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M12 Gun Motor Carriage 1:35 Airfix A1372


Julien
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M12 Gun Motor Carriage

1:35 Airfix A1372

 

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The M12 was born out of the need for mobile artillery for WWII.  The design was originally rejected by the Army but 100 were built after the Artillery board supported the Ordnance department.  The M12 was based on the M3 Lee chassis. However the engine had to be moved to mid chassis to accommodate the 155mm gun.  The armoured front was kept which enclosed the driver and commander, however the rest of the crew had to ride on the open back or on support vehicles.  Due to the size of the vehicle only 10 rounds of ammunition could be carried, the rest were carried in a M30 Cargo Carrier. Despite originally being used only for training 74 were overhauled and sent to Northern Europe. Here they were nicknamed "King Kong" due to the large calibre of the gun. Another nickname they picked up was that of "Door knockers" when they used the gun in the direct fire role against fortified positions. It was found the gun was successfully able to penetrate several feet of reinforced concrete. 

 

 

 

 

The Kit

The  kit is a re-boxing of Academy's new tool kit from 2000.   Construction starts with the suspension and drive units. 12 road wheels, two idler wheels and the two drive sprockets are built up. The road wheels are then paired up onto three bogies each side of the lower hull. with the drive sprockets going onto the transmission housings at the front. Work then moves into the main hull. The transmission housing goes onto the front floor plate with the drivers seat and controls going into the left, and the commander seat on the right. The rear bulkhead to the central engine bay then goes in. At the rear the bulkhead to the other side of the engine bay goes in along with the rear floor pate, and the rear cut down bulkhead, 

 

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We now move to the upper hull, the drivers instrument panel goes in, and the front hatches go on. The upper hull can then be fitted to the lower hull and the front round hull plating and its stiffening bars added. Lights and various hull fittings, tools; and the gun travelling mount can then go on, along with the rubber tracks. At the rear the dozer stabilising blade is built up and added, along with the rear mud guards. 

 

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Construction now moves to the rear compartment. The open seats for the gun crew go in as well as the few ready use rounds carried in the rear. The carriage and mount for the 155mm gun are then built up and the barrel can be installed on it. 

 

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Decals

The small decal sheet is from Cartograf so should post no issues, it has options for two guns;

 

  • "The Persuader", B Battery, 557th Armoured Field Artillery Battalion. US 9th Army, Linnich, Germany 1945.
  • "Choo-Choo-Bam", C Battery, 557th Armoured Field Artillery Battalion. US 9th Army, Echternach, Luxembourg, 1945.

 

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Conclusion

This is great kit of a weapons system that while not deployed in great numbers did have bearing on the final stages of the assault on Germany.  Recommended for those who want something different from the normal kits. 

 

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Review sample courtesy of 

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