Passion Models in conjunction with Lionmarc Model Designs have released this turned aluminium 17pdr barrel for the just released Firefly VC kit from Tasca Models (kit #35009).
The first thing to be noted is this is not just a re-issue of the previous 17pdr barrel from Lionmac/Passion models (LM10008/P35-004) but a newly tooled barrel with more slender barrel and better sized muzzle brake.
The set has the barrel in one piece with hollowed out muzzle plus a separate machined brass muzzle brake and attachment collar and is designed to simply replace the Tasca kit barrel without any alterations required on the kit.
The contours and length of the barrel match those of the Tasca kit and also the scaled up 1:48 plans in the Hunnicutt Sherman Book but the 1:35 plans in the Mark Hayward Sherman Firefly book and the Armor Photogallery Sherman VC Firefly book show the kit and this barrel 1.5mm longer.
Updated December 17, 2006:
Thanks to Peter Brown, I have the exact Ordnance drawing dimensions and measurments of the actual 17pdr barrel barrel which are, the tapered section as it comes out of the mantlet is 11 inches (27.94cm) along the tapered edge and the barrel from the front of the tapered section to the back of the muzzle brake is 110.625 inches (280.1cm). This equals in 1:35 scale 7.98mm and 80.02mm respectively and the Lionmarc/Passion Models barrel shows the two measurements to be 8.0mm and 80.2mm respectively give a take a fraction of a millimetre making it as close as you could get.
This also indicates the Hunnicutt plans are correct and the others slightly out as far as the barrel length goes.
The size and contours of the muzzle brake match the plans perfectly with cleanly machine holes in the sides and muzzle opening and the small brass collar also has the four notches included with the Tasca kit barrel only having two of these notches as the other two coincide with the split in the barrel halves.
Attaching the brass collar and muzzle brake sees a perfect fit over the end of the barrel for the collar but the muzzle brake was a little loose but once glued firmly in place with cyanoacrylate there wasn’t a problem. Also due to the rear neck of the barrel having one side flat to correspond to the kit gun mounting you have to make sure you align the muzzle brake holes correctly while gluing in place.
Fitting the barrel the Tasca kit is simple enough as it just replaces the kit barrel as mentioned but you have to watch as it can slip further into the mantlet opening than the kit barrel so make sure it is lined up correctly with the taper of the barrel. Using the kit barrel as a guide will make getting this correct easy for a quick and easy update.
These alterations are needed on the new barrel (Lionmarc LM50001/Passion Models P35008), firstly trim off the two small tabs on the back of the Dragon rotor shield (part B22) and trim the raised locating ridge from part B13 leaving the round pin to fit neatly into the hole in the base of the metal barrel.
Dragon part B13 modified
There is already a 2mm wide hole included in the base of the metal barrel but this has to be drilled out further adding about 5mm to its depth and then cut off the neck of the barrel leaving 3.5mm intact.
After these alterations the new barrel will fit neatly to the Dragon kit gun mountings (parts B11, B13) and the fit of the barrel through the outer rotor shield hole is quite snug making the fit more secure.
As there is no alterations required on the kit the barrel to the Tasca kit makes for a quick and easy update that eliminates the need to sand the kit barrel join seem which isn’t a real problem on the kit and is ideal for those preferring metal barrels for their kits.
Also see the Sherman Subject page for other reviews of related sets.
#117 - 2/2004
|Sherman VC M4A4 Firefly
Military Ordnance Special No.19
R.P.Hunnicutt. Presidio Books
to the Sherman
Ampersand Publishing Company, Inc
Thanks to Passion Models Japan for the review set.