ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Sherman IC Firefly - Welded Hull

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No. 656=
8; Firefly IC Welded Hull - Smart Kit; 675 parts (554 in grey styrene, 73 e=
tched brass, 45 clear styrene, 2 DS Plastic track runs, 1 twisted steel wir=
e); pre-order price US$52.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: first offering of this specific variant by DML; new turret and =
clear styrene specially done for this kit
Disadvantages: T48 tracks probably not the most common on this vehicle
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Commonwealth armour fans
The Sherman Firefly was one of the few marriages of a useful gun with a us=
eful chassis that worked, and worked well. The high-performance British 17-=
pdr antitank gun had a short recoil and short breech end which lent itself =
to fitting in the relatively roomy turret of the M4 series tanks, and so th=
e conversions were made. By the end of the war over 2,100 Sherman Firefly t=
anks were converted.=20
But three different models of the chassis were used: the M4 welded hull wi=
th 56 degree glacis (British Sherman I); the M4 composite hull with cast gl=
acis and welded hull (British Sherman I Hybrid); and the M4A4 with Chrysler=
A57 engine (British Sherman V). All of these tanks were given the =93C=94 =
suffix to indicate the 17-pdr along with the project name Firefly added to =
the Sherman name.=20
=09
From what I can glean from Mark Hayward=92s excellent book on the Sherman =
Firefly series, out of the conversions two out of three were either Sherman=
IC or Sherman IC Hybrid tanks. As no differentiation was made by the Briti=
sh on numbers =96 the turrets being identical =96 it is pretty much nigh im=
possible to sort out how many of the tanks were =93regulars=94 and how many=
were hybrids.=20
Nevertheless, while most models up to this point concentrated on the Sherm=
an VC Firefly variant, as can be seen the IC and IC Hybrid bore the lion=92=
s share of the work. However, the VC models got the lion=92s share of the =
publicity!=20
The bulk of IC photos extant show primarily the IC Hybrids, so any informa=
tion on specific IC tanks will have to come from photos.=20
Given all that, DML has provided all the bits needed to make an accurate m=
odel of the Sherman IC Firefly from this kit. Using =93mix and match=94 com=
bined with two new sprues and a new sprue of clear parts, they have the bas=
ics for making a good likeness of the IC.=20
According to Hayward=92s plans, the Sherman IC Firefly has the modified tu=
rret with loader=92s hatch, full US applique armor, a blocked-off bow machi=
ne gun port, a new travel cradle on the left rear of the engine deck, flat =
return roller mounts, five-spoke wheels with six-spoke idlers, =93machined=
=94 or =93fancy=94 drive toothed rings, side skirts, radio box with circula=
r access panels, and a choice of T48, T51 or T62 steel chevron tracks. The =
only thing missing here are the skirts, albeit etched brass skirt mounts ar=
e present.=20
The kit provides a plethora of options, such as any variation on the road =
wheels, idlers or drivers. It only provides the T48 tracks, which while not=
incorrect, are less common than the T62 type steel chevron ones on these t=
anks.=20
The modeler has a choice of air cleaners, either round (assembly E) or squ=
are (assembly F1/2). Attention must also be paid to opening up holes in the=
hull to mount all of the external bits. There are also two commander=92s c=
upolas, the stock M4 one and a British low-profile vision cupola; a .50 cal=
iber is provided for the former but will not fit on the latter.=20
Technical assistance was provided by Pawel Krupowicz.=20
Only one finishing option is provided: Census Number T263113, 2nd (Polish)=
Armoured Regiment, 1st Armoured Division, Normandy 1944. Considering the f=
amous =93Rycerz-I=94 (T270012) from the 2nd Polish Armoured Brigade, 2nd (P=
olish) Armored Division, in Italy in 1945 was a Sherman IC Firefly it is cu=
rious DML included those markings with their Sherman VC Firefly kit and not=
this one! A small sheet of Cartograf decals is provided for the model.=20
Overall this is a nicely done kit and one that =93completes the set=94 of =
Fireflies from DML.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.=20
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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