Julien Posted May 21, 2021 Share Posted May 21, 2021 Classic Conflict Gift Set Tiger I / Sherman Firefly Vc 1:72 Airfix A50186 This new set seems to be Airfix's Dogfight Doubles set for Armour. This new box brings together the the new Tiger and Sherman Firefly kits with paint, glue & brushes added. Everyone that’s even a little bit interested in tanks will know the name of the dreaded Tiger tank from WWII, which was at the forefront of German armoured might, and if it wasn’t for the limited numbers on the battlefield coupled with their unreliability, plus Hitler’s meddling with his General’s decisions, the invasion in 1944 might have been much harder fought than it already was. Designed to replace the Panzer IV but often fighting alongside it, the Tiger added extra armour and a larger 88mm gun similar to that of the successful Flak 37 artillery piece, and became one of the most dangerous tanks on the field in the later stages of WWII. The drive-train was stressed to the max due to the huge weight of the gun and armour, which caused many vehicles to be lost due to breakdowns and subsequent abandonment and scuttling of the hull. The Sherman was one of the most widely used Allied tanks during WWII, named after an American Civil War general when it entered service in the early part of the war. It was the mainstay of Allied armour, and was a reliable and rugged vehicle, but initially suffered from weak points and thin side armour that allowed a carefully placed shot to penetrate it an set the tank afire. Once identified appliqué armour was added to the vulnerable spots to improve survivability. It became one of the most produced tanks of WWII, with over 50,000 produced, 17,000+ of which were destined for British service. Originally fitted with a 75mm gun, the arrival of the Panther and Tiger tanks in the European Theatre led to tests for improving firepower to penetrate the thicker armour of these new foes. The American tests weren't as successful as the British forays into heavy armament, and it was the redesign and installation of the Ordnance QF 17-pounder gun in a standard turret that resulted in the Firefly, lead by W.G.K. Kilbourn, a Vickers engineer, that succeeded in adding the gun to the Sherman. It was capable of knocking out a Panther and Tiger at combat ranges from then on. Although the Firefly concept was initially rejected, it was pushed ahead and the improved Shermans started reaching the front just in time for the work-up before D-Day where it accredited itself well. To hide the extra firepower the length of the barrel was sometimes disguised by adding a wavy camouflage to the underside in the hope the enemy would confuse it with the weaker 75mm gun and be less cautious. By war's end around 2,000 Fireflys had been produced, and had been used effectively as part of the larger Sherman force, evolving new tactics to protect the valuable Fireflies while making good use of their heavy hitting power. Tanks with 17-pounder guns were usually known as "1C", "1C Hybrid", or "VC", depending on the basic mark of the vehicle. The "C" indicated fitment of the 17 Pounder Gun. The Firefly nickname is said to be a response to the bright flash of the gun firing. The Kit - Tiger I This is a new tool from Airfix and is 1.72 unlike some other small scale armour kits which were 1/76 scale. As you can expect from a new tool the moulding are crisp and clean, the plastic also seems to be a bit harder than some of the modern aircraft kits. In a departure from previous kits the rubber band tracks have gone. In this boxing both link and length tracks and single part tracks moulded with the wheels/bogies are included, it would seem Airfix are also going to release a "Simplified" version of this kit with only the single part tracks/wheels included. The first thing to do when starting construction is to select which track types you want and follow the instruction steps for that one. First up the lower hull is built. The sides are attached to the base and the front and rear bulkheads are added. The main top of the tank is then added and the side plates with track guards go on. At the rear the engine exhausts with their covers, and the rear mud guards are attached. At the front the bow machine gun and drivers vision port are added. To finish of the hull the tow cables are added. Construction now moves to the turret. The gun mantlet is built up and then placed in between the tow side of the turret. No glue is used here if you wish the gun to elevate. Hole are drilled in one side of the turret for attaching additional track links. Once the side are together the turret roof can be added along with the rear storage locker. Hatches and vision blocks can then be added also. Next up the single part barrel goes on, the muzzle brake is in tow halves one moulded in and the other half now going on. If using the simplified tracks these can be glued together and attached to the tank, though this will leave a central seam. If not using the simplified tracks then you dont have to worry about the multitude of interleaved wheels. Airfix have moulded these as one major part onto which the faces of the second row wheels are separate and now go on. The outer wheels are all individual parts. The drive sprockets are made up and then these attach to the front of the completed wheel assembly which also contains the return roller. The link and length tracks then go around the whole assembly. To finish up the track assemblies are added to the hull along with the turret. Decals The small decal sheet is from Cartograf so should post no issues, it has one scheme, the Tiger commanded my Michael Wittmann, The Kit - Sherman Firefly This is a new tool from Airfix and is 1.72 unlike some other small scale armour kits which were 1/76 scale. As you can expect from a new tool the moulding are crisp and clean, the plastic also seems to be a bit harder than some of the modern aircraft kits. In a departure from previous kits the rubber band tracks have gone. In this boxing both link and length tracks and single part tracks moulded with the wheels/bogies are included, it would seem Airfix are also going to release a "Simplified" version of this kit with only the single part tracks/wheels included. The first thing to do when starting construction is to select which track types you want and follow the instruction steps for that one. The main lower hull is the first step in construction. the two sides attach to the base and the front and rear parts go on. In addition at the rear the exhaust shroud goes on. Then at the front the drive housings go on. If you have elected for the simplified tracks these can now be added. If you are going for the full works then three sets of bogies for each side need to be built up, along with the drive sprockets and return rollers are added. The lenghts of track can then be added. We then move onto the upper hull. Some holes first need to be made and then the rear bulkhead with mud guards attached is added. Additional parts and tools can then be added to the upper hull . A cross beam is added to the front plate which was commonly used to store extra spares and equipment on. Jerry cans and extra ammo boxes are supplied in the kit for use in this area, or any where else the modeller wishes to use them. Additional track, and road wheels are also provided if the modeller wishes to add them to the hull in the form of spare links, and/or extra armour. Next up its the turret containing that all important 17 pounder gun. The mantlet is first added to the turret followed by the single part barrel. With careful gluing of the parts the gun will elevate. Only one half of the muzzle brake is moulded onto the barrel, with the other half needing to be added. The base is then added to the turret, and on top the large hatch and aerial mount is added. A side hatch complete the turret and it can be added to the vehicle. Decals The small sheet from Cartograf (no no issues there) provides markings for one tank; "BELVEDERE" Staffordshire Yeomanry, 27th Armoured Brigade, Operation Goodwood, Normandy June 1944 Conclusion As well as Airfix's drive into 1/35 scale armour it is good to see them sticking with their roots and producing new kits for the small scale armour modeller. The new box brings together their two newer kit. This should appeal to the younger modeller with the simplified track details, or even a market for war gamers? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of 2 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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