by: Jim Rae [ ]
Introduction With the quality of some of the newer vehicle kits and the work the manufacturers are putting into them, it would be unreasonable (not to say un-economic) to expect stowage stes to be included... Therefore, apart from the involved process of making them. it doesn't seem unreasonable to spend a little more to get a set specifically designed for a particular vehicle - or, in the case of THIS set, one which should be useful for any British or Commonwealth vehicle of WWII. This is not the first set which Legend Productions have produced for the Sherman, however, it is the first, which is specifically designed for the Sherman Firefly.
Regarding stowage, most British and U.S. vehicles can be seen pretty heavily loaded with bed-rolls, ammunition boxes and all manner of personal equipment throughout WWII. Although there were 'officially' designated diagrams as to how to attach the various equipment of the crews, this was rapidly changed with the experience of the crews as to what was needed and to accomodate material acqured during the campaigns. The majority of Allied tanks did not permit much storage inside the turret or hull so inevitably the exterior became the only practical possibility.
The Stowage set
LF1144 - Firefly Stowage Set is a New release from the South Korean manufacturer, Legend Productions. The set consists of 58, cream-colored resin parts along with a length of thread (to use as a tie-down). The set comes in a zip-loc bag inside a sturdy cardboard box with a color photo illustrating a suggested location for the parts.
The set covers several areas of typical stowage:
Additional Track Sections/Spare bogie wheels.
The bedrolls etc. are beautifully sculpted with good, subtle creasing and with grooves sculpted into them which will facilitate a convincing attachment to the vehicle.
Two jerrycans are included. These come with seperate handles and in the case of one, attachment straps. In the 'liquid containers' there are two buckets and a milk-churn. Also included is a metal food container.
Additional Track Sections etc. Three sections of track are included which could, if necessary, be cut down to fit. For anyone mounting them on the turret, it mayl be necessary to attach them onto a curved 'former' and insert them briefly into hot water. On the other hand, as the moulding is pretty close to 'scale' they do have a degree of flexibility which could be enhanced by a few cuts with a razor saw. Als included are a spare bagie wheel and idler wheel - the latter with tarpaulin atied over it.
Personal Equipment is an area which always adds the different 'touch' to any vehicle. In this set, it comes in the form of four British helmets, three haversacks various wine-bottles and a kerosene lamp.
The final part of the set covers a multitude of boxes - equipment and ammunition boxes are included with the best being a superbly cast open box containing bottles and a lamp.
Conclusions: As was mentioned in the introduction, this set shouldn't be seen as 'Firefly-Specific' many of the items will be equally useful on other vehicles. Many of the elements are sufficiently generic to be used with U.S. or other Allied AFVs.
The quality of the casting is first-class, with my only real 'niggle' being some of the moulding blocks being substantial and will require a very careful touch with the razor saw to remove them. Care has been taken by the designers to have the stub attached to an edge which won't be seen when attched to the vehicle,
There are one or two particularly noteworth pieces - in particular the lengths of tree trunks tied together, these are VERY convincing indeed.
This set represents extraordinary value for money, containing, as it does, enough for two (perhaps three) vehicles which will convincingly recreate the 'clutter' of a typical vehicle in NW Europe or Italy in the latter part of WWII.It's also suffiently well designed that it's unlikely that two vehicles would come out looking the same . An excellent product which deserves to be imaginatively used...