FIREFLY? WHAT HAVE i GOT HERE?

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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:23 pm

dgsselkirk wrote:
43rdRecceReg wrote:
Exhibitedbrute wrote:That would certainly be the easiest option but the hull would still need to be extended, which I can provide measurement for from my own firefly

Only Fireflies based on the M4A4 hull (Vc) need to go to the chop shop. Hybrid (1c), and M4 (1c) don't need a longer chassis. In fact, the M4 Ic should just fit on the M4A3 lower hull. :think:
That's a precedent for leaving the hull/tub undoctored- should it be needed.


tis true... now just have to find those for reference... :D


Here's Tamiya's 1/48 scale M4 Sherman 1C Firefly. It's a pity they didn't offer a 1/16 version. :problem:
Image

I guess, the only issue with using the M4A3 as the basis for an M4 !C would be the angle of the glacis plate. Otherwise, the lower hull wouldn't need much reconfiguration.
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Postby HERMAN BIX » Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:21 pm

Without knowing what variant it was, that’s the one I hoped to make out of this thing.
I will look around for a lower & if there is one available at a realistic price, I might still go ahead at some stage.
But, if anyone has a need for this thing I have, let me know.
I’d happily swap it for a couple of Russian figures
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:33 pm

Here's the M4 1c Firefly variant (Sherman 1, in British terms, HB). Someone here used the M4A3 chassis to build a Firefly. I cana't find the thread, but I know he had to alter the angle of the front glacis plate.
Other than that, you won't need to get the saw out.
Image

There's a whole 46mb pdf of Fireflies to be downloaded here:
http://the.shadock.free.fr/Surviving_Panzers.html
Click on the "new! 'Shermans' new" link on the left, then scroll down the variant listings on the right. From the right column, there's a download link. The file's too large to upload here, but the pic I've just posted came from it. This one looks like it has the 'high bustle' type turret.
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Postby dgsselkirk » Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:11 am

That is a real rare one, IC AND High Bustle turret...
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:45 pm

dgsselkirk wrote:That is a real rare one, IC AND High Bustle turret...


Just what I thought, Dean :D Apart from fitting a rectangular loader's hatch (not too much of a scratch challenge), a scratch built radio box (easy enough with styrene sheets), a new mantlet etc, the stock
airsoft or IR turret could be used. The later Cupola would be needed, but that's available as a metal accessory, I believe. Other tweaks are not beyond the average RCTW 'improver' :lolno:

If you download the Firefly file, you'll see pics of several M4 Ic's. There's even one with a 105mm gun fitted. :O It's all Firefly, except for the barrel and mantlet... :)
Image
A couple more of the relatively rare M4 IC Fireflies:

Image
Image

The Shadock.free.fr pdf has loads more Fireflies in the 46mb download. I'd say it's an essential file for any Shermano-fanatics ;)
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Postby dgsselkirk » Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:31 pm

BUT the big one is making those small hatches and configuring them onto an M4A3 with the large flat hatches is truly a bitch! I know, I did one before I created my kits... :D
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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:59 am

43rdRecceReg wrote:Imagethe pic I've just posted came from it. This one looks like it has the 'high bustle' type turret.

Look again, that's a low bustle :thumbup:
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:07 am

Image High Bustle (75mm turret)
Image Low Bustle (75mm)

Looks high to me. :)
The majority of turrets fitted to the M4 (Sherman 1) were all high bustle, including those destined to morph into Ic Fireflies. In any event, using a high or low bustle turret to make an M4 Firefly conversion
seems valid. :thumbup:
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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:36 am

Nope, that's a low bustle.
1. It has the downward slope at the top down towards the radio box.
2. There is only just enough clearance underneath.
3. Greater clearance wasn't introduced for small hatches like that one has.
4. Was only low bustle that needed the introduction of a loaders hatch, high bustle turrets came with loaders hatches. And that one has the British hatch addition.
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Postby Tiger6 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:42 am

The majority of turrets fitted to the M4 (Sherman 1) were all high bustle


This is only true of M4 105's and M4 Composites. Small hatch M4's ceased production just the high bustle turret was introduced.

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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:04 am

43rdRecceReg wrote:In any event, using a high or low bustle turret to make an M4 Firefly conversion
seems valid. :thumbup:

Sadly not. Just like large hatches, high bustle turrets don't feature on fireflies.
You've shown a picture where the turret is the D50878 low bustle version.
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:25 am

There's a bewildering array of detail changes to the Sherman, depending on Manufacturere, Model and year. There's an 'early' low bustle, and late 'low' bustle for example , and they look distinct.
The High bustle was introduced to allow clearance for bigger hatches, as far as I can tell. Clearly, the Firefly needed a large loader's hatch (and hence the unique rectangular design we see on them); but the point I'm making- going back to the orginal theme is that it's:
1. Not necessary to have a three-piece gearbox to make a Firefly, nor:
2. an elongated M4A4 chassis, as the M4A3 hull will suffice. Similarly, High and Low bustle turrets can be used.
3. M4 ICs came with a mix of High and low bustle turrets, (some remanufactured from earlier models)- though the majority of Vc (M4A4) Fireflies had high bustle turrets. So, with a bit of skill the standard model turret can be modded to be a passable Firefly type without too much Sturm und Drang. There are examples of it in the archives here. One of the best (if not THE best) is here:
viewtopic.php?f=21&t=7885&hilit=M4A3+conversion+to+Firefly The turret mods are outstanding, and relevant to a M4 1c build, although the hull is the M4A1 type.

The issue with converting a M4A3 model (105mm or 75mm) to a firefly is likely to be with making the correct size hatches, and having the correct glacis angle (60 deg).
here's a useful pic of the variations in glacis angle:
Image
I think that all the later Tamiya nd HL variants probably have the 47 deg glacis. However, it's to a massive to modifcation for someone with a razor saw skillset. ;)
Here's a quick develomental diag of the 75mm turrets Fireflies were derived from:
Image
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Postby Tiger6 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:32 am

43rdRecceReg wrote:though the majority of Vc (M4A4) Fireflies had high bustle turrets.


Again this rubbish. They stopped production of the M4A4 prior to the introduction of the high bustle turret.
If you find a picture of an M4A4 with a high bustle it will be because it was fitted post war as either something cobbled together as a museum piece or out of sheer desperation as in the case of IDF examples.

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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:45 am

Roy, you say the M4 Ic came with a mix of high and low bustle turrets. Sorry, the M4 came with a mix of both, but the Ic (meaning Sherman one with a 17 pounder gun) only came with low bustle.
There are no photos of a firefly with a high bustle turret. Just like there are no photos of a Sherman 2 (M4A1 cast) with a 17 pounder in Europe.
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Postby Exhibitedbrute » Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:15 am

Bringing us back on topic here. There is a resin cast kit available for the upper and turret of a firefly Herman.it Can be bought from forgebear and I think Ludwig or vandra. You also already have the gun barrel and extending the hull isn’t as big a job as it seems. If you want to use what you have it is a little more work but possible. There are threads on here that show a high bustle turret being made into a low bustle I have a spare mantlet (metal) as well as small hatches you could have and the engine deck could be scratch built quite easily or a printed version is on shapeways

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Postby dgsselkirk » Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:27 am

oh, oh.... :D
firefly high bustle.jpg
firefly high bustle.jpg (30.81 KiB) Viewed 137 times


FYI Vandra and forgebear are out of kits and won't have anymore. I only have a couple left and am attempting to put together some more put prices just keep rising and rising. I have sold over 100 kits now so perhaps it has reached builders saturation point for now...
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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:38 am

dgsselkirk wrote:oh, oh.... :D
firefly high bustle.jpg

Oh, that is a very rare picture of an M4 Ic Dean, although the top of the bustle looks sloped like a low bustle, the clearance underneath would imply a high bustle.
Well, I stand corrected. Although what Roy was saying about more high bustle than low is incorrect. And the earlier picture is still a low bustle.
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Postby dgsselkirk » Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:43 am

Absolutely, I agree almost all were low bustle. I think the few were only in the hybrids. I will check my references some more too but the point is just depends on if you want a relatively accurate Firefly or just stick a radio box and a big barrel and call it done... LOL!
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Postby HERMAN BIX » Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:18 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5TqD5xf0ic

I feel like that guy !!

See, its damn "Sherm-ick Cubes" options & combinations that put me off building one :/ :haha:
I guess I could live with a stick a radio box and a barrel on it & call it done ..................
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Postby tankme » Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:40 am

I have one of Dean's kits in the stash waiting to be built. One of these days I will get around to building it. I've learned that if there is something on the market that I *might* want to build I should buy it as things tend to disappear in our hobby never to be seen again.

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