Monday, December 15, 2014

Sherman Firefly (part one)

Bolt Action is a game I have been thirsting to play ever since Screech turned me onto it over a year ago. I love the rule set, and the models for the most part, although I feel there could be scale issues with the 28mm minis and the 1/56th scale that Warlord has chosen, but these are left best discussedquestioned and debated for the more dedicated modelers than myself.

The cutting mat's grid proves handy!
Having selected the Brits as my army of choice...OK, let's explore that for moment: I blame all the Victor, Eagle, and Battle Action Force comics I read while living there in the early '80s for that choice. But it was a close choice, as I also read G.I.Combat, The Unknown Soldier, Weird War Tales and Sgt. Rock almost as zealously. But it might be that I lived within walking distance of RAF Welford and often walked the abandoned rail line and roads that led up to the base. It fascinated me. Also anyone who lives there can tell you that there is tons of wartime construction elements left all over the English country side and it's quite easy for a young mind to be immersed in such vivid history.

So, having selected the Brits, and bought my first box of troops over a year ago, I have to say that I was intimidated by the small parts. I think I can blame GW for their "heroic scale" having spoiled me with their ease of construction. So I just never got around to building them. Recently, I decided I deserved a treat, so I bought Warlord's Sherman Firefly kit to see if I couldn't light my fire a bit and get this army (finally) started.

After cleaning it, I made my first attempt at assembly As you can see in these pics, getting the tank's barrel straight wasn't too hard, it just took a bit of focus. However something seemed off about the chassis and the tracks, as I was getting a bit of a 'wobble' from it when it was tapped.

Sure enough, something was off with the treads, and although I thought the pegs and holes were aligned properly, the track to the left in the pic below was slightly off. Notice the two bumper things that jut out from the front of the hull that act like tread guards? They are supposed to be a bit flush and look like the one on the right.

At first I thought it was a casting error, which wouldn't surprise me when it comes to resign. However looking at it from all angles, I couldn't find where I made an obvious mistake in assembly as the joins seemed to fit well.

The rear of the the tank was really telling however, as it just looked like a royal mess back there. This truly had me vexed!

I took this pic, and looked at the box photo, and it then hit me that track must not have been positioned correctly, that it wasn't that the tracks were different lengths.

Sure enough, after popping the assembly off of the hull, it occurred to me that the holes were bigger than the pegs, and that it I didn't tug the assembly toward the front of the tank  then I would get this problem.

Now it's reassembled (the first pic shows the current state of it) and it looks better than it did. Although the damn thing still wobbles...


Da Masta Cheef said...

Yeah...I'm sure Warlord's new plastic kits will eliminate all of the resin/metal hybrid kit issues. That said, my Quar tank is also a resin/metal mess...

SC Mike said...

just go with the Tamiya 1/48 scale one. they look great and the scale works well with the soldiers

Screech said...

Hopefully, I will be able to finish my Wirbelwind AA vehicle soon and figure out what gear to put on my remaining infantry. I want to pick up the PzKpfw IV kit, but I'm worried the scale difference between the two vehicles will look bad. Then again, I will probably never get to field both at the same time (thus negating the issue). Not to mention the Bolt Action kit gives me options for the G, H, and J models.

Greg Hess said...

Love the firefly. That's the 17 lb'er gun right? Sorry you were having such issues putting it together. Still nice for your viewers to know! Saves us the same issues!