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  1. StuH.42 Ausf.G Mid Prod. Jul-Oct 1943 (35385) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Following WWI the German military had identified a weakness in their forces, in that their advancing troops often left behind the support of their artillery as they moved forward, leading to a call for the creation of Sturmartillerie, which was effectively a mobile artillery piece that could travel alongside their forces, providing valuable protection. By the time the Nazis were gearing up their economy and military for war more openly, a requirement for just such a vehicle was made official, mating the chassis of the then current Panzer III with a short-barrelled 75mm gun in a fixed armoured casemate with limited traverse, which gave the type a distinctive howitzer-style look. In the later variants a longer high-velocity gun, the 7.5 cm StuK 40 L/48 replaced the shorter gun to give it an improved penetrating power that was more in alignment with the Tank Killer job that it had become used for. These vehicles were designated Ausf.F or G, and were amongst the most produced version of this almost ubiquitous WWII tank. A project to up-gun the StuG was instigated using an Ausf.F chassis and a 10.5cm leFH 18 howitzer, taking the name Sturmhaubitze 42 or StuH 42 for short. The rounds were electrically fired, and it was to be fitted with a muzzle-brake to bleed off some of the recoil, and a dozen of this type were made from repaired Ausf.F examples, then almost 1,300 built as infantry support that were based on the Ausf.G, some without their muzzle-brakes due to the limited availability of certain metals as the war continued to turn against the Nazis, thanks to the Allied bomber force bombing their industrial base into rubble on a 24/7 schedule. The Kit MiniArt have now released several toolings of the late StuG III and this minor retool to depict the howitzer equipped sub-variant is a continuation of the Ausf.G series, which had changes layered on changes during the final batches as the war ground to its ultimate conclusion. This boxing depicts a mid-production vehicle, and arrives in a standard top-opening box in the MiniArt style, with attractive artwork and decal profiles on one side. Inside the box are forty-three sprues in mid-grey styrene, one in clear, two large Photo-Etch (PE) frets of brass parts, decal sheet, and glossy-covered instruction booklet with colour profiles in the front and rear. Detail is excellent throughout, which is just what we’ve come to expect from modern toolings by MiniArt, with so much detail crammed into every part of the model, including individual track links that are different from the earlier pre-series kit we reviewed some time ago. Construction begins with the floor, which receives the torsion suspension bars with their fittings, a pair of runners to support the engine that isn’t part of this boxing, and the support structure for the gun, which is made up from substantial beams that have a traverse shoe placed on top to give the gun its limited 15° travel for fine-tuning lateral aim. The rear bulkhead is set against the engine mounts with its exhausts and towing eyes applied to the exterior later, and the hull sides are mated to the floor, with the bases for the final drive housing glued either side of a choice of three styles of front bulkhead, installing the engine firewall in the centre of the floor for structural strength. The glacis plate with transmission inspection hatches are given a similar treatment, plus another appliqué panel, and the usual exhaust covers, towing lugs that have pins with PE chain-retainers and idler protection are added to the rear, and a radiator exhaust assembly with PE grille is made up and applied above it, adding some heat deflecting tinwork to the hull. Narrow bolted panels are added to the sides of the hull in preparation for the upper hull parts that are added next. Before the gun can be fitted, the walls of the casemate must be made up, and these are well-detailed externally, including vision slots and lifting eyes. The shape of the casemate is completed with the addition of the front wall, which has a large cut-out to receive the gun in due course. The front of the casemate is built out forward with a sloped front and some bolted appliqué armour, dropped over the front of the lower hull and joined by the breech assembly, which is covered by an armoured panel after armoured protectors to the mounting bolts have been glued over them. The commander’s cupola is built on a circular base into which seven clear periscopes are slipped, completing the task later with several protectors, PE details and a set of V-shaped binocular sighting glasses in the separate front section of the cupola that can be open or closed independently of the main hatch. Much of the gun breech detail is represented, and a large trunnion is fitted onto the two pins on the sides of the assembly. Elevation, traverse, and sighting gear is installed on the breech, although it’s unlikely to be seen as anything other than a dim shadow within, especially once the roof is in place. The roof-mounted MG34 has a separate breech cover and a drum mag, fitting on the roof in the ready-for-action post with the gunner’s hatch open behind it, and the gun slipped through the slot in the splinter shield. It can also be posed pushed down flat with the gun absent and the hatch closed for travel. The engine deck is built up with tapered sides and armoured intake louvres added outside them, drilling two holes for three of the decal options, which are covered with PE meshes as the deck is glued down onto the engine bay. A length of spare track links is fixed across the rear of the casemate with the fume extraction armour in the centre with the barrel cleaning rods underneath, lashed to the deck with PE and styrene parts, then the four hatches are made with armoured vents. two pairs of road wheels are carried on the deck on six pins welded to the rearmost pair of hatches, with a flat stowage box mounted between them on PE brackets. In reverse of many AFV kits, the hull sides are decorated with suspension parts, the idler wheels and final drive housings, adding three turrets on each side that carry the return-rollers later. A group of pioneer tools are dotted around the sides of the engine deck, including a fire extinguisher with PE frame, after which the paired wheels are fixed to the axles, with drive-sprockets at the front and idler wheels with PE rings at the rear, plus a trio of paired return rollers near the top of the hull sides. https://www.britmodeller.com/reviews/creative/miniart/kits35/35385-stuh.42.ausf.g.mid/sprue10.jpg https://www.britmodeller.com/reviews/creative/miniart/kits35/35385-stuh.42.ausf.g.mid/tracks.jpg The tracks are individual links that are friction-fitted, using 94 links per side, and each link has three sprue gates to clean up, plus an occasional wisp of flash on the highly detailed sides, which will need scraping away with a sharp blade. I created a length in short order, and the result is a very well-detailed track with flexibility to adjust them around the running gear of your model, and as they are a tight fit, they shouldn’t need glue, but I’d probably set them in position with liquid glue once I had them how I wanted them on the vehicle. Once they’re in place, one of two types of fenders are attached to the hull sides on small brackets, with mudguards and tiny PE fittings added once the glue has dried. More pioneer tools and stowage are added to these, as space was a premium on these vehicles, and every flat surface ended up with equipment on it. This includes a convoy light mounted in the centre of the glacis, and either the highly detailed PE fire extinguisher or a simplified styrene alternative if you prefer on the rear left fender. Shovels, pry bars, track-tools, jack blocks and the jack are also found on the fenders, as are the two towing cables, which have styrene eyes and you’ll need to supply the 107mm cable material yourself, with a set of PE tie-downs holding them and the tools in place on each side. The short howitzer barrel is a single part with hollow muzzle and two-part brake insert, sliding into the short sleeve via an end-cap, the sleeve moulded into the front of the inverted saukopf mantlet that is made from an additional two parts before it is slid over the recoil tubes and breech. A pair of aerials are installed on the corners of the casemate rear wall, and variations of additional track lengths as appliqué armour at the rear, under the glacis or on the armoured sides of the mantlet. Some decal options add the brackets for the Schürzen along the sides of the hull and fenders with a few small added outriggers, although two decal options don’t have them fitted. The four PE schürzen panels per side are detailed with additional rectangular panels on their upper surface, and once the glue between the two layers of PE has cured, you simply hang them on the hooks, gluing them in place if you wish. Markings There are six markings options included on the decal sheet, all of them with varying camouflage based upon dunkelgelb with splotches or patterns of other colours to a greater or lesser extent. From the box you can build one of the following: 5.Komp. II. Abt. Pz.Reg. Hermann Göring, Italy, 1943 Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front, Autumn, 1943 3. Pz.Gren.Div. ‘Totenkopf’, Eastern Front, Autumn, 1943 Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front, Autumn, 1943 StuG. Abt. 237., Eastern Front, Elnya, Autumn, 1943 StuG. Abt. 276., Eastern Front, Autumn, 1943 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion Whilst it might easily be mistaken for a StuG if you don’t notice the barrel, the StuH is just a little different from the usual, with its stubby barrel, the muzzle brake giving it a more aggressive look. The detail in the kit is excellent, and it will keep you busy for many a happy hour. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. dear forum, usually I start building certain model inspired by some facts, that I have read, watched, heard or otherwise witnessed. Or it was/ is related to certain moments that are important to me. This model of this howitzer popped-up in my mind at once, when I have read in news, how a brave 21 year old man, in his unique way expressed his will. His will being against the War after Russia broke it against Ukraine in Feb of 2022. In the first days of March 2022 this young man in the Russian city St. Petersburg as a sign of opposition to war, in the museum of artillery (outdoor exposition) has painted the shields of two howitzers in the colors of National Flag of Ukraine 🇺🇦. He has been caught on the next day obviously and was sentenced for 1 year of home arrest for "...discriminating Russian Army Forces...."! So this was the case, and idea was clear, to build this howitzer in colors of 🇺🇦 and to witness that even welded barrel can "shoot"! Enjoy it! Make models not War! The prototype The kit After assembling And ready for Inspection
  3. Has anyone heard anything about a 1/72 kit of the Korean K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer? Sold by hundreds - also for NATO countries - it is slowly becoming one of the most important AFVs of the 21st century. And the model as it was not, so still is not Cheers Michael
  4. Hi everyone, Last one build, for a GB on Warpaints forum. Nice kit, easy build, but it would be kind from HB to stop propose us some parts so small that they can' draw them accurately on the instruction sheet... Also, I'm not too happy with my own results. Let's look at the pics.
  5. 10.5cm leFH 16(Sf) Auf Geschutzwagen FCM36(f) (35340) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd The Geschutzwagen (gun vehicle) series of Self-Propelled Howitzers were originally created to fill a need for mobile artillery that could be self-sufficient and yet work in unison with troops and tanks at the high speed of Blitzkrieg, similar to the Marder, but with indirect fire from behind the lines their stock-in-trade. The concept was to mount a large diameter howitzer on a captured tank chassis that had been stripped of its superstructure and given an extended splinter shield around the gun and its crew, whilst leaving the roof open to the elements. Like the early Marders, they were built on captured French tank chassis, such as the obsolete FCM 36, with a large shield that extended almost the whole length of the vehicle, housing a WWI era 105mm leFH 16(Sf) howitzer, which was of 1916 vintage. Incidentally, FCM stands for Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, who were based at Toulon in the French Riviera. Only a very few of these vehicles were made due to the relatively small number of FCM36 chassis that were originally captured, and some say that as few as eight were built, although there are numbers as high as 12 mentioned elsewhere. Either way, there weren’t many. They saw service in Europe during the relatively inactive period after their conquest of France and before D-Day, and by 1944 there weren’t any on charge according to records, which up until that point were pretty reliable. The tank was only lightly armoured to protect their crews from shrapnel, shell splinters or small arms fire from all-round, which is somewhat better than a standard artillery piece would afford its crew, although the open roof would make a tempting target for grenades or demolition packs in close combat. However, they weren’t meant to be near the front line under normal circumstances, so it mattered less than it did with direct fire vehicles such as Marders. It would however have been uncomfortable for the crew in bad weather necessitating a temporary tarpaulin roof to keep the precipitation out, but very little of the cold. The Kit This is another re-tool of ICM’s previous FCM 36 kit, adding the specialised parts for the conversion undertaken by Baustokommando Becker at the time. It arrives in a standard ICM top-opening box that has a captive inner lid, with seven sprues in grey styrene, two flexible black sprues of track links, a decal sheet and glossy instruction booklet with colour profiles in the back pages for painting and markings. The original FCM 36 kit was only released in 2020, so it’s a modern tooling with plenty of detail and this boxing includes the majority of the interior due to the open roof. Construction begins with the lower hull, which is made up initially of the floor and two sides that are cut back slightly to accommodate the different upper hull, as shown in an accompanying diagram, with bulkheads added to the sides to support the lower sponson panels that give the vehicle more ground clearance. The running gear is made up from a three-part drive sprocket, eighteen sets of twin wheels that are fitted to eight double bogies and two singles, then the big idler wheels at the rear of the hull on adjustable tensioning axles. The sloped armoured upper sponsons are installed along the way, with the mud-shedding apertures on each side, idler adjustment mechanisms and some towing eyes on the back plate. Two pairs of return rollers on the top run are glued inside the sponson, then the flexible black “rubberband” tracks are glued together, the instructions neglecting to mention that styrene glues won’t join them, so you should use super glue or epoxy instead. Each run has two sections, with the joints best placed in the centre of each run so they stand less chance of being seen on the finished model. Detail on the tracks is very nice, with twin guide horns and perforated centres like the real thing, but of course the links will curve round the ends, rather than having the correct faceted look that individual links provide. The upper hull is a new part that was also seen on the recent Marder I kit, and has an opening at the front where the turret would have been, and has the two fender sides fitted to the rear before it is joined to the lower hull, hiding most of the upper track run. At the rear a large louvered panel and fixtures on the final-drive access hatches are glued on first, with the two shrouded exhausts and their mufflers slotted into grooves to their side, and a shallow C-shaped manifold joining them at the top. Pioneer tools and towing eyes are fitted later, because the gun must be made up first, after adding a driver’s panel and vision slit it fixed into the top of the glacis plate. The WWI era 10.5cm leFH 16(Sf), is begun by making up the combined cradle and breech, then adding the cradle trunnions and elevation mechanism on both sides, after which the floor is made up with the underfloor ammo storage depicted by gluing the 36 striking plate charge sections of the two-part ammunition into the box-sections in the forward floor. It is mated to the hull on a substantial C-shaped plinth with a locking washer, covering up the former turret aperture, then adding aim adjustment wheels before the gun’s splinter shield is begun by adding the two faceted side panels and the cheek parts, the former having been fitted out with shell racks, radio boxes and machine gun ammo canisters. The forward splinter shield that moves with the gun barrel is added outside the main shield, preventing stray rounds or shrapnel from entering the cab or damaging the gun slide, the latter part comprising two sides with angled front to deflect frontal shots. A louvered panel is fixed into depressions on each of the side walls, and the back panel with moulded-in access hatch are glued onto the rear of the crew compartment, then two sets of 21 x 105mm shells and a few more separate charges with striker plates are placed next to them. At this stage the pioneer tools can be attached to the exterior compartment walls at the rear of the vehicle, with light cluster, spare track links and barrel cleaning rods at the front, plus an antenna perched atop the side wall to the rear, and a self-defence MG34 machine gun on the front, then you can put on the two-part muzzle brake that gives the impression of a hollow barrel. Markings There are three markings options on the small decal sheet, with variation between them and some interesting camouflage schemes, all of which saw service in 1943. From the box you can build one of the following: Mobile Brigade West, 1943 931st Assault Gun Division, France, 1943 Training Camp of Mobile Brigade West, Summer 1943 The decals are printed by ICM’s usual partner, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion Another peculiar, niche, but interesting example of German re-use of captured vehicles, and a nicely detailed one too. Of course, it looks a bit strange and top heavy, but that’s part of its appeal. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  6. M109A6 Paladin (03331) 1:72 Revell The M109 was developed to replace the then-current M44 howitzer in the 1960s, to provide indirect-fire on the enemy from a substantial distance away from harm. It was outfitted with a 155mm main gun initially, with later variants mounting upgraded versions in the same calibre, utilising the M284 in the A6, with a substantial muzzle brake at the tip to help with recoil of the powerful shells it fired. When the A6 debuted with the new name Paladin, it was a substantial re-working of the original, having new firing systems, survivability improvements, and even a re-designed interior to carry more rounds for immediate use in the field. A further development of the A6 was later renamed as the A7, sharing components with the Bradley AFV that incorporates numerous modifications and upgrades to armour, power and other systems to improve performance and survivability until the intended replacement, the M1299 comes on-stream. This future weapon is intended to provide longer-range, greater accuracy, and an amazing 10 rounds per minute to rain maximum destruction of the enemy. The Kit This is a re-release of Revell's Paladin kit, and arrives in a box with a European camouflaged 109 firing its main gun at a relatively shallow angle. It’s a small end-opening box, and inside are four sprues containing 160 parts in grey styrene, instruction booklet and one of those annoying safety sheets with the small decal sheet hidden inside. Detail is pretty good for the scale, with a lot of moulded-in mesh, anti-slip coatings and other items of interest, including a crew figure with modern uniform and helmet to reflect the period of use of this variant. There’s even a basic engine compartment with additional details under a separate hatch, and a set of link-and-length tracks all moulded in the same styrene as the rest of the kit. Construction begins with the crew figure, who has separate arms to assist with posing, and he is shown painted in a forest green colour with a sand-coloured vest. With him out of the way, the lower hull is made up around a heavily tread-plated floor, with side panels, lower glacis and rear bulkhead incorporating the large open hatch all added along the way. The aforementioned engine compartment is built around a moulded-in engine block, and is detailed with ancillaries, hosing and two cooling fans in the bulkhead, resulting in a pretty good representation from the box, which is then inserted into the underside of the upper hull before it is mated with the lower hull and topped with the engine hatch, which you can pose open or closed, remembering to move the barrel out of the way as necessary. The running gear is next, with the two-part drive sprockets fixed to their drive housings on large square pins, then the road wheels and idler wheels are made up in pairs, painting their hubs and rubber tyres as you go. At the rear of the hull is a large side-opening door that makes it easy for the crew to quickly provide more rounds into the gunners, and on either side is a self-entrenching spade that can be shown stowed in the upright position, or dug into the soil to reduce ground creep from successive shots. The running gear is then inserted into the holes in the hull sides, taking care to put the correct parts in the right place along with additional suspension arms and towing eyes at the rear. The tracks are link-and-length, with long runs over the top and bottom, plus short lengths and individual links to wrap around the ends of the track runs. The V-shaped rubber pads should be painted in a suitable rubber colour, while the links themselves will be a rusty track colour, which should test your patience. With the tracks done, the lower hull is decked out with lights, towing hitches, various small parts and big mudguards at the rear, with a complex travel-lock for the barrel at the front. The turret is a large part of the vehicle, and begins with a full representation of the barrel and breech, which is then slid inside the turret box after it has been outfitted with various hatches and panels, plus a gunner seat attached to the separate turret floor, which traps the gun in position when it is glued in. Over the following steps, aircon, targeting sensors, towing cables, ammo, pioneer tools and additional fuel cans are added around the turret, with radio mast bases and additional stowage at the rear, creating a large overhanging bustle. On the roof the commander’s cupola is constructed with hinged hatch, plus a well-detailed .50cal M2 Browning self-defence gun mounted on the front of the hatch. As the final act, a 10mm square of paper should be fitted over the top of the gun’s elevation mechanism to represent the cover that keeps the dust out of the real thing. The turret then twists onto the hull with a bayonet fitting holding it place through most of its rotation, and don’t forget to pop chummy into the top hatch once you’ve completed painting and weathering. Markings Speaking of painting, there are two decal options included on the sheet, one in desert sand to blend in with Texas, the other in the NATO euro scheme of green, black and brown in South Korea. From the box you can build one of the following: M109A6 Paladin, 1st Armour Division, US Army, Texas, USA, 2018 M109A6 Paladin, 2nd Infantry Division, US Army, South Korea The decals are printed in Italy by Zanetti, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A nicely detailed rendition of the Paladin at this scale, with lots of detail throughout. Highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  7. To go with the S-65 tractor I have started to build this newish release from Trumpeter and reviewed http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234935865-trumpeter-135-soviet-ml-20-152mm-howitzer-mod-1937/'>HERE The main axle assembly and the main wheels went together very easily, as did the first of the trails, although I was surprised at the number of parts that had to be attached to it. The kit comes with some nice etch which means it doesn't really need any AM.
  8. Soviet 203mm Howitzer M1931 (B-4), Pictures taken at National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, Kiev by Dave Haskell.
  9. My first post on this forum! Hello from Puerto Rico in the Caribbean! For my first post I will start showing my latest work, and old favorite from Tamiya, M4A3 105 mm Howitzer just for the fun of it. Lot of stuff can be done to correct here and there, adding PE, changing wheels for AFV, and hull from Italeri, etc..but forget it, this is a build to have fun, so is going out of the box, except for the metal barrel of course. Here was my start during the spare time in the week. The kit is done in a few hours. The next day, after sanding the lines in the turret and make some texture on it using the Tamiya thin glue (melting the plastic surface and making texture using a brush with stiff bristles.) Primer was applied using a can from Walmart. Also the figure was base painted using vallejo colors.
  10. If you're really mad, perhaps you'd like to try one of these. Due out in the next month or so the completed model is over 1m long, over 500mm wide and 430mm high.
  11. Takom are following up their 21cm Krupp Morser with the 42cm 'Big Bertha' siege howitzer Andy
  12. Soviet 122mm Howitzer M1938 (M-30) Trumpeter 1:35 History The 122 mm Howitzer M1938 (M-30) field guns were designed by F. F. Petrov of the design bureau of Motovilikha Plants in the late 1930s to replace the recently modernized 122-millimeter howitzers in the Russian arsenal that were of pre-WW1 designs. The design was accepted in Sep 1939 after defeating rival designs. The design addressed the shortcomings of the WW1-era predecessors directly: their advanced split trail carriages with leaf spring suspension systems and rubber tires greatly improved the towing capabilities, while the longer barrel increased the effective range. Mass production began in 1940 at Plant No. 9 in Sverdlovsk and after 1940 also in Plant No. 92 in Gorky, both in Russia. Barrels of this design were mounted on T-34 hulls to create the SU-122 self-propelled assault guns. Marshal G. F. Odintsov commented “Nothing can be better" after witnessing firing practices involving these guns. When Germany invaded Russia in Jun 1941, 1,667 122 mm M1938 field guns were in service, which was still a minority within the Russian forces. However, increased production meant that by 1943 they would become the most numerous howitzers of the Russian Army. They were mainly used as indirect fire weapons against troop concentrations and field fortifications, though when necessary they also fired directly against advancing German tanks after high explosive anti-tank shells were developed in 1943. A number of these guns were captured by the Germans, who pressed them into service with the designation 12.2 cm s.F.H.396® heavy howitzers. Finnish forces captured 41 guns of this type and employed them under the designation 122 H 38; Finnish troops reported great liking to these guns, and kept them in service until the mid-1980s. After WW2, Russia supplied 122 mm Howitzer M1938 (M-30) field guns to friendly nations such as Egypt and Syria. Communist China's Type 54 howitzers were reportedly a development of the M-30 design given to them by Russia. Between 1940 and 1945, a total of 17,526 122 mm M-30 field guns were built. An additional 1,740 were built between 1946 and 1955; bringing the grand total to 19,266. The Model With the massively increasing range of Soviet tanks well in the process of taking over the modelling world, Trumpeter are now doing the same with their increased production of Soviet artillery pieces. Although the kit comes in quite a small box, with a nice artists impression of the howitzer being readied for firing on the lid, it is packed with styrene. There are six sprues of light grey styrene, two separate trails, two sheets of etched brass, a metal barrel, four rubber tyres and small part, pressed from brass sheet and a small decal sheet. What is nice about this kit is that, although you don’t get any crew, you do get a nice limber included, that will be of great use within a diorama. As is typical of Trumpeter kits, the parts are all beautifully moulded, with no signs of flash or other imperfections, but there are quite a few moulding pips and inserts that need to be removed and the areas cleaned up. The instructions are clearly laid out, although there are a couple of parts positioning that could be clearer, so take care when reading them. Construction begins with the assembly of the breech, which is made up from two halves, between which is the internal rear section of the barrel. The two halves of the breech section are moulded complete with the elevation gear, recuperator and buffer tubes, which not only reduces parts count but gives the modeller some awkward seams to sort out, so not necessarily a good thing, although the top mounted tube is covered for the most part by a PE part folded to fit. To the breech assembly several PE parts are added, some of which require careful bending to shape, for which there is a scrap side view showing how they should look. The breech cover and opening handle are added to the rear, along with the breech hinge. To the front of the section the slide cover is added, as are a couple of brackets. The two trunnion mounts are now fitted with their respective clamps for the elevation tubes and fitted, unglued, to the breech assembly with the rotating elevation gear axle sandwiched between them so that it meshes with the breech mounted elevation gear. The sight and controls mounted on the left hand side of the breech section is made up of no less than sixteen parts, most of which are very small, so will some fine tweezers and a steady hand. The small amount of traverse is controlled by a wheel, also on the left hand side, fitted just beneath the sight. The pinion mount is then attached to the underside of het breech section, along with a bracket and the travel lock pin. Each of the elevation shafts are mounted inside the two tubes, which are then fitted with end caps. The two tubes bases are then fitted into the clamp on the trunnion mounts with the movable top section attached to the sides the breech section, just forward of the breech itself. Trumpeter have produced a very nice slide moulded barrel for this kit, but for some, very pleasant reason, have also included a metal barrel, with the front section showing the nice rifling, so it’s up to the modeller which they use. If you do use the metal barrel, then you will need to fit it with the separate locating collar that is also been slide moulded. The upper section of the gun shield is a single piece unit, to which the various strengthening strips are added, along with the sighting door, two lower shield sections and storage box are attached. The left hand shield support is fitted with three PE parts and a styrene part to create a storage box and mounting bracket. Before fitting the gun shield, the six piece elevation gearbox and hand wheel are fitted to the right hand side trunnion mount. With the shield in place it is then fitted with a separate part, made of brass sheet, which is the sliding section of the shield, allowing the gun to be elevated. This brass part is fitted with four very small styrene bolt heads and attached to the barrel by two PE brackets. Each of the two wheels is made up of two halves, plus the central hub, the inner half is fitted with a rolled PE rim. With the two halves and hub joined together the outer half is fitted with three PE parts, including the tyre inflation valve and a couple of small brackets. The rubber/vinyl tyres are then slipped onto the rims and the brake drums attached. Note that the brake drums differ between right and left sides. The pinion mount, which also includes the axles and trail hinge pins is made up form ten parts, to which the leaf spring and its clamps are attached. Each to the two trails is fitted out with various items of kit, such as the gun cleaning rods, tool boxes, pioneer tools, end spade plates and the towing hitch which is fitted to the right hand trail, and can be fitted in firing or travelling positions. The trails are then fitted to their respective hinge points with the aid of a separate bottom section which clamps the two pins together. The wheels are then mounted to the axles and the trail handles are attached, these allow the trails to be folded or spread and can be fitted in either stowed or in use positions. The completed gun assembly is then fitted to the carriage assembly via the pinion hole. Another nice addition to the kit is two shell crates. Each crate is made up of nine parts, ten if you include the lid, and can be fitted out with two separate shells and two charge bags. Naturally, in a diorama these can be shown either closed up or open, full or empty, the choice is yours. The provision of the limber is a nice touch, the main box of which is made up from six parts including the internal divisions, and with the PE shelves it makes up into a nice representation, only once with the top fitted, nothing of the detail will be seen, so some research will be required on how the limber opens up. Turning the box section upside down, the suspension mounts are attached, along with the fixed part of the towing arm and the limber support, which can be posed stowed or propped positions. With the limber still upside down the leaf springs and axle are attached, along with two three piece footsteps and a storage box. Turning the limber right side up the slatted seat base is fitted, as are the seat back and shell carrier. Three pioneer tools are fitted to the limber sides and the towing hitch to the limbers rear panel. To finish the top the rear rail and two side mounted hand rails are fitted. The two wheels are made up form inner and outer hubs onto which the vinyl tyres are slipped on, after which the wheels are fitted to the axle. The limber is finished off with the fitting of the extendable towing arm, positioning pin, towing eye and pin, and the towing beam which is fitted to whichever vehicle you choose to tow the finished article. There is an alternative beam for use with a horse which would be an interesting sight in a diorama. For additional diorama addition is the inclusion of a bucket complete with separate handle. The small decal sheet contains just a pair of serial numbers and the firing chart. Conclusion As mentioned above, Trumpeters towed gun and howitzer range is growing at quite a considerable rate, and this release is a superb addition to the range. The provision of the limber, shell boxes and even the bucket means that this will make into a very interesting model. A bit of extra research will be required, and hopefully trumpeter will release a nice gun crew for it, which will be the icing for this very nice cake. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  13. Krupp 21cm Mörser 10 Takom 1/35 Hi guys, this is Takom's new Krupp howitzer, finished as the short barrel 1910 model (you can build the longer barreled model 1916 from the box too). A very nice kit with great parts fit and a quick and easy construction. I did have a couple of parts break due to the fragility of some of the components, but they were easy fixes. This one's done with the markings of a gun captured by Canadian troops at Vimy Ridge in 1917. Thanks for looking Andy
  14. Hi guys I will build a resin 75 mm howitzer used with the British airborne troops during WW 2. The model is from Mini Art Studio. The pictures will follow later. Cheers,
  15. PzH2000 Update Set (for Meng) 1:35 ET Model Meng continue to give us great kits, and their PzH2000 (reviewed here) was welcomed with open arms, consigning many a Revell kit to the "for trade" bins. ET Models have now created an update set that should improve the kit further, adding parts in Photo-Etch (PE) that just can't be done as finely in injection moulded styrene. Arriving in ET's usual thick polythene flat pack, with a black card back and green folded instruction sheet, you get three sheets of PE brass, plus a length of soft copper braided wire for the towing cables. A significant quantity of parts are used up in upgrading and replacing the pioneer tools and their tie-downs, with some substantial work going on, such as adding a realistic blade to the bow-saw, blades to shovels, and complete replacement of an unknown tool that features prominently on the glacis plate. The attachments are superbly detailed, and will of course require a little care in putting them together. The front deck has a number of small parts shaved off to accommodate more detailed PE assemblies, and the single part rack full of snow cleats for the tracks is replaced by an empty rack made completely from PE. Something seems to have gone awry with the instructions on my review sample, as there is no diagram depicting the various assemblies being added to the rear bulkhead, but they are shown being built up, so a little guesswork will see you right if you are similarly affected. The grating step-plates on the rear are replaced with highly detailed PE parts that are part-cut to ease construction, the handles on the rear doors are replaced (this is actually pictured). The number plate holder and convoy light assembly is completely replaced by a complex PE unit, and two square unit markers are added, although it isn't clear where. The side-skirts have all their locking handles shaved off to be replaced by PE parts too. The turret has an open-fronted basket on the starboard front, which is replaced and has tie-down straps added, with a new grill placed over the louvers on the port side. The gun mantlet cover that is a single PE part in the kit is replaced by a more detailed assembly with hinge detail, with more tie-downs added to the sides of the turret. The gunner's hatch has a new cupola added, utilising the stand-off legs from the kit part, but replacing the C-shaped rail and fixtures. The commander's hatch gets the same treatment, and the machine gun is supplied with a highly detail ammo box (with ammo) and receptacle. At the rear of the turret a large mesh basket is built up and added to the brackets on the sides, next to which are a couple of brackets and grab-handles that replace some moulded in parts. Conclusion A great set, and I'm sure that the instruction faux pas will be sorted by the time you can get the set online. Very highly recommended. As ET Model don't currently have a UK distributor that we know of, you'll be best off looking for the set on eBay using the product code, or an overseas supplier. We'll update this review as and when a UK supplier breaks cover. Review Sample courtesy of
  16. Skoda 305mm Siege Howitzer Takom 1:35 History Development began in 1906, when a development contract was placed by the Austro-Hungarian high command with Skoda-Werke in Pilsen to develop a weapon capable of penetrating the concrete fortresses being built in Belgium and Italy. Development work continued until 1909, when the first prototype was finished and, in 1910, fired secretly in Hungary. The weapon was able to penetrate 2 m (6 ft 7 in) of reinforced concrete with its special armour piercing shell, which weighed 384 kg (847 lb). There were a few technical problems with the first piece, but, after few reconstructions in 1911, the upgraded piece made another round of testing in Felixdorf and in the mountains of Tyrol. After that, Moritz von Auffenberg, the Minister of War, placed an order for 24 of the new weapons. The mortar could fire two types of shell, a heavy armour-piercing shell with a delayed action fuse weighing 384 kg, and a lighter 287 kg shell fitted with an impact fuse. The light shell was capable of creating a crater 8 meters wide and 8 meters deep, as well as killing exposed infantry up to 400 m (440 yd) away. The mortar required a crew of 15 to 17, and could fire between 10 to 12 rounds an hour. After firing, it automatically returned to the horizontal loading position. In 1916, the M. 11 design was upgraded and the new M. 11/16 was produced - the difference was mainly that the firing platform had been modified to allow for a traverse of 360 degrees. Also in 1916, a new model was released, the M. 16, which had longer barrel (L/12) and longer range 12,300 metres (13,500 yd). Eight Mörsers were loaned to the German Army and they were first fired in action on the Western Front at the start of World War I. They were used in concert with the Krupp 42 cm howitzer ("Big Bertha") to destroy the rings of Belgian fortresses around Liege (Battle of Liège), Namur (Fortified Position of Namur) and Antwerp (Forts Koningshooikt, Kessel and Broechem). While the weapon was used on the Eastern, Italian and Serbian fronts until the end of the war, it was only used on the Western front at the beginning of the war. In 1915, ten howitzers were used in support of the Austro-Hungarian-German invasion of Serbia under the German General August von Mackensen. By the end of the war, 79 of the weapons of all three types were in service. Only 24 were destroyed. Between the two world wars, large numbers of mortars were in service in Yugoslavia (4 M.11 and 6 M.16), Romania, Italy (23 M.11, 16 M.11/16 and 16 M.16), Czechoslovakia (17 M.16) and Hungary (3 M.11 and 2 M.16). There were only two in Austria; one in the Arsenal, Army Museum in Vienna, the second as a training weapon in Innsbruck. In 1939, Germany seized all 17 pieces from Czechoslovakia and repaired the howitzer from the Arsenal Museum, designating them 30.5 cm Mörser (t). In 1941, they obtained five more weapons after the defeat of Yugoslavia and placed them into service as the 30.5 cm Mörser 638(j). They saw service against Poland, France and the Soviet Union in World War II, where they served with Heavy Artillery Battalions (schwere Artillerie-Abteilungen) 624, 641 and 815 as well as two Heavy Static Artillery Batteries (schwere Artillerie-Batterie bodenstandig) 230 and 779. The barrel was either monobloc or built-up. Some sources indicate that a third type - with loose liner - also existed. To soften recoil, a large slotted muzzle brake was fitted. The breechblock was of interrupted screw type, with forced extraction of cartridge during opening. A safety lock prevented opening of the breechblock before the shot; if there was a need to remove a shell, the lock had to be disabled. To assist loading when the barrel was set to high elevation angle, the breach was equipped with cartridge holding mechanism. The gun was fired by pulling a trigger cord. The Model This kit depicts a Skoda 30.5cm M.1916 as it was used in the siege of Sevastapol in 1942, but since information is sketchy I wouldnt have thought there would have been many changes since they were built in 1916. Contained in the top opening box, with a stylised photograph of the weapon being inspected on the front, are three sprues of sandy coloured styrene. The parts contained on the sprues are free of flash, moulding pips or other imperfections, and the moulded detail appears to be very good indeed. What ejection pin marks there are seem to be kept to be on inside of parts so there isnt much in the way of cleaning up once off the sprues. Takom have used slide mould technology very effectively in the production of the barrel parts allowing for a seamless build. Although there was a carriage designed for the guns, as seen on many of the museum exhibits, this unit is built as one with a fixed base, included in the kit. The build begins with the assembly of the breech block and the rear barrel block, which are then fitted to the trunnion block. The three parts to the barrel slide into each other like a telescope, with the completed unit slide into the trunnion block. The sliding breech is fitted with the release handle and pull handle before being slid into the breech block. The recupertor unit is assembled from upper and lower parts to which the front and rear parts are added, along with what looks like a valve at the front, the completed assembly is then fitted to the underside of the barrel assembly. The two ratchet arcs are also attached to the underside of the barrel and fitted with a spreader bar in between the two parts. The base is made up of a box with individual sides and the top, onto which the traversing ring is fitted. The right hand trunnion mount is fitted with an elevation axle mount, with associated support bracket and an additional strengthening beam. The mount is then attached to the traversing table. Before the left side is fitted the elevation wheel is attached to its support, whilst the hydraulic section of the elevation mechanism is assembled from five parts and the mechanical elevation guide is assembled from four parts. The two elevation ratchet wheels now assembled from two wheels and an axle. The ratchet wheels are then fitted with poly caps to allow the modeller to elevate the gun to their desired position. Each of these assemblies are then fitted to the trunnion mount, which is then fitted to the traversing mount with the elevation wheels and barrel assembly sandwiched between the two trunnions. Protective plates are fitted with ancillary parts before being attached to the front and rear of the trunnion plates. Lastly, the loading chute is assembled from seven parts and fitted to the rear of the gun mount completing the main part of the build. In addition to the gun and its mounting Takom have also included three shells, two long, (AP shells), and a shorter one which I presume is an HE shell, each assembled from two halves. One of the AP shells is fitted with a collar which is used to attach it to the shell handling trolley, also included and made up of eight parts. There is also a shell box to which a separate lid is affixed, allowing one of the three shells to be visible. All very useful if the model is to be built into a diorama. Conclusion This is a very unusual and quite obscure subject, yet still very welcome.I do have a fascination large calibre weapons, but have only seen ones the Germans designed in WW2, so its nice to have the chance to build something a little different and with the option of setting it into either a WW1 or WW2 scene. It would have been even nicer had Takom included a crew for it, so hopefully they will release a set in the future. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  17. Panzerhaubitz PzH2000 Self Propelled Howitzer 1:35 Meng The PzH2000 is Germany's self-propelled howitzer, and has some impressive stats at its disposal, especially the rate of fire, which in burst mode can fire up to three rounds in 9 seconds. Don't you just love the name "burst mode"? It is also accurate out beyond 40km, and has plenty of advanced features that allow it to land multiple rounds on a target at the same time by altering the trajectory of each subsequent round to shorten the flight time. The main gun is a 155mm unit designed and made by Rheinmetall, and is highly advanced with separate charge and shell ammunition allowing for tuning of the round in the barrel, all of which is done automatically by machinery. More esoteric rounds are in testing that could extend the effective range of the gun even further in excess of 60km, which will doubtless increase its appeal to potential users. The crew are well protected from counter-attack, even though the vehicles by their nature are usually some way behind friendly lines due to their long reach. In conflicts such as Afghanistan, where it first saw action with the Dutch, the boundaries of engagement aren't fixed, so additional armour has been added to the roof of the turret to protect it from mortar rounds. A few issues have been reported based on its use in Afghanistan, which will no doubt be dealt with in minor upgrades, such as heat and cold problems affecting the gun's operation at extremes of temperature. Almost 400 systems have been ordered so far, with most delivered and in operation, although a number have been mothballed due to budget constraints. The Kit For years all we've had in 1:35 is the ageing Revell offering, so when Meng announced that they were tooling a new kit of this beast, it sparked some interest amongst armour modellers. Meng are a firm favourite of mine, as they have high standards and produce good models, with this being no exception. The box is large, and it's not just to accommodate the barrel on the painting that adorns the top. Inside is packed with goodies, the weight of which is pleasant in the hand. Opening the box reveals another smaller carton taking up one corner and is full of track link parts, which should be fun to put together! A two-part hull and turret are separately bagged and moulded in mid-green styrene, and the nine main sprues are also moulded in that same colour. A strip of poly-caps are hidden away in the hull, plus another two larger ones for the gun's elevation mechanism, a small sprue of clear parts, two frets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass parts, a length of fuzz-free rope/string, a gigantic turned aluminium barrel in its own box, and a set of decals, plus of course the instruction booklet finishes off the package. Now you can see why the box is quite weighty. First impressions of Meng kits are usually good, and I'm not going to break with that tradition here, as we have a complete package that includes plenty of items that would be considered aftermarket by some manufacturers, all in the one box. Add top quality detail, plus an oversized A4 instruction booklet, and you're in business! If you're phobic about individual track links, you should perhaps consider therapy for that in advance, as these tracks aren't simple, but Meng have included a jig that will help you build them, as well as some ice-cleat parts, which my source tells me are placed on the outer edges of the tracks at intervals, to give your PzH traction in the winter, all of which are on a separate sprue in dark grey to match the hue of the main track sprues. Construction starts conventionally with the roadwheels, of which there are fourteen in pairs, with a poly-cap between them. The idler wheels are smaller versions of the roadwheels, and both they and the drive sprockets also have poly-caps between their paired wheels. It might seem an incidental thing to include them, but poly-caps are a godsend when building armour, as you can take wheels off at whim, which gives you leeway when assembling and fitting the tracks, as well as when painting them. The lower hull receives a gaggle of suspension mounts, bump stops and then the torsion beam units with moulded in swing-arms are slotted in through the holes into cups with the opposite sides of the hull. As usual, don't be too rough in testing the suspension, as styrene doesn't have a good fatigue life. The wheels and return rollers can be added at this point, but you'll have to cement the rollers in place, as they're too small for poly-caps. The lower hull is largely complete, save for the addition of the towing eyes on the lower glacis plate, and the rear bulkhead, which is separate from the main part. A further bulkhead is added at around half-way forward, which prevents excessive flex of the lower hull and stiffens up the build. Small parts are added to the rear bulkhead, and then a plethora of pioneer tools are strewn about the upper deck, plus a couple of PE mesh grilles on the top deck near the fire extinguisher. The driver's hatch is supplied with two clear periscopes, and is allowed to hinge freely if you're careful with the glue, as can the travel lock for the barrel, which is assembled and sited nearby. Light clusters and their protective cages are added at the front of the fenders, with a few variations possible for the remaining pioneer tools, such as the barrel cleaning rods, which may be shown absent or stowed. The tracks are individual link type in non-flexible styrene, and require a steady hand, as well as restraint with the glue, or you'll mess them up. Three parts make up each link, with an inner face and outer face locking together around the double track pins. There is a gluing surface between the two outer faces, plus two pins that fit very snugly together with a firm friction fit. A modicum of liquid glue, firm pressure and the handy little jig that Meng have thoughtfully provided should see you through most of it, although you will need to remove some of the flash from around the ejector pin marks hidden inside the two link faces, in order to make a firm join. Sprue gates are very fine and sensibly placed, and the whole system is similar to the set available from Bronco for the now redundant Revell kit that I have to find now before I can dispose of it. There are 98 links to each side, and as you can see from the picture, that means a lot of parts to remove from the sprues almost 600! Assuming you survive the track making process, the hull halves are fitted together, and the side skirts are added, as are the rear parts of the sponsons and their light clusters. You'll need either 125mm or 140mm of the string (not pictured) to build the towing cable, which is supplied with a pair of towing eyes for each end in styrene. These drape around the left side of the hull in one of two ways, depending on which decal option you are planning on using. Now for the barrel. It's a big piece at 23cm long, and has a narrow section in its mid-section to accommodate the styrene blast-bag, with the section behind fitting within the breech parts, leaving 10cm on display, to which you can either add a single part muzzle brake (a super bit of moulding), or a protective bag that has realistic looking fabric drape to protect the barrel from debris when not in use. You'll have tro scrape the seams on both parts, but that's not too tricky, as they have been placed top and bottom where shape isn't quite so critical. The mantlet also holds the smoke grenade dispensers, with four either side of the barrel on straight brackets. A poly-cap is secured in the roof, and two clear-vision panels are added to the sides of the turret before the mantlet is secured in place, and the gun's breech, replete with those big poly-caps I mentioned earlier, which lets the barrel elevate and remain in position, rather than requiring gluing to hold it in place. Additional armour is added to the "eaves" of the roof, with a louvered door and two solid doors glued to the front of the turret, plus a few other small parts here and there. The two crew hatches are built from two parts and then installed with a combined handgrip/hinge part that should allow them to open and close. A pair of aerial mounts and clear hazard lamp are added to the rear of the turret, although one decal option calls for the addition of a bracket to the right, and two alternative aerial bases are included too. The turret is then finished off by the addition of a stowage rack and mesh grille on the front, the commander's machine gun on a ring mount, and here you have a choice on FN MAG or MG3, the latter showing a family resemblance to the MG43 of WWII. A PE cover is fixed to the top of the curved barrel root along with a pair of substantial lifting-eyes, and a small sensor turret with protective bar finish off the upper, and the simple one-piece lower is added. Why it's left so late is a mystery, and I'd add it a soon as the barrel is in place to avoid damaging any of the small parts on the turret. The completed turret can then be put in place and twisted to lock it in place on the bayonet fitting moulded into the ring. Construction is complete! Markings Five decal options are included with the kit, although four of them sport identical three colour green/brown/black NATO camouflage patterning, which is handled at the outset of the four glossy colour pages at the back of the instruction booklet. The fifth option is a four colour Greek camouflage that adds sand to the mix and has different patterns for all the colours. From the box you can build one of the following: 131st Artillery Battalion German Federal Armed Forces 115th Panzer Artillery Battalion, German Federal Armed Forces School of Artillery, German Federal Armed Forces 14th Field Artillery Division, Royal Netherlands Army Hellenic Army, Greek National Day Parade, 2005 The decals are small but as they are printed by Cartograf and as you'd expect the quality is up to their usual standards of registration colour density and sharpness. Conclusion Another great kit from Meng, which includes lots of goodies on top of the excellent moulded in detail to make the kit a bit of a stunner, as they say in the tabloids. Individual links, metal barrel and two sheets of PE would cost you a few bob/euros/dollars in aftermarket, so it looks like great value at the relatively modest asking price it has been pegged at. Available soon in the UK from Creative Models Review sample courtesy of Thanks guys!
  18. Soviet ML-20 152mm Howitzer Mod 1937 Trumpeter 1:35 History The 152 mm howitzer-gun M1937 (ML-20), was a Soviet gun-howitzer. The gun was developed by the design bureau of the plant no 172, headed by F. F. Petrov, as a deep upgrade of the 152-mm gun M1910/34, in turn based on the 152-mm siege gun M1910, a pre-World War I design by Schneider. It was in production from 1937 to 1946. The ML-20 saw action in World War II, mainly as a corps / army level artillery piece of the Soviet Army. Captured guns were employed by Wehrmacht and the Finnish Army. Post World War II, the ML-20 saw combat in numerous conflicts during the mid to late twentieth century. The ML-20 was officially classified as howitzer-gun, i.e. an artillery system which combines characteristics of a howitzer and (to lesser extent) of a gun and therefore can be used in both roles. This universality was achieved by wide range of elevation angles and by using separate loading with 13 different propellant loads. The gun was fitted with both telescopic sight for direct fire and panoramic sight for an indirect one. For ballistic calculations and meteorological corrections a special mechanical device was developed. The device, called meteoballistic summator, consisted of a specialized slide rule and a pre-calculated table. After World War II similar devices were introduced for other types of guns. The barrel was either monobloc or built-up. Some sources indicate that a third type - with loose liner - also existed. To soften recoil, a large slotted muzzle brake was fitted. The breechblock was of interrupted screw type, with forced extraction of cartridge during opening. A safety lock prevented opening of the breechblock before the shot; if there was a need to remove a shell, the lock had to be disabled. To assist loading when the barrel was set to high elevation angle, the breach was equipped with cartridge holding mechanism. The gun was fired by pulling a trigger cord. The carriage was of split trail type; with shield and balancing mechanism, leaf spring suspension and steel wheels with rubber tyres. During transportation the barrel was usually retracted. The gun could also be towed with the barrel in its normal position, but in this case the transportation speed was limited, about 4–5 km/h (compared to 20 km/h with barrel pulled back). The gun could be set up for combat in 8–10 minutes. The Model The kit comes in Trumpeters standard top opening, and quite attractive box, with an artistic representation of the gun in action. Inside there are nine sprues of beige coloured styrene, almost the colour of a Caramac candy bar. There is also a set of six rubber tyres, two small etch sheets and a turned aluminium barrel. The parts are really well moulded with no flash and only a few moulding pips needing removal. Although not to everyones taste, the rubber tyres are nicely done with finely moulded details on both the tread and the sidewalls. The build starts with the wheels, doubled up each side consisting of the hubs rims and rubber tyres. These attach to the axel assembly which in turn is attached to the central traversing section along with the central leaf spring. The two trails are made up of four parts making up a box construction onto which the trail hinge points are attached, as are the barrel cleaning rods on one trail and numerous ancillary parts along with the spade plates in either the travel or combat modes. The completed trails are then fitted to the wheel traversing assembly by long pins allowing them to be opened and closed depending on which scenario the gun is to be built in. Moving onto the gun itself, the elevating mechanism, trunnion plates and gun traversing socket are built up and fitted out with the various sights, control wheels and mechanisms. To this assembly the shield is attached and fitted out with various photo etched parts, cases and attachment bars. The gun is built up of the three part breech block, two part rear barrel assembly, to which the aluminium barrel is fitted; the two part muzzle brake is attached to the muzzle of the gun. The next assembly is the slide, built up of three parts, which, once built up, the trunnion fixture is added along with the ratchet mechanism, recuperating slide and the connecting fixtures for the elevation spring housings. Once the gun assembly is complete it is then fitted to the wheel/trail assembly, thus completing the main part of the build. The rest of the build is the construction of the rear trail transport assembly, made up of two smaller wheels, consisting of the hubs, rims and tyres. The axel and associated leaf springs are fitted to the trailer which is also fitted with the towing arm and spring assembly, and rotating transport pin assembly. If the howitzer is to be displayed in transport mode the trailer is attached to a socket fitted between the two trails with the slide locked with two shackles and the gun, in it’s maximum recoil position is locked in place with a large bar fitted between the top of the breech and a hinge point between the trail spades. If it is to be displayed in the firing position, then the trails are spread with two spade spikes per side driven through the spades into the earth. The trailer would be situated to one side of the gun, or near the required towing vehicle, such as a ChTZ 65, Komintern or Voroshiloverts heavy tractors. Etch In addition to the plastic parts there are two small etched sheets, which provide items such as the elevation spring housing outer plates, shield supports, various brackets and handles, strapping, shield view port covers and a tread plate. Conclusion I just love these big Russian guns from Trumpeter and this one is just great. There is plenty of detail and from the quick bit of research it looks pretty accurate. Whether it’s used in firing or travel mode this will look great with one of their tractors in a diorama. The only disappointment is that the gun crew aren’t included, although I’m sure Trumpeter will release a separate set of troops. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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