Dutch Sherman Firefly Bunker

Kit # TM006

Preview by Rob Haelterman

This set represents a very original topic: the post-war use by the Dutch of their surplus Shermans, by digging them in and encasing them in concrete as strongpoints on the Ijsel-line. Various versions existed, e.g. with Ram turrets, Sherman turrets with an MG instead of the main gun and Firefly turrets.

The set contains three parts. A hefty concrete part and two resin parts. This is one of the few instances where real concrete has been used for model building purposes and I am not convinced it was a wise decision. First of all, the part is very roughly cast, and while this might be convincing for the actual concrete casing, it completely ruins the detail of the splash guard and rear hatch, being riddled with air bubbles. Worse, having rubbed my fingers over that said hatch, I know find myself with concrete dust on my workbench, and a hatch that only vaguely resembles that in the pictures below (taken before the rubbing). Then again, I would have replaced it with styrene anyway. Moreover, most of these bunkers were dug in, so you will either have to create a diorama with a sufficient height to dig it in, or (somehow) remove the lower part of the concrete block. Reiterating, I am not convinced.

The two resin parts, on the other hand, are far better, with only a minor seam to clean up, the occasional pinhole to fill in and a barrel to be straightened. For those who are wondering: yes, that turret bears a very uncanny resemblance to an assembled Dragon Firefly turret, which started me thinking. When you compare the price of a Dragon Sherman Firefly (before the recent price hike) with the price of this set, and consider that the top of the concrete part might easily be scratchbuilt, one could question the economic wisdom of this set.




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Article Last Updated: 12 April 2012