Roden 1/35 BL 8 inch Howitzer Mk.VI

KIT #: 813
PRICE: $13.00 'used'
DECALS: None required
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Small p.e. fret, vinyl treads


The BL 8-inch howitzer Marks VI, VII and VIII (6, 7 and 8) were a series of British artillery siege howitzers on mobile carriages of a new design introduced in World War I. They were designed by Vickers in Britain and produced by all four British artillery manufacturers, but mainly by Armstrong, and one American company. They were the equivalents of the German 21 cm Morser 16 and in British service were used similarly to the BL 9.2-inch howitzer, but were quicker to manufacture, and more mobile. They delivered a 200 lb shell to 12,300 yards. They had limited service in the British Army in World War II before being converted to the new 7.2-inch calibre. They also equipped a small number of Australian and Canadian batteries in World War I and by the US Army in that war. They were used in small numbers by other European armies.

Early problems of stability on very hard or soft ground became apparent with the Mk VI, leading to the recoil system not functioning correctly. A Commission went to France to investigate, and a special level "Vickers platform" was adopted, to which the wheels and trail were secured for accurate shooting. A major change in the line of shooting required the platform to be relaid. Setting up and adjusting the platform was labour-intensive.

The kit provides five fairly thick sprues plus the 'body' of the gun and the vinyl wheel treads. Molding is excellent and the kit appears to be fairly easy to build. There is a small p.e. fret that is basically placards.

Instructions start out having you assemble the two main wheels. This includes the wraparound tread. There is no indication as to what should be used to attach this. It could be that this is flexible styrene so one simply needs to experiment.

Then one builds up the gun and the recoil mechanism. The various azimuth and elevation wheels are included in this and it is also where your p.e. will be attached. With that done, the chassis for the gun is constructed.

Much of the rest of the build is to build up the caisson and the Vickers platform. This platform can be built either all folded up for transport or assembled in firing position.  These guns were towed around by Holt tractors or large trucks. I believe that Roden does one of these tractors

Instructions are well drawn and provide Vallejo paint references. There is also a parts layout diagram, but it is spread out over several pages and that's why I did not include one. There are no decals included as none are needed. You can either paint yours overall dark green or in a two color camouflage using olive and black.


If you are a fan of large howitzers like this, then this kit should be on your list.


October 2019

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