MR Models
Sherman Firefly 1C
MR Models Set#MR-4804
1:48 Scale
Review by Terry Ashley

TamiyaThis is an extensive conversion set to produce a Sherman Firefly 1C from the Tamiya M4 Sherman (kit #32505) which consists of 35 parts in light grey resin, 2 in clear resin and a metal barrel.

The quality of the resin casting is very good with just the usual casting blocks to be removed and some resin film inside the turret openings to be removed. The large casting block on the back of the turret is easy to remove with a razor saw but the holes in the muzzle brakes will have to be carefully drilled out as they are cast solid.

The hollow turret has subtle cast surface texture and has the front shield and right side appliqué armour cast in place with separate pistol port and periscopes and hatch openings. All other details are included in the casting such as the lifting eyes that need fine resin film removed from their insides and nicely defined ventilator, periscope housings and weld beads around the rear radio box.
The clear resin periscopes have to be trimmed in length to fit the openings but this is quite easy but you will have to add the periscope cover flaps from thin card.
The new loader’s hatch has nice details on both sides but will need the inner handle trimmed to fit in the closed position.

The turret is designed to take the hatch ring from the Tamiya kit which fits perfectly as does the resin pistol port hatch and there is also a movable gun breech for the inside which is trapped against the back of the shield by two bearings and you have to be sparing with the cyanoacrylate to ensue this moves after assembly.

The large “Firefly” rotor shield also has subtle cast texture and very small but well defined flush screw heads as well as the tip of the co-ax MG included and this is best glued with cyanoacrylate to the metal barrel after fitting the barrel to its mount.
There are two muzzle brakes provided, one with the common two round holes per side and one with less common square holes and as you have to drill out both the holes and muzzle these square holes will be quite a challenge. After drilling out the muzzle brake it is fitted to the barrel tip which has a small pin for the purpose, making for a secure fitting but ensure you line up the side holes with the shield orientation.

The turret size (height and diameter) and most importantly the barrel length and muzzle brake size match the 1:48 plans in the Hunnicutt Sherman book exactly which is very good to see.

Other details on the turret include the six tie down cleats on the left side as well as the rear radio box which is depicted with a smooth top. Many Fireflys had three small squares on the box but there is also photo evidence of flat tops so the kit box is correct in that regard. The 2” bomb thrower lip sits too high off the turret and its best to cut this off, trim and reposition lower on the turret roof (but in the same position).

The lower Tamiya turret ring (part D14) has to have the rear bustle section removed to fit the resin turret but this is quite an easy job.

There are also many Firefly items included for the hull as well as a replacement radio pot for the right of the front plate that requires the kit pot to be removed and the small indentation above the pot filled, don’t worry about the hole in the hull as the new pot will cover this but not the indentation.

Fitting the new pot is then easy but note it should sit slightly lower on the glacis than the original pot in the Tamiya kit and referring to references will determine the correct position.

The appliqué armour plates for the front of the driver’s hoods will have to be reshaped slightly as they are squarer on most Fireflys than the angular plates in the kit but this is an easy job. And of course the Tamiya kit appliqué armour panels can be added to the hull sides.

Other items include the hull MG plug, two fire extinguishes, the rear deck mounted barrel travel lock, rear telephone box as well as the two smoke emitters and distinctive towing bar mounted on the rear plate plus three .50cal and three .30cal ammo boxes to use as required.

The instructions consist of a small double sided sheet that lists the parts with small exploded view drawings of the various assemblies but overall the assembly is fairly straightforward.

If you wanted to add further detail to the turret there is the Gaso.Line Sherman update set (#GAS48031) available with the resin hatch ring fitting perfectly to the MR turret and the Hauler Etched detail set (#HLX48001) for the Tamiya Sherman.

This is very detailed and extensive Firefly 1C conversion that provides all the parts needed to build a very nice Firefly from the Tamiya kit with very little modifications required to the kit and will appeal greatly to British armour fans as well as 1:48 modellers in general.

Highly recommended.

Resin and metal parts
MR ModelsMR Models
Turret overhead view with barrel fitted and Tamiya hatch ring in place
MR Models
Left and right views of turret
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Inside turret view of gun breech
MR Models
Tamiya lower turret ring modifications
MR Models
Two views of the new radio pot added to the Tamiya hull
note filled indentation from old pot

MR Models
Sherman Firefly
Mark Hayward
SHERMAN A History of the American Medium Tank
R.P.Hunnicutt. Presidio Books
ISBN 0-89141-080-5
British Tanks of WWII (1)
Concord #7027

Thanks to MR Models for the review set.
MR Models are available direct from MR Models or VLS/ModelMecca in the US.

Page created 27 July 2005

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