155mm M109 G in 1/72...
...new from Revell
First introduced in 1963 with the US Army, the M109 self-propelled gun, armed with an M126 155mm howitzer. This early version is recognizable with the short barrel, double baffle muzzle brake and a large fume extractor immediately behind it. It saw service in Vietnam and was exported to a number of export customers, including the British Army and in the case of the kit, the West German Army.
Early this year I was told that Revell in the UK wanted to concentrate their attention on their aircraft models but having found this on sale now I think that is such a shame. Revell do some very nice small scale armour models and this one is no exception, that is so nice to finally see a small scale plastic kit of the M109. This one is specifically of the West German Army version but as the first stages of the instructions get you to remove a few small moulded-on details which hint that there will be another release as some point (possibly 2018) of the US Army version. The bulk of the model is common, though this West German army operated variant has smoke discharger racks on the turret sides and the machine gun fitted to the commander's cupola is the MG3, a post-war development of the wartime MG42, a weapon still in use, a good indicator of just how good that original design was.
The kit parts are moulded in a grey plastic and nicely done. The lower hull plate on my example did have some sinkage in the plastic on one side, but that is not difficult to fill. Moulded on detail throughout is nicely done, especially with the fittings on the turret roof. Tools are moulded on, though a large shovel is a separate part. The running gear is nicely done, with the outer road wheels having separate parts for the rubber 'tyres' which will make painting them much easier. The track is in the common Revell style, made up from various lengths of track, and smaller 2-link sections to fit around the drive sprockets and the idlers. One small detail I liked to see they have included is the flashing warning light on the turret, as this was, and is, a common addition to military vehicles when driving on public roads in Germany,
There are four options for colours and markings. The first three are all plain dark green in colour, with only the fourth choice featuring the three-colour pattern we are used to seeing on modern German army equipment. The 4 options are -
A. Artillerieschule, Idar-Oberstein in 1968.
B. 2./ Panzerartilleriebataillon 35 at Dedelstorf in 1970.
C. 2./Panzerartilliebataillon 315 at Wildeshausen in 1982.
D. 3./ Panzerartilleriebataillon 135 at Wetzlar in 1985.
Another very neat small scale armour kit from Revell and so good to see the M109 done in plastic at last.