Bronco 1/35 75mm Pack Howitzer M1A1 (British Airborne) and Crew

KIT #: CB 35173
PRICE: $44.00 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Five figures and photo etch 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 KIT

Earlier, Bronco offered this kit along with a jeep and trailer, but this time it is the gun and crew. Typical of a Bronco kit, the detailing is superb and the kit contains both a gun and its crew.

The howitzer actually takes up fewer sprues and parts numerically than the accompanying crew members so one could consider this to be a crew with gun. As you'd expect, much of the build is for the carrige itself and this one has the somewhat unusual folding trail that is pretty much a requirement for airborne  equipment or other artillery that can be broken down and transported. The kit can be built in such a manner that the trail can be foled if one so wishes. It also allows the howitzer to be elevated. The wheels are an inner slice with most of the tire and outer wheel cast in one piece.

All of the photo etch is designed for the gun  and includes a few rather small bits. You also will need to stretch a bit of sprue and trim a few bits as well, but that is all shown in the instructions. The figures are treated like pretty much any figure set I've seen from Bronco and others. You get full color illustrations of the completed and painted figures with little indicators showing what pieces go where. There are five figures included along with all their equipment. The decal sheet provides chevrons and jacket patches. 

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. Overall color of the gun looks to be US Olive Drab, but it could be British green drab

CONCLUSIONS

Bronco kits are not for those who do not consider themselves to be at least 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, the kit is perfect for those who just want a gun and crew.

REFERENCES

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

March 2015

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

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contactthe editor or see other details in the Note toContributors.

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