M4 version offerings are equal to or better than their Asuka equivalents.   Otherwise, Asuka is probably still better than anyone else - if you can get hold of them.  Oddly, the Meng Jumbo is also available in an Academy box but I don't think that's imported into the UK.

 

Strangely, I might have been there on Monday too.  But visiting relatives' altered travel plans changed that.

 

If you're staying in the area longer you could check out Setchfields in Poole and possibly Frank Herring in Dorchester.  Physical model shops are getting hard to find and those are the only others in the area I know of.

Thanks for the input ...unfortunately my trip has now been cancelled as the wife and me are still not 100% clear of this covid  :rage:  .... still a bit rough and we were unable to rebook for a later date...but the wife has said i can order a few bits so will take your advice to heart and have a look around...again thanks :thumbsup:

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2 hours ago, Longbow said:

There’s a thread on Missing Lynx right now in the Allied section on the Taska/Asuka Sherman’s. 
Ron Owen-Hayes has been hitting the thread hard. 
I have three of their kits, or is it 4 now ??

 

Anyway. It’s a good read. 
 

Here’s a link. 
 

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missinglynx/asuka-sherman-s-a-bit-thin-on-the-ground-t328712.html

 

 

Thank you Mr bow as always :thumbsup:

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5 hours ago, M3talpig said:

we were unable to rebook for a later date..

It is their busiest time and they're still numbers-capped compared to pre-pandemic.  If you want to look around in comfort and not be jostling with 1,500+ other people I suggest that you think about September if that is possible.  But not the much-delayed Tankfest weekend 17-20th.  The stock situation may have improved by then.  Much freight was delayed by the Suez blockage on top of the pandemic complications.  The stuck Ever Given only reached the UK this week.

 

As for the Asuka debate, the ML thread started out discussing the poor supply situation and inevitably swerved into a quality debate.  IMO availability has a quality of its own and in that context the RFM and Meng offerings are just as good as Asuka, if not perhaps a little better, and you can actually get them.  But that currently only covers 4 variants from a possible zillion, 3 of which are US-only for WW2 (yes, I know the Free French had a few M4A3(76) and may have been the first to use it in action).  Asuka still rules over everyone else.  The recent Zvezda late A2 is flawed and doesn't advance the quality situation, and their impending A3(76) won't set the world alight either. 

 

One wonders what Miniart could do with Shermans after their very nice M3 Mediums.  There are 8 different M3 kits and they have now gone down the factory variation route with their Pz IVs.  But there were only 3 PzIV factories whereas there were 10 for Sherman.  There could easily be 40 or 50 Sherman kits if you go down the factory and time variation route, especially as Miniart seem averse to making multi-version kits with optional parts.

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Gutted for you mate, not only have you missed Bovington but Monkey World too!

 

Only built one of the Meng M4s kit superb but those tracks, 5 parts per-link plus the coil of wire to make the pins,......never again! (Could just have been unique to the M4A3(76)W).

 

The latest Bovington email states they do have Panzerfaust for£14.99 and Tiger slippers....just thinking might be just your thing! :whistle:

 

Hope you're better soon.

 

Darryl 

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New store to me.  Added to my favourites............   

 

Not a bad price for Asuka, where you can expect to pay £60+.  However, the Meng kit is about the same price and comes with indy link tracks and optional wheels and so appears to be better value for money as well as being very well reviewed.  So Meng would still get my vote.  Other opinions are available 😁.

 

Scalemates is not a bad place for a quick check of who might have stock of a product and at what price, but they don't cover every possible source.

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I've built both the Asuka Firefly and the RFM one. I liked both and would have a hard time to pick one over the other. Although the working track links in the RFM are appealing and go together fairly nicely (compared to Model Kasten ones anyways). Still have to do the hybrid hull Firefly and an M4 Fay boxing. 

 

I've also got the Tamiya boxings of the Asuka kits which were a bargain when they came out. I paid about $30 CAD for each as soon as I realized whose kits were in the box. Otherwise an Asuka Sherman is anywhere from $60 to $80 CAD at my LHS. 

 

Carl

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