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1/6th scale RC Sherman VC Firefly Project

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  • Member since
    April, 2005
1/6th scale RC Sherman VC Firefly Project
Posted by armourguy on Tuesday, November 03, 2015 10:03 PM

Hi Guys, Since I completed the Late Tiger I, I turned my attention to another 1/6th scale commission build, this project being a British VC Firefly. For the Base model I will be using the Firefly VC kit from Armortek. 



This kit is the same starter kit that I used on the recently completed US Army M4A4 sherman. Unlike that build in which the model was backdated, this build we be as of the kit intended British 17pounder VC Firefly.  



The Being an armortek the kit contents are all scale thickness metal plates and are all bolt together assembly, 




Aside from the 75mm US backdating, this model will be receiving all same mods and details that went into the last a4 build... This includes reworked 3 peice transmission cover, lower hull details, reworked Idler mounts, final drives, and rear hull area. Cast texturing was added to the appropriate locations along with the weld beads 









Like with my other armortek builds I deburred and fully lubricated the final drive gears prior to installation.




all surfaces have been primed and the interior was also prepainted in white. 



more pics were posted on the ECA Facebook page,


and a project start video was uploaded to youtube, where I go into more detail on what mods and changes were made


Currently I'm working on reworking the VVSS suspension and will be adding some other lower hull details that were specific to Brit versions of the sherman... More to come!

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Meridian, ID
Posted by modelcrazy on Tuesday, November 03, 2015 10:42 PM

Very cool, I'll be watching. I see armor isn't the only RC you are into.


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In Que

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1/350 Dragon USS The Sulivans built as USS Johnston

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Wednesday, November 04, 2015 7:17 AM

Yes, very cool!!! Takes me forever to just finish a 1/35th scale vehicle! 

"Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed." -G.K. Chesterton


  • Member since
    April, 2005
Posted by armourguy on Monday, February 20, 2017 12:16 AM

Thanks guys, It has felt like eons since I posted an update and it looks like the project start pics have all expired (thanks facebook)>:( . I'm happy to say that for the last three months this build has been my primary focus and will be worked on until completion. Currently the model is over 55% complete and everyday is chugging closer to the finish line, 

Since the last post the tank is running, sealed up, and is being detailed. Currently most of the hull details have been completed along with many new firefly specific parts



On the tank's rear section all of the exhaust details, grills, and tow hitch equipment was fabricated / mounted







The rear doors started off as the armortek kit supplied units and were reworked. For added detail an armorpax british box smoke discharger system was added. The armorpax units were modded to be full function and were modded to mount to the sherman's doors. 






The British leaf spring tow hitch was also fabricated / installed. The tow hitch was also added to the ECA catalog,





The last of the hull RC functions that was added was the remote lighting system, once this was out of the way the tank could start it's seal up




Basically the same mods/ improvements that were made to my A4 were done to this build as well 






This was also true for the bow hatch area. The stock armortek parts give a good base skeleton for the build up with epoxy, to get the appropriate all cast mosaic look of the real tank












Just like I wrote in the A4 build log, The kit does supply you with a basic set of CNC hatches, however in place of using them I swapped in a set of my resin early sherman hatches instead



The kit does supply you with a set of Armorpax interior periscope inserts and brush guards, and these were used on the ECA hatches as they were a drop in install 



The one difference to point out between the two sherman builds is that on my build I deleted the details for the counter open spring system, while this build has the springs present. This was because the version that my build replicates was an early production pattern and were not yet developed, By the time these M4A4 tanks were handed over to the brits the spring system were present



The hatches were mounted to the model and everything was blended in via the bodywork



The one new feature that I added to the model that is specific for the Firefly is that of the Bow MG plug. Because of the longer 17 pounder ammo the brits had to delete the assistant driver position, when this was done the bow M1919 was removed and a large armored steel plug was added in place



A new resin detail plug was fabricated and was added to the ECA catalog, 




The rest of the tank's front detailing is mostly standard, lights, brush guards, mudflaps, aplicate armor, lift hooks... etc. All these parts are the same off the self units found on my other builds and found on the ECA site. 




With the front basically out of the way I have turned my attention to the top deck and sides of the model, the detailing that was added would include the two front blowers and side armor. The armor was kit supplied and used OOB, and the blowers were ECA





A few youtube video update were made going over in more detail the work that was made,  


and more pics were posted on the facebook page,


Since these pics were taken currently I'm wrapping up the side, upper deck, and rear deck fittings / details. There are also several new firefly parts that are currently about to go into mold and will be posted soon!


At my current pace I should be on the turret within a week, and once there the build will be entering it's final lap!! more to come!

  • Member since
    April, 2005
Posted by armourguy on Friday, March 03, 2017 12:17 AM

Got some more headway on the build and the project is getting very close to the 3/4 way mark!Most of the focus was on the rear hull detailing 




The upper deck hull welds were wrapped, along with the tank's tool posts. For the tool posts I used my usual format for construction, that being bent sheet metal / soldered construction. The layout is standard M4 sherman family and the rest of the tools themselves along with the retention belts will be added after the paint work. 



Where things get different for this build is the addition of the Armorpax British pattern fire extinguisher, and the 17 pounder gun cleaning rods. The fire extinguisher set was included by armortek and to mount I added a plastic strip to the bottom to elevate the mount off the deck as I seen on surviving British shermans   



The 17 pounder cleaning rods mount is located on the left hand side, and is comprised of a metal box cup, and two pairs of tie down mounts (for the belts) 



The remainder of the splash rims w/ neck armor was added, The cast texture was added and they were then bolted to the hull, and welds were added to complete the look. Just like on all shermans there are drainage holes present to allow the access of water to gutter out of these areas. 



One unique feature that is excursively found on the M4A4 family was the addition of an armor plate to cover the drainage hole. During the tank's production run at Chrysler one of the engineers had the fear that because of the large drainage hole towards the rear of the neck armor, a stray bullet or round can enter and damage the lower portion of the turret. To fix this a armor plate was added to the neck and the hull to protect the hole yet still allow for drainage. This feature was not done to any of the other sherman variants that I'm aware of but is a interesting foot note for the A4. On the model the armor was fabricated out of some Lexan.



The fluid filler caps were also added, these are the functional sets form armorpax and are included with the armortek kit as well. 




The radiator cover, tow cable cleats, tow cable lock, fire extinguisher box, and rear intake blower were other parts that were mounted, along with the tail lights guards, these parts are all standard off the shelf ECA



On the rear plate a large tool box was fabricated. This box is present on Fireflies. The box was fabricated out of sheet metal and is full function. This will soon be added to the ECA catalog after two resin part molds are completed. 




The box is mounted to the rear via two bolts and two pined bosses. What is interesting is that the brits modified / adapted the bosses for the american designed flip grill to mount on the box. Prior to being sent to the Burma or to the lend lease recipients the M4A4 was upgraded in the US to have a large flip deflector gill mounted to the back. To secure the grill to the hull hinge points were added to the lower plate, and to secure the grill when the crew needs to access the engine locking bosses were added towards the top of the plate to get the grill out of the way. 



When the brits got the tanks the removed the grill, but kept the hinge / boss mounts, the boss mounts are where the box mounts to.  



On the sides of the Hull the side skirt mounting rails were also fabricated, they are fabricated out of brass trips and are mounted to the hull via hidden fasteners for strength, the welds were added in spots as are present on the real unit. 




and on the rear portion the notch is present which was found on most of the A4's that were upgraded with the rails



Another unique feature to the firefly that was added to the model is that of the house boat system. The house boat system was a system of brackets that were mounted to the hull that would have a camouflage system clip on. The system was developed by the brits. 



The system utilized three mounts on the hull sides, and two more on the front. The most prominent is the mounts on the fenders which have extended arms that emerge from the mounts. 




Currently I'm working on the remainder of the parts to finish off the set, once done they will be added to the ECA catalog. 




More pics were posted on the ECA facebook page,


and a video update was also added to youtube that goes over these additions in more detail.


Currently I'm finishing off some more firefly masters and will soon be turning my attention to the turret. Soon the project will be winding down, More updates to come!


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