I'm really happy I don't have to scratch-build stowage for tank kits.
"Back in the day" when I first started modeling seriously in the 1970s (when pay phones cost a dime), there was no after-market market. If you wanted to put stowage on a tank kit, you had to make it yourself. Thanks to Steve Munsell and Value Gear, we have about all the items we could ever want for our tanks. And as photos show, soldiers have a lot of kit they need/want to carry with them. Steve has grown the Value Gear offering from generic tents, tarps and crates to piles of gear specifically for the Sherman tank.
what you get
Inside a small Ziploc baggie stapled to a Value Gear header card are five dark gray resin pieces:
2 "wooden" crates
2 folded tents/tarps
1 folded tent/tarp with "musette" bag
1 large group of stowage on a pre-made field modified storage platform
It's a tribute to Value Gear's dedication to excellence that the five sets devoted to the Sherman are all distinctive and different. Two of the five sets have no mounting rack, while three do, allowing for a quick placement onto the tank's rear deck. In the case of set #4, the modeler has at his or her disposal a group of tents/tarps that can go anywhere, along with a great heap of stuff under an extended tarp. There looks to be crates, tarps and tents. In other words, enough for a typical tank crew.
The Value Gear sets are superbly-cast. Steve hand builds all the base sets and then casts them in a very good resin that yields few bubbles or imperfections. Although I still wash all my resin in Windex or Bleche Wite, there is little or no mold release agent on these items, and they can very quickly be painted and added to the vehicle.
Value Gear continues to experiment and grow with new offerings. I can't imagine building a Sherman now without using at least one of these sets.
Thanks to Value Gear for providing these review samples. Be sure to mention you saw them reviewed on Armorama when ordering.
Highs: Sharp casting, imaginative subject matter, easily adapts to just about any Sherman.Lows: None if you like pre-bundled stowage.Verdict: Value Gear is simply the best solution for stowage on most Sherman models.