ARM: Review - DML 1/72 Scale Sherman Firefly VC

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/72 Scale Armor Pro Kit No. 7303;
(Sherman) Firefly VC; 190 parts (134 in grey stryene, 54 etched brass,
2 tan DS plastic track runs); price estimated at US $13.98
Advantages: Nice, clean kit with new M4A4/Sherman V hull, tracks and
turret; detail rivals 1/35 scale kits; provides the modeler with the
ability to make the model as detailed as possible
Disadvantages: brass details are now bordering on the ridiculous in
regard to size and usability
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Commonwealth armour fans and "Shermaholics"
in small scale
DML is going great guns on their small scale line, and following
their gorgeous M4A1 mid-production tank they have now introduced a
Sherman VC Firefly of the same level of detail and quality. Up until
now the only small scale Firefly was the ancient Matchbox one in 1/76
scale, so this is a welcome bit of news for Commonwealth modelers in
1/72.
The kit basically combines the B and C sprues from the M4A1 kit
(details and mid-production VVSS suspension, with welded road wheels
and "straight" return roller arms with pillow blocks) with 71 new
styrene parts for the hull and turret, as well as two new DS plastic
British pattern steel chevron track runs.
The hull is beautifully done with "Slide Molding" providing the
side details as well as the top and front/rear ones, including very
petite weld bead details (less casting numbers!) and other niceties.
The turret likewise has been "Slide Molded" as has the gun barrel
which has a hollow muzzle brake all the way through. The radio bin at
the rear of the turret comes with three rectangular plates and is an
add-on. Everywhere one looks are fine details such as bolts, screw
heads, weld bead, etc.
All of the armored applique panels are included, three hull, one
turret and the patch over the bow gun port. The only "ding" I could
see was that the trailer hitch was molded in the stowed position on the
side of the rear doors, but unless you are planning on using an ammo
trailer that is pretty minor. All of the crew hatches and the pistol
port are separate parts and can be shown open or shut. There is no
interior detail in the turret.
The transmission cover is the "bolted" three-section type with
separate bolt flanges, which is normal for portraying this component,
and has a choice of cast in or etched brass "ears" for the tow
shackles. Other etched brass components include the taillight lenses,
light guards, part of the tool brackets, and in the RP (right puny)
department, the locking tabs and ears for the hatches. (These are maybe
0.5 x 1.0 mm.)
Painting instructions and markings via a nice Cartograf sheet cover
four vehicles: 27th Candian Armour Regiment, 2nd Canadian Armoured
Brigade, France 1944; Unidentified captured vehicle, Germany 1944;
Unidentified captured vehicle, Germany, 1944 (looks like something from
a test range, as I have never seen these markings before!); and the
famous "Velikye Luki" from 3 Troop A Squadron Northamptonshire
Yeomanry, France 1944. I am always a bit surprised with all of the
Commonwealth options why two out of four are dedicated to
"captured" vehicles.
Overall, this is a great little model and the equal of the M4A1
released earlier. A good year for armour modelers with a U!
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
AMPSOne
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Perhaps because "German" AFVs sell better than Allied AFVs?
Did you know by the way that British crewmen invariably referred to it as "17-pounder Sherman" and hardly ever used the term "Firefly"?
(kim)
Reply to
kim
Roger the sales, but note that you rarely get the more common option of captured markings for German vehicles...
As for name, right, I have the excellent "The Sherman Firefly" by Mark Hayward which is pretty much a bible. Steve Zaloga did find some shots of US Fireflies (!) in Italy as well.
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
AMPSOne
Can't wait to run across one of these. I've held off buying the ExtraTech Firefly Ic, I'm glad I did.
BTW do you know if this kit has the same missing part issue as the M4A1? As noted in the ML Braille scale forum, many of the M4A1 kits are missing one part #7 (turret periscope) from the "A" sprue. I've bought two of them and they were both missing one periscope each. DragonCare was of no help whatsoever, even after submitting a photo of the sales receipt and sprue place where the part was missing from.
Reply to
RobG
Which also contains the line "There is limited firm evidence as to where the 17- pdr Shermans were converted." [see Page 16, Para 4]
I'm a psychiatrist working for the British Army. It was my job for many years to interview former crewmen, now sadly deceased. Almost every vehicle was described as a "2-pdr", "6-pdr", "12-pdr", "17-pdr" or "25-pdr" regardless of official name.
(kim)
Reply to
kim
Kim,
Modelers rarely live in the same universe that the actual vehicle crews did or do today. We had totally different names for things as well. Ford, for example, insisted on calling the M151 the "MUTT" (for Miltary Utility Tactical Truck.) BZZT - wrong answer! It's a jeep -- not Jeep(TM) but a jeep. Period. Likewise have never heard any WWII tanker call the Sherman a Sherman, just "Medium" or "M4" regardless of model.
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
AMPSOne
Yes I agree. I only mentioned it as an aside, not as a criticism. Can't wait for some more 1/72nd Sherman variation reviews.
(kim)
Reply to
kim
Kim,
Not a problem, but it's really pretty funny to see a modeler ask a veteran questions and watch the puzzled look on the vet's face as he usually has no clue what the modeler is babbling on about!
Cookie
Reply to
AMPSOne

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