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Rye Field Models Sherman Firefly working features


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I would be very grateful for advice from anyone who  has built the recently released Rye Field Models Sherman Firefly kit on how well the "working" features perform in terms of their effectiveness and likely durability.

I am planning to convert one of the 1/35th plastic kits of a Sherman into a working radio controlled example of the DD amphibious version - including afloat - and ideally would wish to have a British example as at D-Day.  This narrows it to a Sherman V which is a M4A4 variant and I originally intended to get the appropriate Dragon or Cybermodeler kit when I can track one down and use one of the accessory workable tracks sets rather than the usual rubber band type tracks. However, I also note that the recently released Rye Field Firefly includes workable tracks and suspension system which might improve the practicality  of an RC model.  As Rye Field have already issued a fair number of Sherman variants, I would probably wait until they hopefully added an M4A4 option to their range rather than covert the Firefly back to this configuration but I would like to get any feedback from anyone who has actually assembled the Firefly on how well the Rye Field bits work in practice and, if it was found to be difficult to make everything work reliably, whether they know of a better option for the tracks such as Bronco instead?

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Don't have the kit yet, but let's say the parts are durable, what kind of paint would you use that would stand up to the friction of moving parts?

 

 

regards,

Jack

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I have built one, and I would say don't bother with the RC idea. The "suspension" in the bogies is by means of small springs.  The bogie articulation is the most accurate I've seen and each axle arm operates independently, unlike most others where the 2 are linked.  I can't say how well it works as I elected to replace the springs with solid plastic and glue everything solid.  The springs are quite soft and I think they would be easily compressed by the track tension on the first and last wheel stations, leading to track shedding.

 

The sprocket construction is completely bizarre and unlikely to be readily workable or strong.  Idler axles are unlikely to last long without metal replacement.

 

The tracks will be a weak point as the end connectors have tiny little pins with mushroom ends which are trapped between the link halves.  No hope of mending once inevitably broken.  I don't believe they would stand up to much steering.  Workable tracks in 1/35 are not really designed to be worked: they are primarily flexible to aid mounting compared to glue-together indy links.  In plastic, the Bronco track design is stronger as the pins are full width.  Friul metal tracks with metal pins will certainly be strongest, but will put a lot of weight on the weaker plastic parts in the suspension.

 

The construction doesn't really permit the hull top to be left loose for battery etc, access but you may be able to make it work.   If not, the turret ring is small and you will probably need to leave the engine deck detachable.

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3 hours ago, Das Abteilung said:

  I can't say how well it works as I elected to replace the springs with solid plastic and glue everything solid.  The springs are quite soft and I think they would be easily compressed by the track tension on the first and last wheel stations, leading to track shedding.

The tracks will be a weak point as the end connectors have tiny little pins with mushroom ends which are trapped between the link halves.  No hope of mending once inevitably broken.  I don't believe they would stand up to much steering.  Workable tracks in 1/35 are not really designed to be worked: they are primarily flexible to aid mounting compared to glue-together indy links.  In plastic, the Bronco track design is stronger as the pins are full width.  Friul metal tracks with metal pins will certainly be strongest, but will put a lot of weight on the weaker plastic parts in the suspension.

 

The construction doesn't really permit the hull top to be left loose for battery etc, access but you may be able to make it work.   If not, the turret ring is small and you will probably need to leave the engine deck detachable.

Thanks - I was pondering  the same point you make about track shedding because of the suspension being soft so working suspension is probably not worth pursuing.

 

I fully understand that the track would have its limitations but I don't intend driving it around over great distances or challenging terrain.  I have converted the Tamiya WW1 MkVI tank to RC and that runs quite well although the plastic used for the tracks appears a bit harder and stronger.  The point you make about the Bronco way of linking the bits is exactly what I was after and steers me much more towards a Dragon M4A4 rather than hang on for Rye Field.

 

The issue of access is one I am well used to handling s I have quite a collection of kits that have been converted, including the Italeri DUKW as the pictures show.  That one was challenging on several fronts as I needed steerable front wheel drive and also had to keep weight down much more than a Sherman DD  (200 grams versus over 700 grams).   I imagine making the engine decking removeable would be the answer but I may well seal the cover with silicone once everything works as planned and use the turret route to access an on//off switch and a battery charging lead.

 

Re paint on moving parts - I have used Tamiya acrylics on the wheels of the DUKW without any sign of wear so probably try similar.spacer.pngspacer.png

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Just Finishing the Rye-Fields Firefly and I have to say I have hated doing the track. I can't see how you could get it to work as the end connectors are too fragile, also if you can get it glued together without managing to get glue on any of the end connectors and keep the joins between the upper and lower track pads tight enough to avoid said end connectors coming out you're a far better modeller than I am. I just glued it all together and stuck them to the wheels. 

 

Also there aren't enough end connectors. I had to buy a set from Miniarm to complete the kit (no I didn't lose or break any). Perhaps I made the track too long but I would have appreciated more end connectors (there are more than enough track pads).

 

Honestly. I will stick to the Asuka kit from now on. The Rye-Fields kit is very nice but I can't be bothered with the current trend of armour kits that require a watchmakers skills to assemble. Each to their own I suppose.

 

Stuart

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If you have not seen it already, it's worthwhile looking at this YouTube build to give you an indication of what you're in for. Focus on the build not the Firefly comments. If you watch it you will know what I mean e.g "16 Pounder". 

 

 

I have the RFM Firefly on order as hunting down the Asuka/Tasca has been a problem. I am looking forward to it - I do not mind complexity if it is adding to the accuracy/fidelity of the model but find needless complexity an irritation. I think it again shows the lack of value in in-box reviews (unless it is gross shape errors or poor quality) as opposed to actual builds.

 

Ray 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/10/2020 at 7:23 AM, Ray_W said:

If you have not seen it already, it's worthwhile looking at this YouTube build to give you an indication of what you're in for. Focus on the build not the Firefly comments. If you watch it you will know what I mean e.g "16 Pounder". 

 

 

I have the RFM Firefly on order as hunting down the Asuka/Tasca has been a problem. I am looking forward to it - I do not mind complexity if it is adding to the accuracy/fidelity of the model but find needless complexity an irritation. I think it again shows the lack of value in in-box reviews (unless it is gross shape errors or poor quality) as opposed to actual builds.

 

Ray 

 

That's the problem with reviewers now days they know next to nothing,they just show you the instructions and sprue shots and load it up on Youtube.

There are not enough Terry Ashley's about.

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46 minutes ago, Karlj72 said:

There are not enough Terry Ashley's about.

I have to agree. Does the build shown impact on my decision to buy the kit? No chance. The RFM Firefly is sweet as but, forewarned is forearmed. 

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