Bronco 1/35 British Airborne 75mm Pack Howitzer and 1/4 Ton Truck with Trailer

KIT #: CB 35163
PRICE: $64.00 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Four figures and photo etch included included

HISTORY

The 75mm Pack Howitzer M1 (also known by its post-war designation M116) was designed in the United States in the 1920s to meet a need for an artillery piece that could be moved across difficult terrain. The gun and carriage was designed so that it could be broken down into several pieces to be carried by pack animals. The gun saw combat in the Second World War with the United States Army (primarily used by airborne units), with US Marine Corps, and was also supplied to foreign forces.

In addition to the pack / air portable configuration, the gun was mounted on a conventional carriage to serve as a field artillery piece. Derived vehicle mounted howitzers M2 and M3 were used in the 75mm HMC M8 and some LVT models. In addition, the M1 in its original version was mated to a number of other self-propelled carriages, though only one of those 75mm HMC T30 reached mass production.

836 were supplied to the British and the version in this kit has the single trail M8 carriage. The other part of this kit is the Jeep and I think just about everyone knows something about that vehicle.  

THE KIT

Here is another of Bronco's neat 'Jeep plus' kits. From what I've seen, Bronco has been doing more British Army subjects in this scale than most and this one has to be at least their fifth or sixth jeep kit. This is another British airborne boxing, but with a twist. In this case it is the US made 75mm pack howitzer. It is called a pack howitzer as it could be broken down and packed on mules, or in this case, packed into a glider, thanks to the folding trail.

 Typical of a Bronco kit, the detailing is superb and the kit contains a rather large number of parts for such a small model. This also includes several photo etch frets for use on the Jeep and the gun.

The jeep kit is not a curbside and comes with a nicely detailed flathead four banger. The one-piece chassis is where one will attach all the various suspension and driveline bits and pieces. This includes a full exhaust system. The steering can be built in three variations; straight ahead, left turn and right turn, each option having its own construction section.

The interior provides the usual seating for four and one can have the aft storage bins open or closed. One can also put shrouds over the headlights if one wishes. The windscreen can be built with the glass open or closed; the entire assembly can be posed down on the hood as well. Same for the hood, which has parts for open and closed. However, if using the hood mounted stores, this and the windscreen would be modeled down. In the front there is a standard bumper with a lot of brackets for guns and other stores.

In addition to the jeep, there is a nice trailer into or on top of which all sorts of bits can be stored. The new item to me is the howitzer. It is just as detailed as the rest of the kit and thanks to its design, can be either displayed towed or in firing position without having to change any parts. The kit also includes four figures to rid in the jeep.

Instructions are superbly done with some color to help you install bits and pieces. This will come in quite handy when doing the photo etch. Typical of Bronco kits, there are bolt heads on the sprue and you will have to cut several of these off and use them during the build. You'll also need to make a few modifications to things to get bits to fit. The instructions make these areas quite clear. There is a rather large decal sheet that will allow you to do several different vehicles from several different units. The painting and markings guide show two. There is a second decal sheet (not shown) that provides rank insignia for the riders.

CONCLUSIONS

Bronco kits are not for those who do not consider themselves to be intermediate modelers. They require a bit of effort and attention to detail compared to some other kits. However, the result is an exceptional model. In this case, you get several models in one and the added bonus of figures, making this a kit that you should seek out. 

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M116_howitzer

Novermber 2014

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com  for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.

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