login   |    register

Scale Modeling Sponsors

See Your Ad Here!

Artitec [ MORE REVIEWS ] [ WEB SITE ] [ NEW STORIES ]

Built Review
187
Firefly VC
Sherman Firefly VC
  • move

by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction
Artitec is a company from the Netherlands that produces highly detailed 1/87 resin and multi-media military vehicles, among other subjects. This it kit 87.104 Sherman Firefly VC.

The Sherman Firefly was the first Allied tank with a gun capable of effectively engaging the Nazi Tiger I and Panther. Despite official resistance to the project, Britain officers created the Firefly with the successful mounting of England's powerful 77mm 17-pounder gun in the reliable American M4 Sherman. There were three versions (based on a specific M4 type), the Firefly Vc being based on the M4A4.

While they were ready to go ashore on D-Day, there were never enough Fireflys to go around, and UK tank units made due with one Firefly per troop of tanks. During Operation Totalize, a Firefly is credited with the destruction of the Tiger I of panzer ace SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Michael Wittmann, killing Wittmann and his crew.

The model
Artitec cast the model in buff resin. There is also a simple photo-etch fret. Those 21 pieces consists of:
    Hull
    Turret
    Left running gear
    Right running gear
    17-pounder gun tube
    Commander's hatch (One piece that can be cut apart for right and left hatches.)
    Loaders hatch
    Spares and stores X 11
    Headlamp brush guards (photo-etch) X 3

Artitec casting is high quality with fully formed pieces, no air pocks and only a few flecks of flash. The only bit of flash I needed a blade to remove was inside a drive sprocket. Except for the external stores, all pieces were off their pour blocks ("de-sprued").

However, both running gear pieces had chunks from the pour block to remove. On a casting as relatively delicate as the tracks, this can be tricky to remove. The hull casting also had a large amount of excess pour material from de-spruing. It was too wide to carve away but I ground it off against a paving stone. Ultra-fine fender mounting strips run along the edge of the sponsons, so fine that one must use care not to crack them off the main hull.

The only other obvious problem is the gun barrel - it is slightly bent and has resisted all attempts to straighten out.

The casting quality really pays off in the detail cast onto the parts, as noted next.

Detail
Some of the most amazing detail I found are the open lifting rings on the turret. They tax my ability not to knock them off. Further turret details include periscopes and bustle fittings, sighting flap and ventilator. A nice long 17-pounder is well cast with a globular muzzle break. However, it is slightly warped.

The running gear is also very detailed. The T74 tracks even have concave end connectors.

Artitec hull detail includes towing clevises, air filters, tools, head and tail lights, spare track lengths, more ventilators, lifting rings, methyl bromide fire extinguishers, rear storage bin, and so on. Both sides of the upper hull have three small brackets that I can not identify.

The commander and gunner hatches are cast separately and can be posed open or closed. The commander hatch can be cut apart to position open. The void under them are shallow pits for painting "inside-of-turret black" or occupying with a figure.

Another nice detail are three P/E brush guards for the headlights. The instructions show to use two of the three; one is shown to be mounted with a bottom plate although there is no indication whether to bend it to the angle of the glacis; one is shown with a non-existing spur away from the guard.

Final detail is a block of 11 stores: tarps, jerry cans, spare road wheels and tracks.

Instructions and decals
Artitec includes a basic instruction sheet of line art. Paint is keyed to Humbrol and mixing formulas are offered for some colors. As noted above, one instruction sheet illustration of a headlight brush guard does not match the shape of the P/E pieces.

A generous decal sheet of crisply printed insignias is provided. The decals are thin and have an acceptable amount of clear film around the printed insignias. I am not well versed in Royal Armoured Corps Regiments but I count at least 17 units, including the "Desert Rats". There are also 15 yellow bridging number circles, of which only one is applicable for the Firefly.

However, Artitec failed to include the white star of the Western Allies. Considering this vehicle had the star on several surfaces, this is a glaring omission.

Assembly
Assembly is quick and easy - only seven parts build the Firefly. It literally takes longer to clean off and wash the parts than to assemble the tank. Painting takes longer than assembly, too. Using superglue I attached the running gear and P/E to the hull, let gravity seat the turret and the hatches onto the turret (buttoned up), then mounted the gun. The tarps and other stores were tacked on with white glue.

A special mix of Polly Scale and Tamiya paints created BS.24 Deep Bronze Green. I painted the engineering tools and other equipment, applied Future for the decals, weather-washed the beast, then put a satin overcoat on to complete the model. lastly, I used Lifecolor pigments and washes to make it look like it's spent a dusty summer around Caen.

A fine HO-1/87 Sherman Firefly is the result.

Conclusion
Artitec has created a sharp 1/87 Firefly with high quality castings and plenty of cast detail. A generous decal sheet of crisply printed insignias to complete the model. The only drawbacks are the bent long thin cannon barrel, and the casting excess on the tracks.

Artitec advances the state of the 1/87 art with this remarkable tank. It can enhance or supplant one's braille scale battalions. Recommended.

Please remember to tell Artitec and retailers that you saw this model here - on Armorama.

Click here for additional images for this review.

SUMMARY
Highs: High quality castings with plenty of cast detail. A generous decal sheet of crisply printed insignias.
Lows: The long thin cannon barrel is slightly warped. Casting excess on the tracks.
Verdict: This Firefly advances the state of the 1/87 art. It can enhance or supplant one's braille scale battalions.
  Scale: 1:87
  Mfg. ID: 87.104
  Related Link: Firefly Diagram
  PUBLISHED: Jul 14, 2016
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.00%

Our Thanks to Artitec!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View This Item   View Vendor Homepage  More Reviews  

Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2017 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


Reader Reviews
Do you own this item and want to review it? You can add your review of the item here. Please read the reader review instructions before posting.


Comments

That's pretty common to have long thin resin parts slightly (and sometimes more!) warped, so not much of an issue. Did you try holding it under hot tap water for a few seconds, straightening it, then switching to cold water to set it?
JUL 15, 2016 - 02:36 AM
Biggles; I have tried the hot tap water/cold water method. It has not succeeded (yet). Thanks for the idea.
JUL 18, 2016 - 03:09 PM
Weathered the beast and added photos.
JUL 21, 2016 - 04:03 AM
Tip: Just hit enter to submit your reply!
   

What's Your Opinion?


Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move