Border 1/35 IJA 28cm Howitzer

KIT #: BT-030
PRICE: $28.90 delivered.
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Ordered from China. Took only 10 days to arrive.


The 28 cm Howitzer L/10 was designed in 1884 by the British Armstrong company. Armstrong had an Italian subsidiary which produced guns for the Italian Navy and Major Pompeo Grillo, a heavy artillery specialist was hired in April 1884 to help the construction of artillery at a new plant in Osaka. The description from Brassey's Naval Annual of 1892 reads "The howitzer was a 28-cm rifled breech-loader of cast iron, 9 calibres long made at Osaka, from the designs of guns made for the Italians by Sir W.G. Armstrong". The Italians produced the design in a number of different lengths and they were designated by their diameter and length in calibers 280/9, 280/10, 280/11, and 280/16. Some 220 pieces were manufactured by the Osaka Artillery Arsenal for Japanese coastal defence. It was mounted on a turntable which was fixed to a steel firing platform. It required two to four days to emplace for firing. An ammunition crane was fixed to the carriage for ease of loading. The howitzer entered service in 1892 and was installed in shore batteries in forts overlooking Tokyo Bay and Osaka Bay, and had been intended for anti-ship operations. However it saw use as a siege gun during the Russo-Japanese War due to a lack of heavy siege guns.


This recently released kit consists of three sprues. While there are a fair number of parts, the kit is actually fairly simple. The largest piece is the turntable on which the finished kit will be set. The most  complex construct will be the gun mount itself. It contains part of the gearwork that allows the gun to be moved in azimuth.

Once the barrel assembly is done, it is attached to the upper mount and again, there is gearing to be installed to allow the barrel to be moved in elevation. On the large mount there is a large table on which one then attaches the mechanism that is used to hoist then load the shells. You are provided several shells along with the small trailers that are used to move them to the gun.

Instructions are very well done. Painting this will be easy as the guns and turntable were painted black. Most of us will use a very dark grey instead. No decals are provided as the real deal didn't have any painted on markings.


Those of us who like large guns will be quite pleased with this one. Though a large caliber, the overall completed model will not overwhelm your display shelf.


November 2023

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