Author Topic: Codename: Sherman 2016 - Firefly ICs TS Plastic Painted 170929  (Read 24067 times)

Rubicon Models

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Codename: Sherman 2016 - Firefly ICs TS Plastic Painted 170929
« on: February 17, 2016, 10:29:52 PM »
There had been a lot of discussions about the M4 Sherman in this forum, particularly with her long list of variants.  Most members in the forum know we had been on-and-off updating our technical drawings of our existing M4A3 kit whenever new information is available.  The action stopped short of an update plastic kit because we needed to sell enough to make the money back for the original moulds.  These continuous updates is meant for future use when we have the chance to create more M4 variants and using that opportunity to update the existing M4A3 kit as well.

We are still not to the point where we are breaking-even on the M4A3 moulds, but it is soon on the horizon!  It is also time to start a new M4 project.  Before doing so, we would like to get some feedback from forum members as to what is best for the community in terms of usefulness for gaming and modeling.  Here is a breakdown on what is being produced historically:

M4 / 6,784 produced / Jul 42 – Jan 44
M4(105) / 6,281 produced / Feb 42 – Dec 43

M4A1(76)W / 3,246 produced / Jan 44 – Jul 45

M4A2 / 8,053 produced / Apr 42 – May 44
M4A2(76)W / 2,915 produced / Apr 44 – May 45

M4A3 / 1,690 produced / Jun 42 – Sep 43
M4A3(105) / 500 produced / May 44 – Jun 45
M4A3(75)W / 3,071 produced / Feb 44 – Mar 45
M4A3(76)W / 254 produced / Jun 44 – Jul 44

M4A3E8(76) / 3,142 produced / Aug 44
M4A3E8(105) / 2,539 produced / Sep 44

M4A4 / 7,499 produced / Jul 42 – Nov 43

M4A6 / 75 produced / Oct 43 – Feb 44

Basically, all M4 shared two basic turrets (with some variants) and three guns (75 / 76 / 105).  It was extensively supplied through Lend-Lease to Britain, the Soviet Union and the Free French.  Britain received 17,287 Shermans of various models. The Soviet Union received 4,035 M4A2 Shermans. The Free French was the third largest recipient, taking 657 Shermans 1943-1944. 57 Shermans were delivered to other nations.

We would like some comments as to what is the best variant to do next?  Of course, we have some ideas, but more input are welcome!


NOTE: This list is not meant to be "the" complete listing, just an indication on what had been produced during the time period.

;)
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 11:38:37 AM by Rubicon Models »

ripley

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Re: Codename: Sherman 16
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2016, 10:58:55 PM »
That's going to take some thinking . IRC the M4A4 was mostly issued as Lend Lease , while the A3 was a US only issue .But IRC the UK did get some 105 gunned A3slate in the war . The USSR got A2s , about 2000 each of the 75mm and 76mm gun types . A M4A1 composite kit would probably be popular with both US and UK tank fans if you included Firefly parts

H0ffmn

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Re: Codename: Sherman 16
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2016, 11:01:57 PM »
Your list is missing the first model of Sherman tank to be manufactured, sent via Lend Lease to the U.K., and to equip the U.S. armored divisions, the M4A1 Sherman with the 75mm gun.

Pinky

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Re: Codename: Sherman 16
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2016, 11:39:45 PM »
There's also the M4A3E2 "Jumbo" - 254 manufactured from May to July 1944.  Not numerically significant, but effective in its intended role as a heavy assault tank.  It's a useful vehicle for wargamers and an interesting modelling subject.  The existing M4A3 hull would only require additional side and front plates to replicate the Jumbo's heavier armour.  But it would need a new turret and tracks with extended end connectors.  This would probably be my first choice for the next Rubicon Sherman.  The downside would be that there is little scope for options - other than providing both the 75mm and 76mm guns.

My other choices would be:

Composite (late) M4 with parts to build Sherman Ic Hybrid Firefly.  I think the Firefly is the coolest looking Sherman, and the Hybrid variant was the coolest looking Firefly.  The basic Composite M4 saw service with the Allies in Normandy and with the US Army in the Pacific, but admittedly not in large numbers.  In that regard it's perhaps a less useful kit.

M4A3E8.  Arguably the best looking Sherman, and also likely to appeal to both modellers and wargamers.  The drawback would be that, again, there aren't any significant variants apart from the 105mm version - although the kit could potentially include a set of sandbag armour.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 10:40:19 AM by Pinky »

H0ffmn

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Re: Codename: Sherman 16
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2016, 11:42:10 PM »
My vote would be for the M4A1 Sherman with the earlier small hatch cast hull and 75mm gun. It would work for early war thru late war for the U.S. and U.K. But honestly , you could make a early welded hull, include a choice of plates for engine access hatches, like you did with your M-10/M-36 kit,a choice of rear hull plates and exausts,and a few choices for front upper glasius sections, and you could have one kit that could make either a early M4 dv hull, a M4, a early M4A2dv hull and a M4A2. That should satisfy everyones needs be it either U.S. Army, U.S.M.C, British, French and Soviet. Of course you could include additional parts for a Firefly.
I know that Warlord has a M4 already, but NOT with any options but for a M4.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2016, 11:44:13 PM by H0ffmn »

sandsmodels

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Re: Codename: Sherman 16
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2016, 12:16:44 AM »
dear rubicon
I  have to say that as I have a vested interest in seeing variants I can do conversions on, but I would say this:-

1) m4a4, easy to make 2 main versions, 75mm and firefly, used by the british, French, poles and the usa as a flail and late war dd.
I can then make the crab flail, arv and various other conversion parts, hopefully making you sell more of them to people who want conversions.
2 )m4 hybrid, 75mm and firefly variants used by usa, gb, poles and French,
3) m4a1 early hull for desert (although the bogies are m3 type) and used by usa, gb, poles and French.
4) m4a2 early hull, used by the Russians, gb and usmc in the pacific and some conversion potential like dd, barv and some crab flails.

doing an early m4 like italeri/warlord is not imho, a good thing as it is just duplicating what is out and it is not a bad kit again imho, although getting supplies for my webshop is getting harder from italeri!
so that is my opinions on the matter for what they are worth.
I hope that helps

Rubicon Models

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Re: Codename: Sherman 16
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2016, 12:34:58 AM »
Knowing that we can count on your guys on input.  A good number of resourceful advice too!  At this point, we are basically looking at options trying to improve our existing M4A3 kit, and then add on new components (hull / transmission / exhaust / hatches / road wheels & suspension / boogies / etc) to become new variants.

A lot of these components had already been done or half-finish, and it is time to look for the next step... Keep feeding us what you think is good.  We will screen through all your comments and come up with something that will match our production criteria; and hopefully create an even better product than the M4A3 & M10 kit.

Here is a good example of things that we have done behind the scene...






Another example is the 76mm turret.  Remember the one we had updated earlier?  We now have a 3rd generation 3D drawing based on actual blueprints & photos.  Will post that up for comments later on!


Thanks again!!
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 12:52:32 AM by Rubicon Models »

sandsmodels

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Re: Codename: Sherman 16
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2016, 12:57:45 AM »
looks and sounds goo, btw, email sent

Rubicon Models

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Re: Codename: Sherman 16
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2016, 01:06:58 AM »
looks and sounds goo, btw, email sent

Thanks Shaun, got your email.  It's 1am, so not going to reply until our production meeting towards the end of the week.

Being a small design studio with all the necessary equipment enable us to explore different aspects of design throughout the whole manufacturing process.  This also enable us to make last minute changes to drawings as well as to the actual mould (if required) before commercial production started. 

Customer feedback (even from a handful few) is important to us.  Thanks!

sandsmodels

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Re: Codename: Sherman 16
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2016, 02:42:20 AM »
1am, working late then
the lengths we go to to make these models
will look forward to your reply
I am now off gaming tonight,
thanks
shaun

stevepalffy

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Re: Codename: Sherman 16
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2016, 08:38:18 AM »
I think looking at the market the M4A3 E8 would be the next best choice...

Pinky

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Re: Codename: Sherman 16
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2016, 09:59:40 AM »
The reinforced .50 cal looks very promising.  I have been pushing for something like this for a while, because I find the 'true scale' machine gun barrels very fragile for gaming purposes.  I also think it's more appealing visually - there's something satisfying about a chunky machine gun, but maybe that's too many years of WH40k speaking!   

Aside from the 76mm turret, the Rubicon M4A3 is a good kit.  The detail is sharp, and it looks 'right'.  There are a couple of issues, like the design of the exhaust deflector (and the omission of a second blower from the 105mm turret), but they very minor.  It's a very solid basis for spin-off kits, like an M4A3E8.  Are you looking at actually revising the M4A3 kit?

Is the Panzer III going to get similar treatment?  It's the weakest of your range by far, and when it's compared to your superb new Jagdpanzer 38t, it looks like it was produced by a different company!   

Rubicon Models

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Re: Codename: Sherman 16
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2016, 11:10:40 AM »
The reinforced .50 cal looks very promising.  I have been pushing for something like this for a while, because I find the 'true scale' machine gun barrels very fragile for gaming purposes.  I also think it's more appealing visually - there's something satisfying about a chunky machine gun, but maybe that's too many years of WH40k speaking!   

Besides your bombardment on reinforcing the .50 cal, we are gamers and modelers ourselves, and could see improvements when we see one!  But in the manufacturing world, it takes time and efforts to change a design.  Most importantly is too keep both old and new design look similar when placed closed to each other.  That's why the long delay.


Aside from the 76mm turret, the Rubicon M4A3 is a good kit.  The detail is sharp, and it looks 'right'.  There are a couple of issues, like the design of the exhaust deflector (and the omission of a second blower from the 105mm turret), but they very minor.  It's a very solid basis for spin-off kits, like an M4A3E8.  Are you looking at actually revising the M4A3 kit?

We are not overhauling the M4A3 kit, but there are "things" that we think need attention... historical accuracy on the kit that normal gamers would not noticed.  Not major changes to the mould, except for the T23 turret.  The Easy Eight is something we are looking into with interest.


Is the Panzer III going to get similar treatment?  It's the weakest of your range by far, and when it's compared to your superb new Jagdpanzer 38t, it looks like it was produced by a different company!

The Panzer III is one of our earliest kits, and of course will need revision as our product range moves forward; probably after the various M4 Sherman releases.  If the Panzer III is going to get her face lift, it will be a major overhaul which will include more variants - early to mid war!

;)

ultravanillasmurf

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Re: Codename: Sherman 16
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2016, 05:38:44 PM »
For me, I would only be really  interested in Shermans used by British forces.

The multi engine option described above would be really useful, I did wonder about a conversion of Warlord M4 with an M10 deck plate, but have not looked for pictures to see if it is workable.

Of course I do want one more M4A3 for a post war Yugoslavian film star to go with the Artisan figures.

Rubicon Models

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Re: Codename: Sherman 16
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2016, 05:46:50 PM »
For me, I would only be really  interested in Shermans used by British forces.

For us, it is the same... we do need to give the Brits some love!


The multi engine option described above would be really useful, I did wonder about a conversion of Warlord M4 with an M10 deck plate, but have not looked for pictures to see if it is workable.

Don't think it will work.  We have also looked into this, but the Sherman hull design and shape is quite different from the M10.  We probably will have to provide different layout hulls for a multi-variant M4 kit.


Of course I do want one more M4A3 for a post war Yugoslavian film star to go with the Artisan figures.

No comments on that 8)