I have been putting off adding olive drab vehicles to my South African force, simply because I enjoy the look of the Light Mud + Black camo pattern, and wanted to keep the force coherent when fielded together. However, that did limit me to vehicles used for a particularly narrow time period - that is from April until September 1944. From that point, more and more SCC 15 - and indeed US Olive Drab - vehicles become evident in pix of the division. That is not to say there were not camo pattern vehicles around after September 1944, and it is clear from the evidence that the SA 6th Armoured division was not particularly diligent about the general order to repaint, and the latitude afforded by the order - it gave a range of priorities for repainting - was well exploited... But the bottom line is this - if I want to accurately depict the SA 6th Armoured in Italy, I know I have to become friends with SCC 15.
The Firefly VC is the older Warlord kit released in resin, and was a fine kit to put together. A glance at the newer plastic kits compared to the resin kit suggests that the detail on the resin kit is a bit crisper, and "deeper" than the plastic kit - which betrays its origins as a scale-up of a 15mm kit. (I haven't yet built a Warlord plastic Sherman VC, so this criticism might be misplaced and unfair, but my first impression of the plastic offering is that the detail is "flat" and "soft".) Crew figure is from Perry Miniatures, and the baggage bits and bobs from Die Waffenkamer and Warlord Games.
It depicts a vehicle from C Squadron, Pretoria Regiment. Its not overly clear from the evidence I have at hand as to exactly when the Fireflies were issued to the South African tank regiments, and when and in which units they were replaced by 76mm Shermans. There are photos of the Pretoria Regiment at a parade in 1945 with both 76mm Shermans and Fireflies, so clearly not all were retired in 1944 as suggested by some sources.
The Sherman 105 is the (now discontinued) M4A3 kit from Rubicon Models. Very easy to put together, it produces a model with plenty of neat detail. However, the track detail leaves a lot to be desired, and I assume this was one of the reasons it was withdrawn from the Rubicon range (and apparently there were detail errors on the 76mm turret option included in the kit). Rubicon have announced it is to replaced by a more detailed Sherman kit, and the 3D renderings of the track parts do indeed show much more detail. Again, crew from Perry Miniatures, and stowage from Warlord and Die Waffenkamer.
It depicts a vehicle from HQ Squadron, Pretoria Regiment. Again, it is not clear to me exactly how the 105-equipped Shermans were distributed amongst the troops, but Marshall does mention that they are eventually grouped together to provide additional field artillery support, so I have assumed that the HQ squadron was a good enough place for that to happen.
And finally, another couple of family portraits, the last one together with an earlier attempt at a Sherman V as used as an OP vehicle by a field artillery regiment...