Sherman Vc (Firefly)
Manufacturer: BattleFront Miniatures
Product Code: BR????
Date of Article: 05 Nov 2008
The Firefly was a British improvision: mount the largest AT gun you’ve got on a common tank hull to handle the increasingly heavier German armour. It turned out to be quite successful and British tankers were happy that they had a tank which could, at least on an offensive basis, match the German armour.
Commander’s Cupola Hatch
On the Firefly, the Commander’s hatches has a circular item on one side; that is the periscope, and is shared amongst Shermans. Most photos show the periscope on the outboard side of the hatch — this can be on the left or right depending on the particular Sherman model — but there are a few that had the periscope clearly on the inboard side. There are also some with the hinges of the hatches towards the front of the tank, which indicates the whole cupola is rotatable, so it doesn’t really matter which way you attach the periscope side of the hatch.
The British consistently welded an extra box to the back of the Sherman’s turret to hold the crew’s gear; this has been referred to as Comfort Boxes in some text. BF includes a block-like structure for all Sherman Fireflies and LW British Shermans, which might have been overlooked by modellers; I didn’t know what that was for initially.
There is slight markings on the box but there’s really no up or down on the box. Just attach it and make sure it is horizontal enough. Comfort Boxes on the back of normal Shermans look ok, but Fireflies had an extended bustle for the radio already, so an additional Comfort Box behind makes the turret very long. The above Firefly had not been fitted with a Comfort Box, but I intend to fit it eventually (Edit: Since this article, I’ve since fitted the Comfort Box. As expected, the back of the turret is now rather long…).
17 Pounder Gun
Because of its great length, you have to be careful not to bend the gun while in play. Reversing the turret for storage would be good, and it was how it was done for transfers in real life; the Fireflies had a travel lock mounted to the left rear of the tank to hold the gun during long marches.