Thanks guys for the comments. It's my favorite tank to date.
Nogoer, I didn't do anything to the turret to give it a cast look. Nick's T-23 turret is THAT great.
But with the tank hull, I used a stiff brush and white glue mixed with pastels and milliput to create the texture and weld seams.
Pattoncommander, apparently, several units started doing this kind of armor mods in early '45. Most notable is the 4th Armored. Creighton Abrams' last tank, an M4A3E8 76mm (Thunderbolt VII) had this modification. It also had spaced armor on the side of the turret, but I like the T-23 profile, so I opted not to put it on. There are also pics of 11th Armored Shermans that had this mods, like Flat-foot floozy. Also, I think it was in Belton Cooper's book that I read about using armor plating cut from knocked out Panthers and other tank to weld extra armor around the Shermans. So I have a sneaking suspicion that this type of mod is more widespread than previously thought of.
The book, Modelling the US Army M4 (76mm) Sherman Medium Tank, by Steven Zaloga have several pictures of Easy-Eights in this configuration.
Bowlman, nice Firefly! I love that tank. One day (soon hopefully) I'll be able to get one courtesy of Mato toys.
Edoubleaz. great looking Easy-Eight! That chicken wire bolted on the armor is a mod that I wanted to do, but I was unable to find anything suitable to use.
Timslocum, the added weight probably overworked the engines on the Sherman, but the maintenance units have done such an extraordinary work keeping these tanks ready to go.
Panther, that's why I have a Pershing to cover my Easy-Eight. And hopefully, I'll have a few more Shermies to make the odds a little bit better for the US.