Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale

Sherman Hybrid IC Firefly
Kit #72 550

Article by Doug Chaltry; last updated 3 August 2008.

My first thought upon opening the box of this kit was "Wow. This is the worst ARMO Sherman I've seen." However, when I looked a bit closer, I amended my judgement a bit for the better. It's not a great kit, but it's not as bad as I had originally thought.

What really blew me away at first was the turret. There was no radio box attached and not even a loader's hatch. And the filling that was done to get rid of the original oval loader's hatch was extremely poor. But then I looked at the etched brass parts, and all of these items are included in brass and need to be added to the resin turret. So that was a relief. I am still very disappointed in the turret roof, however, and I hope that the addition of the loader's hatch will completely cover up the rough spot left on the resin. If not, it will take some cleanup on the modeler's part to improve it.

The Hybrid hull was formed by splicing together the two ESCI kit hulls (this conversion was produced long before Dragon or Trumpeter released their first Shermans). The splice job was not great, but I suppose it could have been worse. The rear overhanging armor plate was not modified to represent the M4 hull, and still incorrectly represents the M4A3 hull of the original ESCI kit.

I really like the gun and its mount. The barrel is perfectly straight, and the revised rotor shield looks very good. I could have wished for a turned metal barrel as seen in other ARMO kits, but luckily this one came out OK.

The brass parts are pretty standard frets from PART with the specific Firefly parts included here, as mentioned above.

So all in all, this isn't a really bad kit, but it's fairly typical of the ARMO conversions. The best thing about this kit is that there currently is no alternative in plastic. There are a couple other resin conversions out there (the MR Models version is much better than this kit), but this one is inexpensive and readily available, if one doesn't want to go through the effort of scratch-building this conversion yourself.

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Modeling the Sherman Tank in 1/72nd Scale