M4A3E8 Sherman tank, with interior

A side project I started during the pandemic and worked on it on/off for the last year or so.
Most of the model is rather accurate, but there are a few things for which i could not find any good references so they were for now left as placeholders.

I’m hoping to create some nice cross section and cut-away renders.


Amazing [insane] level of detail! Must be quite therapeutic working on a project like that. For those missing references I suggest that you rummage through Army/Navy stores until you find a decommissioned Ronson to sit in the driveway. :laughing:
Great work so far - looking forward to updates, man!

nice work
require lot’s of patience to get proper reference dwg

can you specify which model + year
and some mechanical specs like HP RPM weight if possible

keep up the good work
happy cl

Outstanding work. Really looking forward to watching this one.

Thank you.

It’s a M4A3 sherman tank, produced by the US during the second world war. It was first introduced in 1944. It has some improvements over previous variants such as better engine, wider tracks and a more powerful 76mm gun placed in a bigger turret.

Engine is a Ford GAA, 18L Gasoline, producing around 500hp @ 2600rpm

Finding references is hard as there were many different variants which also had slight changes during production and slight variations between different manufacturers. Crews would also modify the tanks in the field so in a way each tank was unique.

I mostly use various technical manuals found online as a base and then cross reference with multiple photographs when possible. While this works great for outside parts, interior photographs and videos are rather scarce.

Currently I have dozens of technical documents for various vehicles and vehicle components and hundreds of photos saved(with even more photographs and videos bookmarked)

I’ve been improving the suspension a bit, mainly adding proper holding edges for subdivision where necessary, as I only used sharp shading for some parts.
There are places where topology is kind of bad, but it’s mostly on flat surfaces so I don’t care.
The tracks received the same treatment as well.

since there are multiple of these objects I grouped them all into collections and used Instancing to make everything easier and to reduce the performance hit. Also a lot of objects within the collections themselves are also instanced.


need some improvement on bolts or screws

need threads and head could be better

here are some examples

have fun

happy cl

Not Creating treads was a conscious decision, as the model has dozens of different bolt shapes and sizes, and thousands of bolts in total, and adding threads would push the polycount to levels which my PC could not handle well. I will try to add them with bump/normal maps though.

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you could use group instancing which does not add verts
just a proxy
have not use it in 2.9 but should still be possible

if you find a way to make it with UV bump that would be interesting
have not tried it but possible
let us know

happy bl

Looking great. When doing a project like this, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole of too much detail. Instancing and simplified small items is a good path.

I was rather busy with other things and went back to this project just recently. Mostly it was fixing up and improving on minor details which I didn’t model fully before, and also trying out some shaders for the outside.

Currently I use the same bump/noise pattern on both cast and rolled armor parts, which will be changed as the patterns are rather different.

Also, the noise patterns are always the same on instanced objects(really noticeable on the suspension bogies, wheels and tracks), so I must figure out how to deal with that without murdering performance, as the model is unwieldy enough as it is.

Currently the shader is fully procedural, but I intend to add some decals later.

Critiques welcome.


Your detailing is mind blowing. Did you use subdivision surfaces, bevels or some other modifier to make the nice edges on all your interior parts?

You can create unique noise on instanced objects by using the Texture Coordinate OBJECT vector and the Object Info RANDOM output. The nuts below are instanced objects…

This is the shader that creates unique patterns on each nut…

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for last pic
one thing i find a bit too smooth are the tracks !


m4a3 tank - Bing images

but overall looks great


if you have the time you should compare the 2 Model for the M4A4 i think
the US model and the British modified model
that would be a very interesting comparison

happy cl

Thanks. This will be useful.

Interior parts are a mix of bevel modifier and manually added holding edges, sometimes using subdivision, and sometimes not, depending on how visible and how important the part is.

Some parts are made using solidify modifier and holding edges are used in that case.

If the part is really small(like a bolt/screw) then I only use sharp shading on certain edges, without any bevel.

Shermans used different track types.

When it comes to the various shermans, there at least a dozen different configurations, with minor differences depending on the company which produced it.

The British shermans were often converted from the M4A4 version. Compared to this model it would have a different engine, slightly longer hull with a different front plate and front differential housing, a smaller turret, modified to fit the 17pdr gun, different suspension…

So yeah, quite different.

This page goes into great detail between different Sherman variants, and other vehicles based on the Sherman chassis.

it would be a very nice and interesting project to compare and see these differences in 3D
and allow a better understanding of the differences
and why the UK did the modifications

i mean did UK saw major design problems
while the US did not or turn a blind eye on weaknesses?

i did read some comments that the M4A4 was a rolling coffin
or that crew thought it was more a suicide mission to drive these!

happy bl

Engine, fully completed and textured, everything procedural
Clocking in at roughly 900 objects and 5 mil tris.

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A cross section of the engine
Created using boolean modifiers on some objects, and hiding others which would be removed fully by the boolean.


Love it!!

Did you get actual plans for the engine or did you reverse engineer the engine’s interior?

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This is totaly insane!!!