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1/35 Firefly - Market Garden


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Been looking into Market Garden and 1/35 kits, now wondering about which Firefly.  Seems the Asuka and Tasca Sherman kits are good on fit, accuracy and detail, but which one for Market Garden? 

 

I know little detail on the Sherman, but of course generally quite familiar with that tank. 

 

Would the Asuka British Sherman Ic Firefly (Composite Hull) be suitable? Or the VC Firefly?  Probably looking at the Irish Guards.  What exactly is the IC Composite?

 

Too many questions...

 

Thanks,

 

Peter

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For Guards Armoured Div on the road the Arnhem then either a VC or IC Firefly would be appropriate.  Coldstream Guards had Sherman I/II while Irish and Grenadiers had Sherman V.

 

For a VC it seems to be a toss-up between Asuka (or their older Tasca period) and RFM.  There are fans of both.  Having built both my preference would be RFM.  The old Dragon VC is not good even if you can find it.

 

For a IC welded the only option is the Dragon kit #6568, but that is now very very hard to find.  For a IC Composite the choice is Asuka/Tasca or Dragon.  I have built the Dragon version and thought it OK, but people rave over the Asuka/Tasca.  But beware the older Dragon kit #9037 and its Cyber Hobby re-box #9104: it is a dog.  The one you want is #6228.

 

A Composite M4 has a cast glacis mated to a welded hull to improve frontal armour.  Often confused with M4A1 from the front.  And usually called Hybrid in UK service.  The final production 1,676 M4s at Chrysler and the final 300 from ALCO during Aug 43 - Jan 44 were built like this.  As they were still arriving new in the UK when tanks were being selected for Firefly conversion and as they met the conversion criteria many (possibly the majority) of Composite/Hybrids supplied were taken for Firefly conversion.

 

With all the kits you need to pay attention to the parts provided as not all of them are appropriate even if the instructions suggest they might be.  There is a thread currently running on Asuka vs RFM kits on Missing Lynx here: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missinglynx/firefly-vc-asuka-vs-rfm-t331652.html   This is not the first time this subject has been covered on Britmodeller or Missing Lynx.

 

For anything Sherman you need to plug into these 2 sites.  Start with Minutia as the first port of call.

http://the.shadock.free.fr/sherman_minutia/index.html

https://www.theshermantank.com/

Edited by Das Abteilung
correction
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Thanks @Das Abteilung  somehow I knew you would offer your in-depth knowledge!  I did see the Missing Lynx thread today, but it's nice to get another perspective, though I see your avatar there as well! 

 

So it looks like RFM for me then.

 

Cheers,

 

Peter

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one of the features of the Ic Hybrid Firefly that gets missed , as most of them had late high bustle turrets on them they had the later oval loaders hatch factory fitted and so didn't need the brit square hatch fitted at Firefly conversion.

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Only about the first 500 Composites had the "low bustle" turret.  The remaining 1,500 or so had the "high bustle" turret with oval loader's hatch.  US and British records do not, however, discriminate between them in the supply system.  So it is not known how many of each came to the UK, in the same way that the distribution of Fireflies between M4 and M4A4 is not known.  Indeed the number of Fireflies in different sources varies from 2,200 to 2,400.  But a "high bustle" turret seems statistically more probable for a Firefly IC Hybrid.

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1 hour ago, Das Abteilung said:

Only about the first 500 Composites had the "low bustle" turret.  The remaining 1,500 or so had the "high bustle" turret with oval loader's hatch.  US and British records do not, however, discriminate between them in the supply system.  So it is not known how many of each came to the UK, in the same way that the distribution of Fireflies between M4 and M4A4 is not known.  Indeed the number of Fireflies in different sources varies from 2,200 to 2,400.  But a "high bustle" turret seems statistically more probable for a Firefly IC Hybrid.

yes unfortunately none of the model or after market manufactures have got a High bustle turret for a Firefly correct yet with a factory oval loaders hatch , they all assume its the Brit conversion square hatch 

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The Dragon 75mm Composite kit actually comes with both high and low bustle turret shells in the box so there may be a cross-kit option there with their IC Hybrid kit and still have an early 75mm Composite/Hybrid to go with the Firefly.

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16 hours ago, Das Abteilung said:

The Dragon 75mm Composite kit actually comes with both high and low bustle turret shells in the box so there may be a cross-kit option there with their IC Hybrid kit and still have an early 75mm Composite/Hybrid to go with the Firefly.

Thanks, I also just found the 1/56 Rubicon M4 Sherman Composite/Firefly Ic Hybrid kit comes with a High bustle 75 mm turret and a low bustle Firefly turret , I may cut the radio box off the Firefly turret and graft it on the High Bustle.

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@Das Abteilung @Sydhuey   This raised more questions for me, so that's always good. 

 

High bustle vs low bustle.  I gather that is the height at the rear of the turret, is that correct?

 

So a high bustle Firefly will likely have an oval loader's hatch, rather than one with the square surround?  Like this AM turret, which is OK?

 

https://formationsmodels.com/store/product/f122-high-bustle-sherman-firefly-turret/?v=707f3a40153b

 

So the RFM Firefly is a low bustle turret?  And low bustle Firefly tanks were more common, e.g. in Market Garden?

 

A diagram would be good...

 

Peter

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Yes, questions.  Yes the RFM VC is a "low bustle" (LB).  All M4A4s were built with LB turrets so it isn't a debate that applies to M4A4s.  All VC Fireflies had the British pattern square loader's hatch.  Your suggested choice of Irish Guards means a VC, not a IC, so the whole bustle question is moot there.  IC would only apply to the Coldstreams.

 

But to chase the bustle question to ground anyway ........

 

The turret design change comes about with the enlarged hatch glacis ("large hatch") introduced first on the M4 Composite.  It was found that the original LB turret fouled the new hatch hinges.  The quick fix was to flame-cut chunks off the bustle lower corners.  After about the first 500 Composites the "high bustle" (HB) turret was introduced as a permanent fix, with the bustle raised bodily on the turret rather than just having raised clearance beneath.  The loader's hatch was introduced and the pistol port re-introduced at the same time.

 

The key HB recognition features from the side and rear are the larger gap below the bustle and the top of the bustle being level with the main turret top.  LB turrets have a noticeable top slope down at the rear.  HB turrets also had the MG stowage brackets on the bustle rear - but so did some remanufactured LB turrets so that is not in itself conclusive.  Same with the vision cupola.  From the front it is really impossible to tell HB from LB.  If the loader's hatch is visible and oval then that is another HB clue.

 

The LB vs HB situation is a bit more muddled on other "large hatch" 75mm types (M4A1, M4A2, M4A3) but as none of these became Fireflies that's for another day.

 

Because US Ordnance and the British systems did not separately identify the turret types it is impossible to know how many of the 500 or so LBs came to the UK or how many of those were converted to Fireflies.  There are essentially 2 possible ways of looking at it.  Firstly and most simply, HB turrets were the 75% majority of Composites so that is by far the most likely.  Secondly, many M4 and M4A4 in service did not have the conversion criteria features.  This limited the conversion pool, and in any case new tanks were preferred to used ones requiring other refurbishment.  But M4 Composites were arriving brand new just at the right time and they met the criteria.  So it might be logical that most of those went for conversion, and that would have included some LB tanks.  Take your choice.  There are a fair few photos out there so it may be a case of "counting heads" where you can tell the difference.

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I believe that both units who claimed Wittman were using VCs. 

 

The Sherman V was the predominant type in NWE by a long head so VCs will be more common.  We didn't mix engine types in Regiments (hold that thought) so every Sherman V Regiment had VCs.  ICs were only in units equipped with radial-engined types, Shermans I and II.  But there were no Sherman IIICs so units equipped with Sherman III got VCs or ICs (thought un-held), although VCs seem to be more common in Sherman III Regiments.

 

I don't know the NWE distribution, but in overall terms of Shermans supplied there were 50% more Sherman V supplied than Sherman III and 60% more V than I and II put together (and that would include about 1,300 IIA 76mm).  Those numbers also include the many hundreds of IIs and IIIs lost in the desert campaign before we started getting Is and Vs.  Overall we were sent 17,196 Shermans.

 

M4 75mm = 2,096 (Sherman I)

M4 105mm = 593 (Sherman IB/IBY)

M4A1 75mm = 942 (Sherman II) (+80 DDs)

M4A1 76mm = 1,330 (Sherman IIA)

M4A2 75mm = 5,041 (Sherman III)

M4A2 76mm = 15 (Sherman IIIA, not used)

M4A2E8 76mm = 5 (Sherman IIIAY, not used)

M4A3 75mm = 7 (Sherman IV, not used)

M4A4 = 7,499 (Sherman V)

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@Das Abteilung  I'm intrigued by your in-depth knowledge of all things AFV, especially Shermans.  I would love to know some background there, though I'm sure it's common knowledge in some circles.  Are you connected to the Bovington Tank Museum perhaps  (which I have visited, as well as driving around most of Dorset etc)

 

Peter

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No I'm not.  All this info is out there online and in books somewhere.  I've just gathered it together over time and Sherman projects.  And many Google bookmarks.  I've been making AFV models on and off for over 50 years, spent most of the 90's as an Army Reservist and over 30 years in UK MOD's procurement organisation including working on AFV and protected mobility projects among others.  Can't remember peoples' names to save my life but I seem to retain this stuff.

 

I saw an interesting statement the other day that we have become a generation in the internet age who no longer knows information, but instead knows where information can be found.

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"but instead knows where information can be found"

I believe, that is how younger generations are primed in their schools. and it went into their blood - just google it!

Show them a slice of pepperoni as a "star photo", and it will be accepted, no question asked!

It was on the Internet!!!

Ended up with a bunch of people being VERY OFFENDED! :-)) (if you know the story)

Anyway, I do admire your knowledge and your willingness to share it around!

Regards

Zig

 

 

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9 hours ago, Das Abteilung said:

I saw an interesting statement the other day that we have become a generation in the internet age who no longer knows information, but instead knows where information can be found.

Lets hope the internet keeps going..............................................

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On 8/9/2022 at 6:35 AM, Das Abteilung said:

No I'm not.  All this info is out there online and in books somewhere.  I've just gathered it together over time and Sherman projects.  And many Google bookmarks.  I've been making AFV models on and off for over 50 years, spent most of the 90's as an Army Reservist and over 30 years in UK MOD's procurement organisation including working on AFV and protected mobility projects among others.  Can't remember peoples' names to save my life but I seem to retain this stuff.

 

I saw an interesting statement the other day that we have become a generation in the internet age who no longer knows information, but instead knows where information can be found.

 

I have a great library and trove the web for info too, but to recall it in so much detail and depth like you do is fabulous, as is your willingness to share!

 

I was also a reserve officer in Artillery in Australia during the 80's (M2A2 105mm and BL 5.5) and then early 2000's. as well a public servant in the Department of Defence managing engineering stores/equipment nationally in the 80's in Melbourne.  I worked under a guy named Richard Serong.  The surname should be familiar to those who know about Australian involvement in Vietnam. - his father was Brig. 'Ted' Serong who headed the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) in '62 (working with the CIA), the precursor to full involvement in that 'war' by the US and Australia.  

 

Peter

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On 8/8/2022 at 11:35 PM, Das Abteilung said:

 

I saw an interesting statement the other day that we have become a generation in the internet age who no longer knows information, but instead knows where information can be found.

 

This is a very real phenomenon. Through the process of neuroplasticity the internet is rewiring our brains and the process of memory recall. Because information is so accessible for so many now there is little incentive for our brains to store it for the longterm. 

Conversely if the process of retrieving information is more difficult this tends to activate more regions in the brain thereby increasing the likelihood of retaining the information for longer.

 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26262779/

 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21764755/

 

(+2 for the black sheep 🤣 )

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On 8/10/2022 at 4:57 PM, StuartH said:

Conversely if the process of retrieving information is more difficult this tends to activate more regions in the brain thereby increasing the likelihood of retaining the information for longer.

Oh, I hope this is true (in relation to the assignment I have recently given my students)

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On 10/08/2022 at 10:57, StuartH said:

Conversely if the process of retrieving information is more difficult this tends to activate more regions in the brain thereby increasing the likelihood of retaining the information for longer.

Only if you haven't got Swiss cheese between your ears!!

 

John.

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