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Firefly VC

DML 1/72 Firefly VC Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review September 2006 Manufacturer DML
Subject Firefly VC Scale 1/72
Kit Number 7303 Primary Media 190 parts (134 in grey stryene, 54 etched brass, 2 tan DS plastic track runs)
Pros Nice, clean kit with new M4A4/Sherman V hull, tracks and turret; detail rivals 1/35 scale kits; provides the modeler with the ability to make the model as detailed as possible Cons Brass details are now bordering on the ridiculous in regard to size and usability
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $13.95

First Look

DML is going great guns on their small scale line, and following their gorgeous M4A1 mid-production tank they have now introduced a Sherman VC Firefly of the same level of detail and quality. Up until now the only small scale Firefly was the ancient Matchbox one in 1/76 scale, so this is a welcome bit of news for Commonwealth modelers in 1/72.

The kit basically combines the B and C sprues from the M4A1 kit (details and mid-production VVSS suspension, with welded road wheels and "straight" return roller arms with pillow blocks) with 71 new styrene parts for the hull and turret, as well as two new DS plastic British pattern steel chevron track runs.

The hull is beautifully done with "Slide Molding" providing the side details as well as the top and front/rear ones, including very petite weld bead details (less casting numbers!) and other niceties. The turret likewise has been "Slide Molded" as has the gun barrel which has a hollow muzzle brake all the way through. The radio bin at the rear of the turret comes with three rectangular plates and is an add-on. Everywhere one looks are fine details such as bolts, screw heads, weld bead, etc.

All of the armored applique panels are included, three hull, one turret and the patch over the bow gun port. The only "ding" I could see was that the trailer hitch was molded in the stowed position on the side of the rear doors, but unless you are planning on using an ammo trailer that is pretty minor. All of the crew hatches and the pistol port are separate parts and can be shown open or shut. There is no interior detail in the turret.

The transmission cover is the "bolted" three-section type with separate bolt flanges, which is normal for portraying this component, and has a choice of cast in or etched brass "ears" for the tow shackles. Other etched brass components include the taillight lenses, light guards, part of the tool brackets, and in the RP (right puny) department, the locking tabs and ears for the hatches. (These are maybe 0.5 x 1.0 mm.)

Painting instructions and markings via a nice Cartograf sheet cover four vehicles: 27th Canadian Armoured Regiment (The Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment), France 1944; Unidentified captured vehicle, Germany 1944; Unidentified captured vehicle, Germany, 1944 (looks like something from a test range, as I have never seen these markings before!); and the famous "Velikye Luki" from 3 Troop A Squadron Northamptonshire Yeomanry, France 1944. I am always a bit surprised with all of the Commonwealth options why two out of four are dedicated to "captured" vehicles.

Overall, this is a great little model and the equal of the M4A1 released earlier. A good year for armour modelers with a U!

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Layout

  • A 36 Firefly turret
  • A 33 M4A4/Firefly details
  • B 33 machine gun and fine details
  • C 30 Mid-production VVSS suspension
  • D 2 M4A4/Sherman V hull
  • MA 54 etched brass