by: Ted Hayward [ ]
Following the release of their superb German siG 33 15cm gun (AF35148), AFV Club uses the latest moulding technology to model one of the most widely-used WW2 Allied artillery piece, the US 105mm Howitzer.
This latest release from our friends at AFV Club consists of 6 sprues, plus an aluminum barrel with partial rifling, 1 sprue of brass PE parts, 1 sprue of PE data plates, and synthetic rubber tires with raised lettering. The 15-step instruction manual gives some hint to the complexity and exhaustive detailing of this kit: this is not a simple kit, though slightly less work than the siG 33.
a few notes
One of the more unexpected features of this release is the inclusion of an optional Browning .50 caliber ranging machine gun –one of the nicest I’ve seen in a recent kit, and with a hollow muzzle. The fret of brass PE parts includes chains, gussets and two wrenches. A separate fret includes tiny metal data plates.
A highlight of this kit is the one-piece gun cradle: finally, no need to hide the ever-present seam, as in every other model gun I’ve ever built! Another innovative feature is the use of styrene, rather than metal, springs for the working recoil equibriliator.
As seen in AFV Club’s last gun kit, the German 15cm sIG 33, cutting edge moulding technology has allowed the replication of splinter shields in a scale thickness, or should I say, “thinness,” previously only possible in photo-etched metal.
Unlike so many other kits with working parts, all these movable features do not compromise the strength of the model. I have yet to uncover any obvious errors in the instruction manual. Careful examination, and a plan of action will be necessary before attempting the build. Among clever innovations in this kit is a jig thoughtfully included, to aid in the placement of the carriage –a helpful inclusion for a vital step. Other bits include 3 different towing hitches, to suit a variety of US tow vehicles.
As always, AFV Club delivers value for money, with plenty of detail and added metal “goodies.” All of this will be, as with all AFV Club kits, at an affordable price. And, as with their previous artillery kit, for less money than the DML counterpart.
Technical Manual TM 9-1325, 105mm Howitzers M2 and M2A1; Carriages M2A1 and M2A2; and Combat Vehicle Mounts M3 and M4. War Department, 1944.