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Hi everyone,

 

This is my next project. The Tamiya 1/48 Sherman IC Firefly.

Whilst researching this vehicle I came across a few images of them being used by the Polish Armed Forces in Italy 1944-1945. The insignia and markings rather caught my eye and I decided it would make for a nice subject for a model.

As I understand it many of the Firefly tanks used by the Polish were of the IC hybrid variety though there were a few based on the standard MK 1 hull. Hopefully the Tamiya kit I have should give an accurate representation for these IC vehicles....after all the British supplied the tanks to the Poles though minor modifications were obviously possible.

 

The particular vehicle I am thinking of depicting is 'Trzyniec' (T-331605) of the 1st Squadron, 4th Armoured regiment, 2nd Armoured brigade, 2nd 'Warsaw' Armoured division. Google translate tells me that 'Trzyniec' means 'Trinium'....a name of some sorts??

Images suggest that the tank had x2 smoke dischargers on the right side turret, an extra stowage bin on the back of the radio on the turret and an ARV cupola. I don't know how I will make an ARV cupola?? May have to settle for the kit supplied standard split hatch....any suggestions welcome!!

 

main-qimg-21167d3691f3a15b6a941838235d6bdd

 

 

ShermanVcup 001g

Cast metal turret and welded hull.

 

Though an alternative vehicle could be Rycerz I (Knight I):

320px-Sherman_Firefly_(4)

 

I did read that many of the names applied to the vehicles were only carried out for the purposes of a parade in Loreto, Italy 1945. However, I will depict the vehicle as 'in-combat' with the name on.

 

I have managed to source decals from Toro Models at very reasonable prices. (Looks like I'll be making a few more Polish 1/48 Shermans!)

IMG_3103

 

I have added PE sets from Part and Aber and a metal barrel:

IMG_3101

 

And last but not least:

IMG_3099

 

 

All feedback and suggestions are most welcome. I know nothing about Shermans!

 

Thanks for looking

Stuart

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2 hours ago, Bullbasket said:

Have a look here Stuart. I know that it's for the Cromwell, but maybe it can be adapted to fit the Sherman.

https://accurate-armour.com/aa-products/148th-complete-kits-conversioin-sets/c48009

 

John.

Thank you John! That's so helpful. I've never heard of this company. I don't know who Rob Tearle is but he looks like he makes a good cupola! 

I would think the fit can't be too different so should be able to adapt. Photos suggest that the ARV Cupola on the Polish firefly was a Mk II where the hatches lay flat when open...will need to try and alter this on the resin piece. 

It's interesting how most of the British Firefly tanks had a standard Sherman hatch whereas a few Polish vehicles had the ARV? I wonder how that came about?

 

ShermanVcup 001d

ARV on a Sherman

 

ShermanVcup 001h

Another firefly from the Polish Skorpion regiment with ARV

 

PIC_24-168

Tank Commander from Polish Skorpion regiment

 

ShermanVcup 001g (3)

 

 

Thanks again

Stuart

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Have made a start on the rear hull. I'm using the Aber PE set where I can though some of it is crazy small!

The trickiest pieces so far were the mounts for a leaf spring that held an additional towing pintle. Neither the kit nor the PE has the actual spring so I think I'll just the leave it with the mounts in place. I have seen photos where a smoke discharger was present on the rear doors though not sure I could scratchbuild one of those accurately enough.

 

I've added a stowage box on the rear hull...I have seen photos of Fireflies with the box mounted on the rear plate though I had already affixed the crank and couldn't bear taking it off. I think the box will stay on the top section as my original photo seems to suggest that's where it was.

I do have another box in the PE kit which sits on the right rear plate though not sure if that will look a bit much. I've lost the right rear light so will either leave off or look at making a new one.

 

IMG_3112

 

IMG_3113

 

This is what the mounts should look like:

 

firefly12

 

 

Next consideration are the hull mounted tools. I do have the PE attachments but this would mean trying to scrape off the plastic moulded ones. I'm not sure if it will look more messy trying to do this and just accept the plastic ones for now.

IMG_3110

 

After that I will look at the turret. This will be cast texture and the vehicle I am depicting came into service in 1945 so I'm thinking there will be no pistol port hatch?? I will aim to cover over the outline on the plastic turret and not attach the hatch.

 

IMG_3109

 

 

Thanks for looking

Stuart

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It’s a lovely kit, the only trouble with mine was that the tracks were about 1mm too short (I did it in sections). Other than that I practically just shook the box.

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Hi Simon,

Yes it's a great kit isn't it..coming together really well. The tracks on all these 1/48 kits are a bit tight and I build mine in sections too. Not seen if there are any spares yet.  Hopefully Tamiya will look at releasing the VC and Hybrid versions in this scale as well at some point.

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Although most pictures I have seen show the stowage box on the rear plate, I have also seen plenty where additional storage has been added ad hoc. I have seen the rear parts of the track guards removed from the side and attached upside-down on the rear deck to provide more storage space for things like jerry cans and so on.

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Nice work Stuart. If you see a Firefly with a stowage box across the rear plate, then it's probably a Vc. I doubt whether you'll see photos of a 1c or Hybrid with a stowage box across the rear plate as it would block access to the hole for the cranking handle. I know that it's going to be small in 1/48th, but it's an identification feature for M4 based tanks. Any boxes on 1c's would be as you have depicted it or smaller ones to one side.

1b3364f1-c2c9-4522-b07b-e86ead160d66.jpg

 

HTHs

 

John.

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13 hours ago, alloydog said:

Although most pictures I have seen show the stowage box on the rear plate, I have also seen plenty where additional storage has been added ad hoc. I have seen the rear parts of the track guards removed from the side and attached upside-down on the rear deck to provide more storage space for things like jerry cans and so on.

Thanks alloydog. That's reassuring to know. Yes, there's so much variation with Shermans that it's confusing yet also quite interesting. In all likelihood you could probably make any alteration and there is bound to have been at least one real life vehicle like it.

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44 minutes ago, Bullbasket said:

Nice work Stuart. If you see a Firefly with a stowage box across the rear plate, then it's probably a Vc. I doubt whether you'll see photos of a 1c or Hybrid with a stowage box across the rear plate as it would block access to the hole for the cranking handle. I know that it's going to be small in 1/48th, but it's an identification feature for M4 based tanks. Any boxes on 1c's would be as you have depicted it or smaller ones to one side.

1b3364f1-c2c9-4522-b07b-e86ead160d66.jpg

 

HTHs

 

John.

Thanks John. That makes sense now. As these boxes seem to have been welded to the hull I was thinking that it couldn't have been easy for tank crews to move them around. I've ordered the ARV Cupola from Accurate Armour so will hopefully get that on in the next few days.

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Some further progress this weekend. Mainly concentrating on the front hull

 

IMG_3122

Weld beads done, Cast texture on differential cover, Armour plates glued in place, Front hatches with PE fittings placed

 

IMG_3124

 

IMG_3117

Further weld beads placed, Side armour plates fitted. The PE fittings at the base of the upper hull are, I believe, to hang side skirts. I've placed them as low down as I can....obviously you begin to run out of surface area by which to glue them on. They're about half on/half off if that makes sense and I about the best I could get.

 

IMG_3118

Another storage box placed on the rear plate.

 

Just got to finish off the tools and the the hull is nearly complete. Will be moving onto the turret next weekend. I've test fitted the ARV cupola....if I literally just drop it onto place it seems to sit quite high which I don't think is correct. I think it needs to sit a little lower? I have read mention of a spacer ring? Did the ARV cupola fully rotate as I've seen photos of the hatches open in a right/left orientation and also front/rear orientation?

 

IMG_3120

 

ShermanVcup 001d

ARV on a Sherman

 

Thanks for looking

Stuart

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Thanks very much Lee. Much appreciated.

Just been looking at your Easy 8...looking superb with the paint on. It's a full-time job keeping up with your builds!

 

I've moved the springs on the front hatches as their angulation wasn't right and added some grab handles. Given how tightly wound those springs are I just hope my tank crew don't get their heads cut off by the hatch!

 

IMG_3125

 

Edited by StuartH
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Trzyniec - A town in very much disputed area between Poland & Czechoslovakia post WW1.

With a big Polish population to this days.

And somebody said / typed ( :-) ), that those names on tanks by Poles were just for that parade in Loretto.

Wrong!

Anyway, you doing a cracking job! Looking 4 the finish line :-))

Zig

 

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On 27/09/2020 at 18:01, StuartH said:

I've test fitted the ARV cupola....if I literally just drop it onto place it seems to sit quite high which I don't think is correct. I think it needs to sit a little lower?

It's all moving along nicely Stuart. If the ARV has a rim on the underside, can you not cut it off, and then rube down the base of it to a more acceptable thickness (bearing in mind the care needed when rubbing down resin)? 

 

John.

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13 hours ago, zigster said:

Trzyniec - A town in very much disputed area between Poland & Czechoslovakia post WW1.

With a big Polish population to this days.

And somebody said / typed ( 🙂 ), that those names on tanks by Poles were just for that parade in Loretto.

Wrong!

Anyway, you doing a cracking job! Looking 4 the finish line :-))

Zig

 

Thank you! That's very informative and good to know. It's always nice to get the correct background to a historical vehicle.

Cheers

Stuart

12 hours ago, Bullbasket said:

It's all moving along nicely Stuart. If the ARV has a rim on the underside, can you not cut it off, and then rube down the base of it to a more acceptable thickness (bearing in mind the care needed when rubbing down resin)? 

 

John.

Hi John. Thank you..yes, should hopefully have the construction done within the next week or so. I think I'll take a bit off the underside of the cupola and maybe scrape back some of the plastic on the turret....that should give me the right profile. 

 

Happy Birthday by the way!   🍻

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10 hours ago, StuartH said:

Thank you! That's very informative and good to know. It's always nice to get the correct background to a historical vehicle.

Cheers

Stuart

Hi John. Thank you..yes, should hopefully have the construction done within the next week or so. I think I'll take a bit off the underside of the cupola and maybe scrape back some of the plastic on the turret....that should give me the right profile. 

 

Happy Birthday by the way!   🍻

Thank you very much Stuart. I shouldn't have been so quick to put you onto the AA ARV cupola, because if I'd have thought about it, I should have put you onto this;

https://formationsmodels.com/index.php/cupolas/f104-british-vision-cupola-with-adapter-for-sherman

 

John.

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On 9/30/2020 at 9:47 PM, dnl42 said:

Nice work! Looking forward to seeing the rest! :popcorn:

Love the scale and particularly the markings!

Thank you! Will hopefully post  a bit more progress this weekend.

Yes, I can't wait to get the scorpion on!

On 10/1/2020 at 8:18 AM, Bullbasket said:

Thank you very much Stuart. I shouldn't have been so quick to put you onto the AA ARV cupola, because if I'd have thought about it, I should have put you onto this;

https://formationsmodels.com/index.php/cupolas/f104-british-vision-cupola-with-adapter-for-sherman

 

John.

Oh John. Now you tell me! Where do you find these companies from?!

I've had a look at the link and although it's a mighty fine ARV by Mr Sacchi I have a feeling it's 1/35 scale?....it's not very clear on their website. The picture states that it's on a Tasca Firefly turret which is 1/35? I am strictly a 1/48 man. I've emailed the company though haven't heard anything...their homepage suggests long delivery times as well. Thanks for the thought though it's very much appreciated.

However, the photograph on their site is extremely useful as I now know how a resin piece should sit and how to make a potential adapter ring.

 

Cheers

Stuart

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13 hours ago, StuartH said:

I've had a look at the link and although it's a mighty fine ARV by Mr Sacchi I have a feeling it's 1/35 scale?..

DOH!!:doh: I feel like a complete DH!! Yes, they are 1/35th scale. I should have realised (I've even got one). Sorry about that Stuart.

 

John. 

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3 hours ago, Bullbasket said:

DOH!!:doh: I feel like a complete DH!! Yes, they are 1/35th scale. I should have realised (I've even got one). Sorry about that Stuart.

 

John. 

No worries. Are you sure Peddinghaus sent you the wrong decals? :giggle:

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A bit more progress to report.

 

Due to the fire control mechanism the Firefly turret was thinned on the interior wall on the right side to allow clearance for this. This led to a weak spot which was protected with an armour plate. I think turrets which were produced later on had this thickened armour incorporated into the casting...looking at my reference photos I have gone with the cast in cheek armour. I glued on the kit supplied plate and then added around it with putty + thin cement and stippled to give a cast texture. Some areas were lightly sanded to try and give a non-uniform appearance. Not sure if the bulge needs to be more pronounced.

 

IMG_3153

 

IMG_3154

 

I've also added the photo etch parts to the turret and the extra stowage box

 

IMG_3169

 

 

I've replaced the moulded on tool attachments and replaced with the photo etch versions

 

IMG_3163

(The middle pair of grab handles I may yet remove to make life easier to get the decal on...not sure yet)

 

IMG_3161

 

IMG_3166

I was planning on placing some stowage above the engine area but there's not a lot of space between those storage boxes.

 

The other thing I need to start planning is the pair of smoke dischargers on the right side turret. Research tells me that they were likely to have been the British 102mm version which could be found on the Matilda tank.

 

main-qimg-1c1ec4a52b8c383050ead23225c8af03

 

A1

 

 

You can buy a 3D printed model of these. Alas, not in 1/48 scale

2064209248803ebbb77bc00277cd787f.image.285x400

 

Therefore, my options are to either buy a 1/48 Matilda kit..nick the smoke dischargers from it and then build the Matilda in the future minus smoke dischargers or scratchbuild. I think I will try scratchbuild and if all goes wrong then I might be purchasing a Matilda kit!

 

Thanks for looking

Stuart

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Just a little bit of progress today.

 

I've made the smoke dischargers and attached to the right side turret:

 

IMG_3174

 

I've also attached the ARV cupola. I was going to make a separate adapter ring but there just isn't space. Instead I've drilled some pilot holes around the ARV. Scraping back the turret plastic and the underside of the resin piece has given it the right profile...I think. I haven't attached the hatches yet as would be very difficult to paint the underside in situ.

 

IMG_3176

 

I've attached the RB metal barrel. I think I'm going to place a dust cover over the muzzle brake so the plastic version would probably have been fine but it's done now.

IMG_3180

 

Also the PE machine gun cover:

IMG_3183

 

 

Getting there now.

 

Thanks for looking

Stuart

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