The current weather has lead me to leave the "summerly" builds of the Panzer 2, the Panzer 3 and the T34 aside and do something else; focus once more on the Ardennes in the winter of '44-'45, the events known as Battle of the Bulge.
I will do at least 2 builds from this campaign; a King Tiger and a Sherman, but will also do some serious reading on the subject.
But first the references used for the Sherman; it'll depict a M4A3(75) from the 6th Armored Division, 69th Tank Battalion, named Caballero. Tamiya has included these marking in their kit and I will show it as it might have looked before it got taken out (impact hole, roght side just behind Caballero text).
And it'll be the second Sherman I ever build, the first one being Italeri's M4A1, somewhere in the 1980's.... So I am no Sherman expert.
However.... looking at the images and comparing it to the kit, there are a number of things that need to be tackled. For one the tank has grab- or stowage rails along both sides of the turret. That appears to have been rather common practice. It also has later style dish roadswheels, except for the 5th one on the left side. That is an early spoked wheels. A replacement most likely. Also the sprockets are of the latter type. The turret however is of the earlier type with the split commanders hatch. Another noticeable feature are the additional duckbills on the tracks. Which present an additional issue, since Tamiya's kit apparently provides T48 vinyl tracks, whereas most contemporary images appear to show the T54E1. There are spare track links for both types included in the kit and research has already show that, in order to recreate the tank with duckbills, I need to buy aftermarket tracks.
Some very helpful sites for Sherman novices (like me):
The division's history;