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The Firefly was a stroke of genius on the part of British tank designers, combining a more potent high-velocity antitank gun with the tried and tested Sherman design. The gun fitted in the turret was the British Ordnance Quick Firing 17 pounder, able to take on even Germany’s most heavily armored vehicles like the Tiger I and Panther. Three different Firefly variants were produced: Ic, Ic Hybrid and Vc. Dragon’s newest 1/35 scale Smart Kit portrays a Firefly Ic Hybrid, this nomenclature denoting a vehicle based on a composite hull. Such vehicles combined the front portion of a cast hull with the rear section of a welded hull. Production of the Firefly began in early 1944 and 342 had been delivered for use in the D-Day landings. Overall production was in the order of approximately 2200, and they served in both Northwest Europe and Italy.
This kit is a brand new production that surpasses previous releases of the Firefly Ic Hybrid. It is finely detailed and makes widespread use of slide molds for accuracy and ease of construction. The turret, for example, is completely new with appropriate cast texture and rendered with bomb-thrower on the roof. The kit includes the plated-over MG position, with a couple of armor-plate designs for modelers to choose from. Dragon also includes a .50-cal machinegun and roof mount that allowed the weapon to be used for antiaircraft purposes. There is an ample selection of photo-etched parts to represent areas like the fenders and headlight guards. Dragon also offers the typical large stowage box that could be carried behind the turret bustle or on the hull. Another new element is the gun travel lock, which allows modelers to reverse the turret and clamp the gun in place for a tank in travel configuration. This is an exciting release of the Firefly Ic Hybrid, and it brings this subject up to the very latest standards.