Dragon 1/35 sFH-18 Howitzer with limber
|KIT:||Dragon 1/35 sFH-18 Howitzer with limber|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Aluminum barrel and brass piston sections|
The 15 cm sFH 18 gun, nicknamed Immergrün ("Evergreen"), was the basic German heavy howitzer during the Second World War. It had a caliber of 149.1 mm and was based on the earlier, First World War-era design of the 15 cm sFH 13. "sFH" meant schwere Feld Haubitze (Heavy Field Howitzer).
It was the first artillery weapon ever equipped with rocket-assisted-projectile (RAP) ammunition to increase range.
The howitzer was also used in the self-propelled artillery piece Schwere Panzerhaubitze 18/1 (more commonly known as Hummel), which entered production in 1942.
Finland bought 48 sFH 18 howitzers from Germany in 1940 and designated them 150 H/40. Some of these guns have continued their life with the Finnish Defence Forces into the 21st century as 152 H 88-40. These guns were fitted with new 152 mm barrels and pneumatic tires along with other modifications. They are now being withdrawn from service.
I'm one of those people who likes towed artillery. Just something about a basic big gun that sparks my interest when compared to tanks and other armored vehicles. This is the first kit I am aware of (though I'm sure it has been done before) of the German sFH-18 150mm howitzer. Now many of you may not know the difference between a howitzer and standard field gun, but in a nutshell, the howitzer is designed for lobbing in shells rather than a straighter trajectory of the field gun. Not that a field gun can't lob as well, but the howitzer is designed for the higher angles usually needed.
As is the norm with new Dragon kits, the molding on this one is superlative. No molding glitches of any type and that includes unwanted ejector pin markings. The detail is crisp and fresh. and there are some of the more unusual soft vinyl pieces included for shell carrying cases and a pair of wheel mats to prevent the main wheels from sinking into the dirt/mud when firing the gun. There is also a superbly done aluminum barrel and a pair of brass sleeves for the working angle pistons.
An additional piece is a limber so that you can model this as it is ready to be towed if you so desire. Or you can have the limber set aside and the model in the ready to fire position. It is your choice and one you need to make during construction as you can't have it both ways. The gun can also be shown in the recoil position. Photo etch is also included for a name tag and for a couple of small parts. A variety of shell types and separate charges is also included. I'm sure there will be a figure set available for this soon. Instructions are well done with Gunze and Model Master paints. A small decal sheet with victory circles and a few stencils is also included. Painting guide is for five guns in either panzer grey or yellow. The box art would be an excellent painting reference.
I know that many of you are pleased to see this important howitzer finally done as a quality injection molded kit. Great for dioramas or to tow behind a truck or other similar vehicle.
Late Note: I've been informed by a few who have started to build this kit that the instructions are rife with errors in terms of part numbering and placement. Be careful.
My thanks go to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the review kit. You can find yours now at your favorite retailer or have them order it for you. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors. Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page