New day, new review, this time the Sherman Firefly...
About this creation
Here are some rotational pictures (sorry for bad quality, i covered this in the M24 Chaffee Review)
*This is an in progress Modification I had to perform on the kit as I built it*
This is step 20, where you mount the axle points, and thus the road wheel to them, in order for your tank to roll properly
However in step 22, you mount a smaller plate in between the axles...
And in step 23, you mount a large base plate under the roadwheels to give them stability, which isn't bad in theory, however i found the large base plate created too much Ground Drag on the bottom of the tank, making it harder to push along... so I removed the large base plate, reduced the stability on the model in theory, but in practice the connections between the axil mounts and the other base plate above are strong enough to handle this modification, the wheels wont pop off unless you put a decent amount of pressure on them, so much so that you probably shouldn't be putting that much pressure on them to begin with.
*Other modifications include turning the turret hatch 90 degrees so it opened like the one in the picture (this requires you to place a 2x4 plate in the turret floor where you plan to stand a figure, as they wont reach the turret floor due to the hatches)*
Pros and Cons:
- It's a Sherman Firefly, you don't see those often in Lego,even Brickmania doesn't have one, they have an M4A3E8, but not the Firefly
- At around $30-35 USD, not a bad pickup
- It's got wonderful markings all over the tank, that are printed on the pieces
- NEW Commanders Hatch, again, its a 3rd Gen WWII kit, Cobi is upping their game in making specialized pieces.
- Suspension pieces are much more detailed than on the first M4 Sherman kit they introduced (thats why the redo kit is called the M4A1 Sherman) hinting back to Cobi's commitment to this line of toys with specialized pieces
- the same new Silverized Engine Block from the Chaffee
- uses those same new gun mounts as well, but with a new Gun Mantlet designed specially for the Sherman's (It's however also getting used on the new upcoming M26 Pershing Kit they are developing, [hehe buy 2 of those, build one, use the pieces of the other to modify the built one into a T26E4 Super Pershing])
- Those new tracks really convey the intricate detail of the track pads that some Shermans had, specifically British ones I believe, not all Shermans had the Rubber track pads, or the Rubber pads with the chevrons in them, nor the metal one with the chevrons, i remember seeing a few Shermans with tracks similar to these.
- Easy to build, the angles of the front plate, and rear plate are deceptively simple in their design, adding to the fun of this tank
- It's got nice little details like 1 Drivers Hatch (Because on the Firefly, the hull gunner was removed, and its port bolted over, so its nice to see they didn't just outright copy the M4A1 Hull), Headlights, Shovels, Pick, Toolbox, and Fuel Can
- Hull Roof, I don't like how they have the Drivers Hatch 1 plate lower than the rest of the roof, though if it were any higher it would affect the turret rotation, but still... (Actually it wouldn't affect the turret rotation, just checked it) but with the angles coming up, i can see how this raising of the plate could interrupt the flow of the hull front, seems like Cobi could have Designed some Sherman Specific Hull Hatches... perhaps If/When they make an M4A3E8 or M4A3E2... its bound to happen.
- Suspension, the requiring of the user to remove those plates in order to play with it properly and with ease is just a big design flaw, its got to be because of its 400 Piece count
- Tracks, this time, the tracks are a bit tighter than the Chaffee's, but if you add in another link, they're to lose, thus these track are tighter, requiring more effort in order to push the tank... I guess its a way of further limiting how fast you can push this tank. (I know in World of Tanks this tank goes about 32 Km/h... which is slow for a Tier 6 Medium Tank)
- Gun Elevation/Depression, its got good elevation... but absolutely no gun depression whatsoever, I would have played this as a con, but once again, in WoT, the Firefly has pretty garbage depression as well.
- Sideskirts, yeah they're nice, but I feel they could have been designed a tad better.
Overall I feel its a good kit, but not a great one, it's cheap price tag helps it in my rating system, because i wouldn't pay more than $45 USD for this kit, however, I feel it really suffers from its makers 400 piece limit for medium sized vehicles (although it may be getting bumped up soon, because the M26 Pershing is a 450 piece kit, ALTHOUGH, it may just be the first in a new category of medium/large vehicles for Cobi) yeah, it looks the part of a Firefly, its slow like a firefly, but it could look the part a whole lot better if it just had 50 more pieces... and because of its certain shade of green I cant really add to it, because Lego doesnt make this shade of dark green. Plus im a Kit Purist, sure ill modify my own builds over and over again, but I like to keep kits how they were meant to be, unless I know im going to use the parts later, or it theres are design flaws I must fix., and because of it's slight lack of detail because of its makers parts limitations, and the slight design flaws I had to fix, I give this kit a strong 3.95/5... if I didnt have to modify it to fit my needs, it would have been a strong 4.45/5 (I say this because some of you might not feel the need to remove those plates like I did, and if so, then the hull still hurts it slightly, that's why I gave the double rating)
EDIT: 1/1/17, with the arrival of my Tiger 131 kit, I have to update my rating system. As such this kit receives a 5.5/10... On top of the initial flaws pointed out, there are much better Sherman kits available now, notably the Cobi "World of Tanks" M4 Sherman A1/Firefly kit which combines both the Firefly, and the M4A1 in a '2 in 1' kit that features stark improvements over both the original models... I would not recommend THIS kit anymore, if you want a Sherman try to get the Cobi WoT version.
The hull looks pretty bad, it could probably be better if the rear of the hull didn't slope so much and the front sloped better. To me it looks like they took the Chaffee hull, made it taller, and stuck the Sherman suspension and Firefly turret on it.