Thursday, January 24, 2013

Flames of War, Open Fire, Sherman fixes.

Battlefronts' Flames of War - Open Fire boxed set is quite an awesome box of toys. However currently there are a couple of awkward problems with the construction of the allied Shermans included in this set, as any who have tried to build them has attested on many forums.

But these problems can be fixed relatively easily. At least the models from my box were fixed like this, I hope that it is helpful for all.

Lets start with the main issue. The right hand track piece on every Sherman tank will be crooked, resulting in a tank that leans at best (If you glue and physically vice grip the model in your hands in two places until securely welded) and has ugly gaps in many places. Never fear with one easy step this can all be resolved!

Here we have the 4 main components, we will only need to fix the left most piece shown here.
To fix simple cut away the part shown. Ultimately this will not hamper the construction, you can leave a cm of the front portion to ensure a solid model.
Easy as that. This tab/shelf sits on (and can be glued to) the top edge of the lower hull component, but it angles downwards by a fraction at the rear of the model. When the components are put together this will very firmly push all other pieces out of alignment. Thankfully, with this removed the models fit together perfectly!

Wham, bam, Shermann. 6 new top notch and squared up Sherman hulls built in minutes.
One other small problem involves the Turret magnet placement for the Sherman Firefly, this is a far smaller issue and readily fixed in many manners. I wanted a nice secure housing for the magnet to be glued in. The remedy was found on the sprue themselves. The regular Sherman open hatch piece will fit the magnet almost perfectly inside. So I clipped off the hatches, sat the magnet inside and filed down the top of the hatch. This can be a little work, unless you have a decent side file at hand (working the fiddly piece against the file will be considerably easier than visa versa).

Completing construction of the magnetized turret at this point involves a number of careful and patient steps.

1) Super glue the magnets into the housing as shown above and into the turret. (obviously with the correct polarities for affixing turret to hull)
2) Allow time to dry securely. (Dependant on your Super glue)
3)When dry, let the magnets snap together and cover the bottom of the hatch piece with plastic glue.
4) Place the turret firmly and squarely into position.
5) Allow time to dry securely. (This time will be the welding of plastic so I would leave for 20-30 minutes)

These step will ensure the turret is level and perfectly placed. Simply gluing the hatch piece to the hull can inevitably result in wonky turrets.

On last general construction tip (This may already be a standard method, but seems fitting to add it here).
After avoiding wonky turrets, its time to avoid wonky barrels. I initially found gluing the barrels for the Shermans rather tricky, especially if you try to glue these to the turret with the mantlet attached. So the last quick tip is gluing the barrel to the outer mantlet separately while it is flat on the desk/cutting mat as shown below. This allows the barrels to be placed firmly and as straight as can be. Once all dry fixing this to the turret is a doddle.

A wild doddle appears!
Stug Fodder.


  1. very helpful article, cheers!

  2. Nice, clear tutorial. Thanks.

  3. Thanks for the advice! I'm looking at picking up Open Fire! and this was an excellent 'heads up'.