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"Bombing up a Firefly"

Tasca, 1/35 scale

by Steve Zaloga


I picked up a Tasca Firefly when it first came out, but I was stumped for schemes or subjects. While at AMPS 07, I wandered past Sid Arnold's Armoured Brigade Models table where he had some Firefly upgrades. What really caught my eye was the new Jakrei figures scuplted by Pete Morton that Rick Minichiello had on sale at Sid's table. I had earlier done a couple of Dartmoor figures that Pete had sculpted, so I quickly bought a bunch of the Jakrei figures. The obvious ones for the Firefly were a pair of figures in Pixie suits loading ammo.



With the Jakrei figures in hand, and Sid's upgraded turret, I then wandered the hall looking for other options. Bill Miley from CMD had the excellent Armourscale 17 pdr. ammo set in brass, so I was on my way. What I needed were some 17 pdr. ammo boxes, but I couldn't find those at the show. Rick mentioned at Accurate Armour had done both the metal transport cases and the wooden boxes, so on returning home, off went an order to AA.

The basic Tasca Firefly kit is lovely, and I won't bore the readers with the details here. The Firefly itself was done out of the box with the obvious exception of Sid's turret. I view of the excellent quality of the Tasca turret, is the ABM upgrade necessary? No, but Sid has done a lovely job on a lot of the fine points, and it saves an awful lot of time with issues like turret texture, casting numbers and other fine detail. I'd rather work on other details than on these, so the ABM turret came in handy.


Since I wanted to do the tank with figures in Pixie suits, this meant depicting a Firefly in autumn of 1944 or later. Most of the shots of the British Fieflies I had in various references showed them with extended end-connectors, and I wasn't in the mood to do another set of those. Rummaging through my photos, I found some shots of Polish Fireflies in the Netherlands in the autumn of 1944, minus the EEC. So that was my subject. The only problem was that the Polish ones seemed to have some sort of ammo boxes welded to the bustle box. Fortunately, one of the photos was clear enough to show 25 pdr markings . So a web search of Barry Beldam's helpful material turned up a scale plan of the P59 steel ammo box. Having recently bought a Proxon milling machine (thanks Al!) my first task was to machine a box out of leftover resin sprue gates, then cast up a bunch.


The Polish Fireflies were covered with spare tracks (Canadian style) and I remembered that I had bought a set of Model Kasten track when they first came out. While beautifully molded, they are a curse to assemble. With all the ingredients in place, I put the Firefly together along with the sundry ammo bits. For other stowage, I used a few bits of the Legend Firefly stowage set.

Once assembly and painting were done, I added the Evergreen foliage that the Polish Fireflies carried. I made this from some dried floral material I found at the Michaels craft store in my area, plus some other evergreen stuff I had picked up at a model train show.


Overall, this was a fun project, but with all the accesories, this was easily in the $250 range. Oh well, I still have a stack of leftovers for future projects!

Model, Images and Text by Steven J. Zaloga
Page Created 02 June, 2007
Page Last Updated 02 June, 2007