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WIP Dragon 1/35 Firefly VC

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  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, August 15, 2019 9:28 AM

Wow, tank looks good but I see what you mean about the tracks... Bang Head

And frankly if there's an issue with the decals silvering there's always some mud or grime to smear over them if lower or some camo netting or storage to put over them if they're higher. Yeah, I'm a slob when it comes to armour... Embarrassed

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: AZ,USA
Posted by GreySnake on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 5:55 PM
Gamera: I know what you mean on the tracks. I have a bunch of Dragon kits in the stash that I’m not looking forward to.
 
M. Brindos: Think my Firefly has an extra track link on one run. No idea what happened.
 
orejohnL thanks.
 
Roy: I’m looking at picking up one of the Asuka kits eventually. I can already tell once the Dragon one is done I’m not going to be happy with it. I do have the Tamiya E8 in the stash it’s being saved for the Korean War GB on here next year.
 
Been working on the Firefly on and off for the few days and need a drink. Got the tracks painted and attached and knocked of a bunch of guide horns and had sections of the track break into various pieces. Managed to finally get everything together and moved onto the decals.
 
 
The decals are not great and were very thick. Almost everyone took a lot of Micro Sol to finally get down. The “Do NOT DRAIN ANTI-FREEZE” warnings towards the rear were the worst of the bunch. Even with a glosscote they still somehow silvered on me. After much poking with a sharp #11 blade and more Micro Sol they are well “okay”.  One of the fours on the turret took a lot of Micro Sol to settle in place but the one on the opposite went done fine. Oddly enough the one decal I was worried about the star on the engine deck went down without an issue. Oh and I broke off more guide horns and a couple tracks sections while decaling.
 
So here’s where I’m at right now. A few guide horns need reattached along with a section of track. Hopefully with another glosscote and dullcote the remaining silvering will disappear.  

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by T26E4 on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 8:16 AM

Man!  You've pushed through a lot with this kit!  I wish I could snap my fingers and an Asuka/Tasca Firefly VC would magically appear on your doorstep.

If you like Shermans, can I recommend your treating yourself to one?  They are extremely accurate and a joy to build.  So much of the headache you've been dealing with in your DML kit is simply unheard of with the Asuka. 

Or at least, go get one of the new Tamiya M4A3E8 kits-- very accurate and well engineered.  Just a few decades of better engineering and thought than the DML Firefly VC kit.

Roy Chow 

Join AMPS!

http://www.amps-armor.org

 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2006
  • From: Cygnus X-1
Posted by ogrejohn on Saturday, August 10, 2019 11:28 AM

Nice work all around! 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Friday, August 09, 2019 7:38 PM

Gamera

They look good! I remember years ago having several Dragon tank kits finished except for the tracks... Bang Head

 

They do look good.

 

I've got a Dragon Su-85M on the table today and I made up a run of links last time I had it out. Only one side though so I still have a side to go.

Funny thing was, I had to make a link half out of one type and half out of the other to get the track spacing correct. So I have a frankenlink in the run. It's hard to detect, thank goodness.

But I remember putting it away after finishing that run of tracks. Now, here it is again and I have more track links to assemble lol.

On my Dragon Abrams kit, I simply did all the tracks you can see that weren't covered by the armor skirts. I don't know why those were such a PITA because those were at least L&L tracks. Not even a 10th of the work in assembly. 

I still have a two sets of AM indie tracks for M-48's. Found all of my Aber barrels and resin goodies yesterday. Including a resin M-48 turret. I'll have to figure out what I can use that with later.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Friday, August 09, 2019 2:18 PM

They look good! I remember years ago having several Dragon tank kits finished except for the tracks... Bang Head

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Friday, August 09, 2019 12:37 PM

Recon89

Thanks Rob. Learn new things every day around here. 

 

That was just something I had read some time ago and remembered. Not specifically knowledge I had. I just remembered reading about them. It's not something I would have normally known.

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: AZ,USA
Posted by GreySnake on Thursday, August 08, 2019 3:22 PM
Time for a update on the Firefly finally. Set down Sunday for around five hours cutting the tracks off the sprue, cleaning up and building some runs. Took a little work to get into the grove of things but all and all they were pretty easy.
 
The guide horns were the worst part trying to keep aligned and also attached. In the photo above some already got knocked off. Dragon at least gave a lot of extras. The tracks were built in sections so they can still be pulled off and painted easily. In my younger days I painted the tracks already attached to the model!
 
This Firefly should be pretty easy to finish now with all the hard parts out of the way.
  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: AZ,USA
Posted by GreySnake on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 10:07 AM
No updates on the Firefly. It’s been a busy few days getting ready for the monsoon season. I did purchase some AK interactive washes that I’ve been meaning to try. Will see how they work out on the Firefly. Might finally get some bench time starting Thursday to sit down and start the detail painting and tracks.
  • Member since
    February, 2013
Posted by Recon89 on Thursday, July 25, 2019 4:27 PM

Thanks Rob. Learn new things every day around here. 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Thursday, July 25, 2019 11:29 AM

Recon89

On the picture of one of the Asuka Fireflys in the SprueBrothers site there are what appears to be a pair of hinged brackets on the front. Done a lot of Shermans, both US and British, but have not seen these before. Excuse my ignorance, but what were these for? Looks too low to be any kind of a barrell support.

 

Those front two brackets are for the "sun shield" which was the code word for the camouflage cover that disguised the tank as a truck (or "lorry" in British English).

The last two paragraphs in the Upper Hull section of this review discusses the mounting brackets briefly.
https://www.perthmilitarymodelling.com/reviews/vehicles/tasca/tasca35011.html

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, July 25, 2019 11:10 AM

Grey Snake: She looks good! I dunno what happened, seems like I paint something the same way 99 times and on the 100th something goes wrong. Same airbrush, same paint, same pressure, same climate, etc, etc, etc but something pops up. 

Recon89: I dunno, they look like some sort of extra brush guards for the headlights but I doubt that's right. I'll just say not sure, someone here is bound to know. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    February, 2013
Posted by Recon89 on Thursday, July 25, 2019 9:14 AM

On the picture of one of the Asuka Fireflys in the SprueBrothers site there are what appears to be a pair of hinged brackets on the front. Done a lot of Shermans, both US and British, but have not seen these before. Excuse my ignorance, but what were these for? Looks too low to be any kind of a barrell support.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 10:41 PM

You’ll be okay. Just have patience with those indie link Sherman tracks, if those are what you have.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: AZ,USA
Posted by GreySnake on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 9:15 PM
Thanks guys.
 
Finally got around to painting the Firefly and it sort of became a comedy of errors. My first attempt came out more or less okay. Was happy with the color of the green just a few spots needed to be retouched.
 
Next came the glosscote and somehow something on the model reacted to the Testors glosscote in the can and made a really dark spot on the side of the model. I don’t know what because I made sure not to handle the model after airbrushing the Tamiya acrylic. I primed the model again and went about airbrushing.
 
 
The airbrushing was going fine till water started spitting out of the airbrush. I spray in my garage so this is important to solving the mystery. Thinking that was weird as my compressor has a moisture trap. I did a little research and found out that that above 50% humidity the moisture trap doesn’t work as great and water can build up in the hose. I ended up waiting for the humidity to drop and finished painting just fine. Forgot to take pictures but it looked more or less the same as my first painting attempt. 
 
Next up was to do the glosscote again. This time it came out fine and I’m happy with it. You might see I forgot to paint the return rollers fully. This would mean some touch up work but luckily I’m going to mud up the bottom of the tank so I’m just going to brush paint it in.
 
 
When taking the pictures I almost had a heart attack. One of the headlight guards was missing and was prepared to exile the model to the closet. By some miracle I found the guard in the box I used to transport the model from the modeling room to the garage.
 
 
Next up will be all the detail painting, decals etc. I’m getting close to the part I’m dreading the track links. I’m really hoping this tank is done throwing curve balls my way.
  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 10:50 AM

Yeap, guy in our club worked hard on a rather rough resin model of a German Wasserscheppler (sp?) and about the time he finished it Hobbyboss came out with an injection-molded kit... Bang Head

Still what you've got looks good! Yes

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 9:10 AM

Happens almost every time. Spend some long months scratch building something we've been asking for, for years and the same week your about to wrap it up with all that hard work, and some manufacturer announces a new tool release.

That's how it works. Lol

I can't wait to see how you paint this up.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: AZ,USA
Posted by GreySnake on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 6:25 AM
Thanks Gamera.
 
M1, I believe the parts in question are fire extinguishers. Seems they were common on Firefly’s and other variants of the British used Sherman’s.
 
Speaking of Firefly’s SprueBrothers has the Asuka Firefly Composite Hull back in stock. Now I know how someone feels after working on a scratch build for years and the second it is done five manufactures announce kits.    
  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Rifle, CO. USA
Posted by M1GarandFan on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 2:24 PM

GreySnake, The vinyl mesh looks perfect to me. (I hate that carpet monster!)

The PE headlight guards came out just fine. I always have a lot of trepidation about using those and they do try ones patience. 

She's really looking good! BTW, what are those cylindrical bottle looking things on the rear near the tail lights? I've got several of those in some of my other kits with no clue what they are. 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 10:31 AM

She's looking really good! Always nice to see something ready for paint! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: AZ,USA
Posted by GreySnake on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 9:52 AM
Thanks stikpusher. I looked into the Ultracast figures. I found one that would work. However with shipping the figure is $30US. Think I’ll have to pass on that one as it costs almost as much as what I paid for the Firefly. I did find some other figures by Ultracast that I’ll probably eventfully buy at least.
 
M. Brindos those figures look really good. You are a lot better than me at figure painting. I really like Alpine figures and couldn’t find one that strikes my fancy. So it looks like I’ll stick with the Miniart figure for now.  

Thanks, Gamera

Got a lot of work done on the Firefly the past couple days. I started off sacrificing a little PE screen to the carpet monster. Spent thirty minutes looking and couldn’t find it. So in the end some left over vinyl mesh from the parts box was used. Once it gets some paint it should like fine.
I ended up breaking down and using the PE headlight guards from the kit. The plastic ones from the other Dragon Sherman didn’t fit right. This was an exercise in patience. Had to anneal the pieces and they turned out okay. I’m still a novice at PE so this was a learning experience. 
 
 
With the PE out of the way the Firefly was more or less done. Nothing else gave me trouble other than the usual vague instructions. So here is the Firefly almost ready for primer. 

The bogie units are just stuck on at the moment and not glued so if they don’t look right don’t worry. I still need to glue on the 50.cal mount on the turret and see about the antenna guard. Other than that it’s about ready for primer and then paint.
 
I’ve been researching the best color to paint the model. As I’m used to Tamiya acrylics I came across a mix for four parts XF-58 Olive Green to three parts XF-62 Olive Drab.  
 
  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Sunday, July 14, 2019 9:12 PM

Great work on the tank and the figures!!!

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Sunday, July 14, 2019 12:32 AM

This is like watching myself build a kit. I love the way you're just making it work regardless of the errors.

I will emphatically recommend the Miniart figures. They paint up really well. Unless you just want one figure, then Alpine is exactly what you're looking for.

These are all Miniart figures. They are worth the investment.

That one is a current project. A mish-mash of Tamiya. Still working on his expression.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, July 13, 2019 9:46 AM

This is coming along nicely. Miniart tank crew figures are great. If you don’t care for those however, have a look at Ultracast. They make some excellent resin British tanker figures. I used one on my Firefly build years ago. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: AZ,USA
Posted by GreySnake on Saturday, July 13, 2019 8:27 AM
I’m amazed myself with the progress I’ve made on the model. If I would’ve built this model less than a decade ago I most likely would have given up and put it back in the box.
 
Think the biggest thing that’s annoyed me with this build is the instructions. I really don’t mind the gaps that need filled and whatnot. But showing parts vaguely where they go or not at all is annoying.  I’ve only built five Sherman’s in twenty odd years so I really don’t know where a lot of parts go by memory. If this was a Panzer IV or Tiger I I could probably get by with the instructions with little to no issue.
 
I was planning to use the tank commander that came with the kit. But after looking at him and gluing some parts on think he’s going to the spares box. The details just look soft and the fit of the arms leaves a lot ot be desired. The head seems on the small side and the hands oversized.
 
I’m looking at picking up the Miniart British Tank crew in winter uniforms. The one in the leather jerkin will be the one I’ll use. I’m planning a trip to my LHS today who knows maybe they’ll have it or at least another British tank crew set.

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Rifle, CO. USA
Posted by M1GarandFan on Friday, July 12, 2019 10:20 PM

Wow. Considering all the problems that have emerged with this kit, you're making great progress. Your putty work and the stretched sprue repairs look really good. I especially like the weld bead added on the rear of the turret. I can't really help you with your 'Why did they do that?' questions. Must be an Asiatic mystery. I just received my Dragon M3A1 halftrack kit and looked through the instruction sheet. Jeez, it's like building the friggin' thing from the chassis up. Looks like a real test of my building patience.

Keep up the great work!

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: AZ,USA
Posted by GreySnake on Friday, July 12, 2019 6:12 PM
I actually have some actual updates to give on the Firefly. My day freed up so I’ve been working on and off since 0800. Have a few pictures so let’s get started.
 
You’ll remember the transmission housing had some very noticeable gaps.
 
After two applications of putty and sanding here’s where I’m at.
 
I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I’m not that worried about it being 100% perfect as I might mud the lower hull up.
 
I found some more gaps that I somehow missed to the rear of the tank. Filled and sanded down which was a challenge as I didn’t have much space to work with. Not to worry as it’s more or less hidden by the idler wheel and tracks.
 
Now here is one thing Dragon did which is mystery to me. The male peg that fits into the female peg for the sprocket is way too long. The one on the left has been cut down more or less to fit and the right one is straight out of the box.
 
 
I'll also take a moment to question why Dragon made the sprocket four separate pieces. It’s extremely fragile as you can see I’ve knocked of a piece on the sprocket I haven’t cut. I’m actually thankful that this kit has track links as I’m not sure if the sprockets would hold up to Dragon’s DS tracks after a time.  
 
Here’s another Dragon mystery the engine deck. Why there’s a small gap where the engine coverI have no idea. I used some stretched sprue to fill in the gap as you can see in the second picture.
 
 
I was finally able to glue the upper and lower hull together. It’s finally starting to come together.
 
 
Next I turned my attention towards the turret as the hull needed to dry after attachment. The box that houses the radio equipment should have some very noticeable welds and the one’s Dragon molded weren’t that great. Once again stretched sprue came to the rescue. After applying some Tamiya cement to soften the plastic and some work with a knife I’m happy with how it looks.
 
Most of the turret went together with zero issue apart from the usual Dragon instruction hiccups. One part I couldn’t get right was the PE antenna guard. I’m leaving it off for now and might come back to it in a couple days. I need to find something the exact width to bend it around.
 
Kept the commanders hatch open as I'll be placing a figure in there.
 
Moved my attention back to the hull and found another Dragon mystery. I’m not sure on the correct name of the part so feel free to chime in if you know. Why the hole for the peg is so large I have no idea. Guess I’m not done with the putty like I thought.
 
I just noticed the PE mesh guard on the part need’s some sanding down. 
 
And that’s where I’m at for now. I don’t have pictures but I started trying to bend out the P/E headlight guards and they seemed a little too big. I’m lucky that that I got Dragon’s El Alamein Sherman a couple days ago and it comes with both plastic and PE headlight guards. So I’m just stealing the plastic ones from the kit. I’m also stealing the rear headlight guards which the El Alamein Sherman doesn’t use anyway.
 
That’s it for now. Maybe by Sunday I’ll have the tank ready to prime.
  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: AZ,USA
Posted by GreySnake on Thursday, July 11, 2019 9:54 AM
Thanks guys.
 
No updates on the Firefly. I haven’t had a lot of bench time and when I do I’m usually exhausted. I hope to get some work done this weekend. I need to change the transmission fluid on my vehicle and I’m hoping it will be an easy job so I can finally relax this weekend.  
  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Sunday, June 30, 2019 6:02 PM

Seems like a very challenging kit! Looks like you're going to make it behave though.

I love the Firefly variant, but haven't come across a Tasca or Asuka kit yet. I'm hoping Tamiya might hand us a new tool within the next few years lol. The new Easy Eight is a dang sweet kit, that's for sure.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

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