Trumpeter 1/35 ML-20 152mm Howitzer (mod 1937)
KIT #: 02323
PRICE: $51.99 SRP
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The 152 mm howitzer-gun M1937 (ML-20) (Russian:152-мм гаубица-пушка обр. 1937 г. (МЛ-20)), was a Soviet gun-howitzer. The gun was developed by the design bureau of the plant no 172, headed by F. F. Petrov, as a deep upgrade of the 152-mm gun M1910/34, in turn based on the 152-mm siege gun M1910, a pre-World War I design by Schneider. It was in production from 1937 to 1946. The ML-20 saw action in World War II, mainly as a corps / army level artillery piece of the Soviet Army. Captured guns were employed by Wehrmacht and the Finnish Army. Post World War II, the ML-20 saw combat in numerous conflicts during the mid to late twentieth century.


Trumpeter likes to use tan plastic on many of its armor kits and so it is with this one. As usual, the sprues are well packaged, most of them being separately bagged with delicate bits wrapped with foam wrap. The kit includes a nicely done metal gun barrel as well as six rubber tires. There are dualies for the main carriage and smaller ones to hold up the trails when in the travel position. Two frets of photo etch are included as well with most of these bits being detail. As you would expect, this is a very detailed piece so it is rather parts intensive, many of them being quite small. 

The kit is designed to be built in either the 'battle' or 'travel' mode and there are some rather major differences in how the kit is built depending on your choice. The trails are designed to be able to be moved side to side and the gun itself is designed to be able to be elevated. In fact, the bits that hold the trails together for the travel mode, are simply snapped in place. However, it sure does not seem like it would be an easy task to model the gun to move from one mode to the other as things like the trail spikes are to be cemented to the sides of the trails for travel mode and there is a brace to keep the gun barrel in place during transport. I also found it interesting that the muzzle brake is plastic, instead of being part of the aluminum barrel. For those who wish, a plastic barrel section is also provided. Truth is that most of us will pick one mode or the other and leave it there.

Instructions are typical of Trumpeter kits in that the drawings are superbly done; crisply and clearly drawn with several drawings showing the completed piece to help ensure that one has all the bits in place. No decals supplied nor needed. This gun is in your standard Soviet Army Green though I am sure there were field camo schemes used from time to time. A full color painting guide is supplied. I found it interesting that the painting guide shows one painting the black rubber tires black.


Those into the 'queen of battle' will absolutely need to add this one to their collection. It is a well done kit and one that will turn into a superb model.


November 2012

Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. You can find this one at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.

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