Would the Mato M4A1 work for a firefly?

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Postby SpikyTheCommander » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:31 am

Hi all,

I was doing my normal research when i noticed that the Mato m4a1 was back on ebay. I am thinking of using this as a base for an IC Hybrid firefly, but does anybody know if i would be able to replace the turret with a different one modified with the 17 pounder etc?

Regards,

Spiky.

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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:53 am

The heng long turret fits into the Mato hull, as does the Mato turret fits the Heng Long hull, there's only about a millimetre in the difference.
But surely, if you're making a hybrid, cast at the front, the rear of the hull including the turret hole will be welded. You just need a matching welded hull and turret, like the Heng Long.
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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:26 am

Is this what you're hoping to achieve?
Although this has a tamiya welded hull section, the tamiya hull has a larger turret hole, therefore, Heng Long or Mato turrets don't fit without modifications.

Firefly - RC Tank Warfare
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=19394
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Postby SpikyTheCommander » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:08 am

I am looking to achieve something like this: https://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=4373. Son of a gunner, does that mean i can get a turret like this one: https://www.forgebeartanks.com/store/p1 ... _Unit.html , and simply swap it for the current one on the mato? Also, if the hybrid version is a very challenging conversion, is there another type of firefly that i should attempt at making?

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Postby SpikyTheCommander » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:18 am

Is there a way i can get a conversion kit for the firefly? I remember seeing it a few years ago but they seem to all have disappeared.

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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:19 am

That's like the one Frankie did in the link I posted. You would need the welded hull to achieve that.

Yes, that is the turret to get for a straight swap :thumbup:

Sorry, can't remember which has the slightly looser fitting out of the Mato or Heng Long turret, but it's negligible.

They're also selling these.
Heng Long 1:16 Scale RC Sherman Tank Upper Hull
https://www.forgebeartanks.com/store/p2 ... _Hull.html
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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:20 am

SpikyTheCommander wrote:Is there a way i can get a conversion kit for the firefly? I remember seeing it a few years ago but they seem to all have disappeared.

What kit are you referring to?
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Postby SpikyTheCommander » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:23 am

Son of a gun-ner wrote:
SpikyTheCommander wrote:Is there a way i can get a conversion kit for the firefly? I remember seeing it a few years ago but they seem to all have disappeared.

What kit are you referring to?


Something like this i think viewtopic.php?t=19429 , but it seems to be a VC firefly, not an IC, and far out of my budget.
Last edited by SpikyTheCommander on Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:26 am

Ah, that was discontinued. But if you contact memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=4432 by PM, he may have the odd one left to sell you direct.
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Postby SpikyTheCommander » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:30 am

Oh ok, i don't really want the conversion kit anyway.

Do you reckon i could do something like this? https://warrenhudsonmodelling.blogspot. ... build.html , by just cutting the front off the Mato and replacing it with the heng long? I don't have any access to tamiya parts so this would be a cheaper option...

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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:37 am

That's what I've been saying, and it's what Frankie did, although in the link to his build, he used the Mato cast attached to a Tamiya welded. But he has also used Heng Long welded hulls.
As for whether you can do it, only you can answer that as I don't know your modelling skills.
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Postby SpikyTheCommander » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:38 am

Oh ok, thank you for your help, i think i will use a heng long welded and a mato cast when i get round to it.

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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:42 am

For the price, and not sure about future availability, it may be wise to get the Heng Long hull and turret sooner rather than later. Same applies to the Mato hull.
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Postby Eastern Front » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:44 pm

You could contact Nick Aguilar and get his hull, its easier to use than cutting re-gluing the hull.. There was a recent firefly build here that used his hull. here: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=7885&hilit=firefly

I have a few of them, (I don't want to part with them)

Cheers!
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Postby Tiger6 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:30 pm

As Pathfinder notes right at the start of his build, firefly's were never built on the big hatch A1 hull... And I can't recommend trying to graft a resin hull front onto a plastic rear - did that with the old Profiline kit, the 2 peices part company everytime the sun catches the damn thing...

Anyway, what Spiky does need from Nick is his low bustle 75mm turret, this is currently 65$ plus shipping (he's doing 2 for me at ths very moment - $30 shipping for the pair, 1 might cost less on its own?) The Tamiya and HL versions are both the later high bustle variant which wasn't used (possibly for technical reasons due to differences in the turret?). Woz's Shapeways store is probably your best bet for the rest of the conversion parts, such as the loaders hatch, mantlet etc.

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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:40 pm

Mr Front, Nick only makes two Sherman hulls, the small hatch M4A3 and the large hatch M4A1. Although he does make a firefly low bustle turret, along with the old low bustle short barrel 75mm single hatch turret and an open M36 Jackson turret. And I believe the E8 fury turret.
Also to note, Nicks turrets and hulls are made to use Tamiya turret rings etc, because he produced them as replacements for the Tamiya kit parts. Therefore they won't be a straight swap with Heng Long or Mato parts.
Nicks large hatch M4A1 cast hull is very similar to the Mato one, just more accurate and better looking.

As for large hatch fireflies, I doubt very much if they ever were on any version of welded firefly. But they were on the composite/hybrid, they only produced about 50 small hatch composites, the rest were large hatch which were produced from 1943 onwards. Therefore a large hatch composite firefly is more than feasible, especially as there is more period photos available of large hatch composites than small hatch.
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Postby Tiger6 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:23 pm

Son of a gun-ner wrote:he does make a firefly low bustle turret

I stand corrected - I had no idea he did that as well :thumbup:

He also does an excellent M4A3E2 upper hull and turret

PICT0141_zpsec0d6109.jpg

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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:29 pm

Cool, didn't know he made that hull.

Mind you, when I was in contact with him, we were discussing what he produced that us Brits would have had. And yes, I had a rather large order from him at the time :{
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Postby Tiger6 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:34 pm

At one point he indicated to me that he was thinking about doing a small hatch M4A1, but I'm guessing that never happened :(

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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:36 pm

Tiger6 wrote:At one point he indicated to me that he was thinking about doing a small hatch M4A1, but I'm guessing that never happened :(

Sadly not, I was after one myself, I got my order from him about three months ago.
There is one on shapeways that Woz does.
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