Accessory, Armoured Brigade ABM 016B, Tasca Sherman Vc Turret Upgrade Production Radio Box
May 20 2007 at 10:09 AM
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ARMOURED BRIGADE MODELS
ABM 016B, Tasca Sherman Vc Turret Upgrade Set w/ Production Radio Box. Contains 14 resin parts, one piece of styrene, one turned aluminum and two turned brass parts and three pages of instructions in nine steps. Price: $22.00 USD, plus shipping.
ABM has released a total of four upgrade sets for the recent Tasca Firefly kit, to include a new superstructure (ABM017), a new three-piece transmission/final drive cover (ABM018), and the subject of these two reviews, turrets (ABM016A/B). Combining these will allow the modeler to build a Firefly with an unprecedented level of detail finesse. In the case of these new turret replacements, the refinements are more apparent than that of the other two sets, to include beautifully-rendered, three-piece turned metal 17pdr. gun tubes.
Readers will note that this review is exactly the same as that for ABM016A, except where noted.
The main part in this set is the one-piece turret casting, which has many small detail items already molded in place. It is beautifully-textured and as mentioned, has the following items already molded in-situ; these include: lift rings, bases for both of the commander’s rough sights and extremely well-done tie-down points. All of these molded-on items require that a thin web of resin be removed with the pointed end of a new hobby knife. In particular, the tie-downs will require special attention; of properly done, the modeler can then add etched brass or lead foil straps for an extremely well-detailed appearance. The turret shell is also very nicely textured, with the casting seam (it is NOT a weld bead) seen below the bustle being especially well done.
A completely new commander’s split hatch cupola is provided, which includes new hatch lids and periscope head, separate (and tiny) hatch lid hold-open latches and machine-gun travel lock. The loader’s hatch lid is also separate as is the turret-side pistol port cover. A new gun mantlet is given as is a very well-done three-piece turned metal gun tube. The latter consists of an aluminum section capped by a brass muzzle brake locking ring and a brass muzzle brake; this has been sourced from the Japanese firm Passion Models. The inner parts to hold this in place come from the Tasca kit, so those wishing to adapt this accessory to any other manufacturer’s Firefly kit will need to do some work to get this all to go together. Personally, I think this turret is so well done it would be worth the effort; but I digress…
What makes this turret unique is the way in which the armored radio box has been configured to represent the type with a plain top panel, as well as side plates that overlapp the rear plate; ABM captures these features quite well. The final item given is the often-seen turret bustle stowage box, which for some reason, Tasca does not supply in their kit. This consists of the box and two separate mounting strips.
As usual for ABM, the casting is outstanding and the instruction sheet is very comprehensive. Clean-up is minimal (or unnecessary) and several parts (notably the commander’s cupola hatch lids) are devoid of things such as inconveniently-placed ejector pin marks, such as those seen on the Tasca kit’s parts. So, this item will also save the modeler some time and effort.
So, like the other items that ABM has come up with for the Tasca kit, this set not only provides for enhanced detail and easier construction, it also provides a major item (the oft-seen turret bustle stowage box) that is not included in the host kit. The latter feature alone makes it worthy of serious consideration.
Frank V. “Curley Stooge” De Sisto
Armoured Brigade Models are available direct from the manufacturer Sid Arnold, at: email@example.com.