105mm Howitzer Ammunition
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

105mm Howitzer Ordnance: Comparison Review
of 1/35 Scale Sets

By Tim Streeter

Frankly, this comparison review is only as exact as my ability to align the various parts of the kits below against a metal 1/35-scale rule from Armor Research Company and observe their dimensions with my 52-year-old eyeballs. Your need for exactitude may vary. But this will give you an idea as to how much "in the ballpark" these products are.

Overall, the kits that are reviewed are problematic to one degree or another, with two exceptions. Based on the available historical information accumulated and reviewed by Kurt Laughlin, Verlinden produces the most accurately sized end-opening box, and Tiger Model Design's ammo tubes are spot-on. Other tubes tend to follow the lead of the boxes—a tad shorter or longer.

There are a numerous top-opening boxes, having either latches on both ends (Resicast) or pair of side hinges and single latch (Tank Workshop, Verlinden). We did not find these designs after reviewing 17 official U.S. Army technical manuals and documents from the WWII period. These latched versions may have been based on a common post-WWII design (the 105mm howitzer ammunition used today is essentially the same as that in 1940, as is the packaging). Some manufacturers may have confused 105mm howitzer and 105mm gun ammunition. If you want use these top-opening boxes for a WWII diorama, you might be safer in an earlier setting, such as North Africa (U.K. Priests) or Sicily/Italy (U.S. and UK Priests). I invite any manufacturers to contact me with reference information that could change our conclusions.

To my knowledge, no accurate short two-round boxes have been modeled. Verlinden includes a short box that is too long and too shallow for the WWII version. Again, it may be a post-war design.

Other products not on hand for review are also included for informational purposes. If anyone would like to provide the data or product samples, I can include comments on these kits.

In the end, an inch or two deviation on such accessories is not going to have as much of an impact on the quality of your project as your construction and finishing skills. But these comparisons may help steer you to products you are looking for, or help you avoid buying mismatching products.

U.S. 105mm Ammo Boxes
Elefant-JM Model (#35017)

  • 10 end-opening boxes, 35"x 13½" x 8½"

This is presumably a set of end-opening boxes, as there are no hinges, but no hardware on the end panels either. The box is a couple inches short of the actual size, and a tad too wide and tall. The three securing straps are raised slightly but do not have the clasps that hold the ends together. The ends of the boxes flare slightly from top to bottom, perhaps because of the molding process. The wood grain texture is very subtle. The package comes with a length of thin string to cut for the carrying handles. According to Marek Jentschke of Nordland Models, his business has picked up the Elefant product line and this set, which has been out of production for a time, will reappear again.

Shell Crates
Firestorm Models (0098)

  • 12 resin 105mm shell crates

Priest 105mm Ammunition, Crates, and Spent Ammo Cases

Resicast (#35.2295)

  • 1 piece with 48 full fiber tubes, each 29" x 4½"
  • 1 piece with 13 top-opening boxes, each 34" x 10½" x 9"
  • 1 piece with 25+ empty fiber tubes
  • 1 piece with 50+ empty cases
  • 1 piece with 5 M1 ready rounds on tarp
  • 1 piece with 11 M1 ready rounds on two boards
  • 7 high explosive M1 rounds with fuze, 30" x 4"
  • 7 closed fiber tubes, 29" x 4½"
  • 7 empty fiber tubes, 27" x 4½"
  • 7 fiberboard tube end caps, 6 ½" x 4½"
  • 13 empty cases, 13" x 4"
  • 4 closed top-opening boxes, 34" x 10½" x 9"
  • 6 open top-opening boxes, 34" x 10½" x 9"
  • 6 lids for top-opening boxes

The fiberboard tubes are attached to the carriers at one end, eliminating the detailing on the caps; the other molded end has simplified detailing that does not give depth to the indented radius. The open ends of the empty tubes are hollow and appropriately thinned, relieving the modeler from having to hollow them out as is necessary with the Tiger Model Design tubes. The downside is that the tubes are a couple inches short.

The other significant downside is that these boxes open from the top, have latches on both ends, and measure about 4" too short than the end-opening box. The boxes are girdled with the metal straps slightly raised. They are the only ones reviewed here that have the ends of the straps properly fastened. The ropes handles are molded in place. The wood grain is subtle and included on the interior of the empty boxes. (See the full review of the Resicast boxes for a suggestion on how to make them more resemble the end-opening boxes.)

The ammo rounds and empty casings are a tad short but well defined.

The large pieces are molded onto thick bases that may need to be ground away or set into your groundwork and blended into the surface.

The main advantage with this kit is that it will convincingly outfit your 105mm weapon of choice.

U.S. 105mm Ammunitions

Royal Models (0424)


Ammo rounds, empty cases, full and empty tubes, opened and closed top-opening boxes. From the photo, it appears that these boxes are a hybrid of features.


105mm Shell Cases
S.B. Scotia (SBS35-13)

  • 20 open fiberboard tubes

105mm Boxes Open End

The Tank Workshop (#1009)

  • 5 closed end-opening boxes, 43" x 13½" x 7½"
    (not including straps)
  • 5 open boxes without lids

These boxes measure out about 5" longer than the real end-opening box. The straps are raised, rather than inset. The closed boxes have a nut on the end to be opened, but there are no washers on either end.. The opened boxes have no detached lids. The ends have rope handles (which are "hanging" upward, as if just lifted). The wood grain is subtle.

Top Opening 105mm Boxes

The Tank Workshop (#1008)

  • 5 closed top-opening boxes, 38½" x 13½" x 7½" (not including cleats)
  • 5 open boxes
  • 5 detached lids

The measurements here come close to the first box packaging, but we're uncertain of the hardware accuracy: hinged on one side, with the clasp in the center of the opposite side. The ends have cleats for lifting and carrying rather than rope handles. The wood grain is subtle.

U.S. 105mm Ammo Packing Tubes
Tiger Model Designs (#353153)

  • 25 empty fiber packing tubes, 31" x 5"
  • 25 fiberboard tube end caps, 6" x 5"

Disclaimer: I assisted Joe Bakanovic on developing and researching these items, along with TMD's 105mm and 75mm fiber tubes. That said, these M39 tubes have considerable detailing missed by others, including the spiraling seam around the length of the tubes and the ridged metal end caps. The inclusion of the latter detail means that "open" ends of the tube pieces are the parts that attach to the carriers-thus requiring that they be drilled out to accomplish the realistic open-end look. That can be done with a hobby knife to some extent, but a motor tool is more useful. Watch your fingers!

U.S. M10 Ammo Trailer
Tiger Model Designs (#353002)

Designed to carry 44 rounds of 105mm ammo (as well as varying quantities of 75mm and 155mm ordnance), this trailer builds up into a neat accessory for a Priest or 105mm Sherman. The kit is for the more experienced modeler and builds up-with care-into a very nice model. Read full review here.

105mm Howitzer Ammo

Verlinden Productions (#093)

  • 1 end-opening box with recessed straps and separate end lid, 37" x 13" x 8"
  • 1 top-opening box with separate lid, 37" x 13" x 8"
  • 1 top-opening box with separate lid, 33" x 13" x 8"
  • 3 closed fiber tubes, 33" x 5"
  • 1 metal tube, 37½" x 6"
  • 3 high explosive M1 rounds, fuzed, 31½" x 4"
  • 2 high explosive M1 rounds, unfuzed, 31½" x 4"
  • 2 complete rounds, smoke shell M84, 30½" x 4"
  • 1 complete high explosive anti-tank round, 31" x 4"
  • 1 unidentified complete round, 32"
  • 1 high explosive M1 projectile, fuzed
  • 1 high explosive M1 projectile, unfuzed
  • 1 unidentified projectile, fuzed
  • 4 empty cases, 15" x 4"
  • 5 M54 fuzes
  • 1 unidentified fuze
  • 2 fiber tubes for fuzes
  • 1 case for zone charge for M3 howitzer round, 6½" x4"
  • 1 round empty case for zone charge for M3 howitzer round, 6½" x 4"
  • 1 fiber tube for zone charge for M3 howitzer round, 8" x 5"

The end-opening box is most accurate of those reviewed. It has hardware resembling a wing nut for opening, and the diamond washers on both end pieces. The recessed straps are nicely done but do not have the clasps that hold the ends together.

The ends of the top-opening boxes have latches; the lids have cleats. These boxes are the same size as the end-opening box, and about an inch shorter than the pre-war/postwar packing box.

The wood grain is overly exaggerated and simplified (several deeply scribed lines per board) and is included on the interior of the empty boxes. There is some molding distortion on the lids. All boxes have molded-in rope handles.

The ammo is correctly sized and has well-delineated features. This is the only resin set that includes some projectiles separated from the cases and the later M105 tubes that opened from either end, which enables one to portray the assembly of the rounds or adjustment of the powder charges. Also, this is the only kit that offers the unique metal canister used in the Pacific.

There quite a bit of grinding or sanding necessary to remove the boxes from the large, thick carrier. Some cleanup is necessary on the tips of the rounds.

As one of the earlier AFV accessory kits, it tries to cover a lot of ground, which is not always a good thing if you're trying to build for a specific locale. But it gives you a start at building up a bit of firepower for your diorama, provided you're willing to invest in several sets.

105 mm Shell Box Stencils
Archer Fine Transfers (AR35288)


This sheet provides enough markings for 10 boxes used by both US and Commonwealth 105mm howitzers. Suitable for Resicast sets 35.2294 and 35.2295. Illustrated instructions are included.

105mm Howitzer Ammo
Armorscale/Lion Marc (#A35-004)


This set provides a total of six rounds of turned aluminum: three standard high-explosive M60 shells, and three high-explosive anti-tank M67 shells. Brass cases are included for the six rounds and three extra empty cases.

Fiber Containers
Cloverleaf Bundles
Boxes and Markings
Metal Container
Common Rounds for Modelers
105mm Howitzer Ordnance: Comparison Review of 1/35 Scale Sets
105mm Howitzer Kits, Accessories, and Conversions


Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII © 2002—2009 Timothy S. Streeter