First, I will complain a little bit about the model itself. While I have been impressed with most of the products produced by Battlefront, specifically the quality of their books (except for the bindings of the paperback books--read through them once and pages fall out), the models kits range, while extensive, still leave a lot to be desired in terms of quality.
There is no more flashing than typical for a model of this type, and what is there is easily cleaned up. The problem is that the pieces fit together horribly. I had to use a lot of green stuff to fill in gaps--far more than I should have had to, and even with that, the pieces just do not mate well. The turret is fine, but fitting the sides of the hull to the center and top is a nightmare. It's hard to tell from the photos, but the entire tank leans a little bit to the right due to this poor fitting. I probably should have assembled it properly, and made some shims out of plasticard to make it all fit better, but I was impatient and just forced it together. I think it looks ok in the photos, but I'm still irritated by it all.
I will add that the rare earth magnets work great for rotating the turrets on all the Shermans, except for the Sherman Firefly. The rest of the Shermans have a slot on the hull where the magnet can fit, but this is absent on the Firefly hull. Not only that, where the magnet should go is actually too depressed into the hull. If you simply glued one magnet to the turret and one to the hull, they would not make contact with each other. In the end I had to create a shim with plasticard to raise the magnet on the hull high enough so it would link up to the magnet in the turret. Not too much work to remedy, but annoying nonetheless.
Anyway, here are some pictures of the Sherman I made. The Open Fire! set comes with two British Sherman Squadrons, some American Paratroopers, and some Germans for them to fight. American Paratroopers fighting alongside British tanks shouts Operation Market Garden to me, but even so, I'm more interested in fighting battles in Normandy campaign than Market Garden.
As I started looking into British tank units involved the Normandy campaign, I suddenly latched onto the idea of painting my tanks as Canadian. The Canadians had a large part to play in the Normandy Campaign, and I figure that they probably don't get seen nearly as much as the British do in Flames of War games, (let alone the Americans), so I thought I'd choose them.
This particular tank belongs to C Squadron, 10th Armoured Regiment (The Fort Garry Horse), part of the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade. The Fort Garry Horse, along with the 1st Hussars and the Sherbrooke Fusiliers, supported the 8th Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division from Juno Beach and on to Caen.
The yellow circle on the turret identifies the tank as belonging to C Squadron, while the red square with the "52" identifies it as belonging to the Fort Garry Horse. The Brigade insignia is a golden maple leaf over a blue and black field:
It's hard to see, but my attempt at it is on the front left and rear left fenders of the tank.
I'm particularly proud of the Allied Star on the turret, which I painted freehand.
Now that this guy is done, I'm off to paint the rest of the platoon.