AS90 155mm SPG in 1/76...
...a resin kit from Matador Models, previously a Cromwell Models kit
Another addition to the Matador Models range of 1/76 post-war models, and another model that was part of the Cromwell Models range of 1/76 kits which have been difficult to obtain at times, but now Matador have taken over part of their 1/76 range of kits, as Cromwell only make 1/72 models these days.
The AS90 (Artillery System for the Nineties) was built by Vickers Engineering, now part of Bae Systems. 179 were built and went into service starting in 1993. Fitted with a 155mm gun, it replaced the older Abbott in British Army service. A smaller number remain in service, about 113. It did see action in Iraq. There was a project to upgrade the gun to a longer barrel and using new ammunition from a South African munitions company, a version to be known as 'Braveheart'. When the ammunition failed to meet the necessary standards, the project was halted. Various upgrades on gun control and communications systems have been carried out but the gun itself remains the same as the original.
The kit is cast in polyurethane resin and is easy enough to clean up and assemble (using superglue). Two track units to fit to the hull, along with the driver's hatch and the gun crutch. Two crew hatches, a turret top mg, a hatch ring for the loaders hatch, gun rotor, barrel and a separate section with the recoil cover which has the characteristic sag of the real thing. There are also three shovels, which are mounted on the turret, two on the right hand side and one on the front left angle plate (as seen in the pictures below).
Nicely moulded, with clean, sharp edges and a fine level of detail. Once assembled, the resin benefits from a coat of primer before painting. This can be plain green, Green/Black disruptive camouflage or an overall sand.