Wednesday 4 September 2019

Sherman Firefly with hessian camouflage

For those of you that followed the post on my experiments with camouflage netting on a 1/72 Armourfast Cromwell you will know what started off as a simple trial ended up being a full build and paint job. Inspired by those results I've attempted something more ambitious with a Sherman Firefly from the Plastic Soldier Company and tried my hand at creating hessian netting.

I haven't done a step by step post of this build because it is almost identical to the Cromwell build that you can follow in detail in this tutorial. The only difference is that I've added strips of paper soaked in diluted PVA to create the hessian strips. The knack is to build it up in layers and add the odd small piece of the gauze bandage to mix it up a little.

I tried something simpler with the Cromwell and it appears more effort were made by the Firefly crews to disguise the length of the prominent gun barrel. With the Cromwell I restricted it to the turret and front hull, but looking at period photographs you can see lots of variations on the Firefly and other Sherman variants. It also appears the types of netting camouflage varied considerably, from simple netting, much like I've created on the Cromwell through to quite lavish use of hessian tape.

The challenge is to try to create this on a model that will be handled and used for gaming, so anything too intricate or delicate must survive first contact with someone's fat fingers. Not just once, but many times.

Overall I think this has worked well and feels robust enough to survive handling on a gaming table. It's also a great way to cover up some of the more basic details on a quick build model like those from Armourfast, Italeri or Plastic Soldier Company. The crew come from AB Figures and really do a great job completing the model. Their pose is undoubtedly a bit too relaxed for the close ranges of a Chain of Command table, but as I've said elsewhere, I'll just put that down to British sangfroid!