British Sherman VC Firefly
Vol.1 - basic set

ABER 1:35 Set #35 215
Review by Terry Ashley

TascaFollowing on from the 17pdr Firefly Barrel (set #35 L-57) ABER have released this "basic" update set also for the excellent Tasca Sherman VC Firelfy (kit #35009) and contains three frets of etched parts that adds mostly the finer details to the already top notch Tasca kit.

The standard of etching is again first class as we have come to expect from ABER with some very finely etched parts along with good relief and definition and the usual bending lines where needed. Some care will be needed with the finer parts but there shouldn't be any problems for anyone with basic experience working with metal parts.

The set as mentioned provides most of the finer details and this includes all the periscope mountings and the periscopes themselves plus the round hatch mounting brackets and this does require you to cut off the moulded on bracket detail from the kit hatches to take the new parts. The outer periscope covers have workable hinges which will allow you to easily have the periscopes fitted or removed just leaving the mounting brackets and finally there are etched bush periscope guards for very detailed periscope assemblies.

The hull crew hatches are further detailed with the small brackets inside and out as well as the hatch springs made from thin wire (not included) along with the hatch grab handles also from wire you have to provide yourself.

Other hull details include the glacis mounted spare track racks, the head and taillight bush guards, the front fenders as well as multi-part boathouse mountings on the front and along the hull sides that provide much finer assemblies than the kit parts and along the hull sides are the fender mounting strips with the bolt holes included.

At the back is the full large storage box carried on the rear hull and this has more workable hinges and three part latches with separate pad locks and the multi-part smoke generators again assemble into finer assemblies than the kit parts. The lower towing spring is detailed with fine etched brackets and the bogie track skids are also replaced with etched parts for a thinner appearance.

The barrel lock has additional etched parts and all the tools get new brackets and tie down eyes and fine etched securing straps with fine buckles to finish off.

Moving to the turret the periscopes are again replaced the same as the hull scopes and the Loader's hatch has inside grad handles and the chain on the securing arm is made up of three segments sandwiched together for a nice appearance.

The from vane sight is in two fine parts and there are numerous smaller brackets added around the turret plus the aerial base replaced with an etched part you bend to shape and the turret side tie downs are provided along with the searchlight body and the co-ax MG barrel perforated cover that you will have to bend to fit around either the kit barrel to a replacement whichever you prefer.

This set contains all the finer details to lift the level of the kit even higher with the periscope assemblies being a standout feature and the set should be welcomed by anyone building the Tasca kit to add that bit extra.

Highly recommended 8.5/10.
Etched frets
Instructions Sheets
Click on thumbnail for larger view

See the Sherman Subjects page for listings of other detail/update sets available for Sherman kits.

Sherman Firefly
Mark Hayward
Ground Power Magazine
#117 - 2/2004

Sherman VC M4A4 Firefly
Military Ordnance Special No.19
R.P.Hunnicutt. Presidio Books
ISBN 0-89141-080-5
Modeler's Guide to the Sherman
MMIR Special.
Ampersand Publishing Company, Inc

Thanks to ABER for the sample set.

Page created May 29, 2007