history of this weapon is the same as noted when the first
105mm kit came out in May 2009.
WWI the US Army formed the Westerveldt Board to develop American weapons systems
for the US Army, as since it had not developed sufficient weapons on its own it
had to borrow or buy foreign systems for use in WW I. One of the first designs
which was proposed was what was then a medium field howitzer in 105mm caliber.
But due to a lack of money and other factors the weapon was not placed into production
until 1940; the good news was that in the interim it had been developed and received
several useful changes, such as the ability to handle unitary ammunition and employ
a split-trail pneumatic tire carriage for high-speed movement and high angle fire.
new weapon came into service as the M2A1 howitzer on the M2A2 carriage. Able to
throw a 33 pound projectile up to 12,500 yards, more than 8,500 were built during
WWII and production continued on into the 1950s. More than 10,200 were then completed,
and many were upgraded to the postwar M101A1 standard and served through Vietnam,
finally being retired by the Reserves in 1980 whenoddly enoughthe
Army bought the British L119 lightweight 105mm howitzer to replace it as the M119.
The 105" still serves with several foreign armies and has received
new barrels and other modifications in their service, so it is one of the longest
serving weapons in modern history.
is the second release of this kit as a separate towed howitzer but this time adds
a Marine Corps crew of fouractually it is set No. 6038, USMCIwo Jima
1945 with a new dedicated sprue bearing four arms and three 105mm rounds.
105 itself is a Smart Kit and has features such as the entire center
section of the howitzer molded in one piece (recoil and recuperator sections and
barrel tube) by the use of slide molding. The gun is completed with a turned aluminum
muzzle section with rifling and a four-piece breech block.
cradle comes in four main parts with the outside sections and slots for the howitzer
to travel in as separate parts. A goodly amount of attention has been paid to
the elevating and traversing section gears and also the sights. The gunshield
is in styrene and has both of the supplemental flaps installed in the erect position;
however, many WWII photos show the left section folded down. As this is the WWII
version, the gun shield top is swept back and not vertical as with many of the
M101A1 versions used postwar.
lower carriage includes a choice of brake drums (but no indications as to which
ones or why other than there are two sets. Note that part C27the lunetteis
shown in the combat or firing position, and if the gun is displayed in towed position
it needs to be rotated 180 degrees to fit on the towing vehicle (such as a GMC
CCKW 353 truck). The trails are NOT moveable as the kit comes and you are only
given the option of towing (closed) or firing. Boo birds will be happy
to know that after all of the snarls over their halftracks DML did not mold the
tires with a bulge but perfectly round for this model.
noted the crew here is from a previous DML set and uses Gen1" figures
of six parts (head, torso, arms and legs) plus kit. They have the Marine Corps
style helmets with camouflage covers and also three K-Bar knives are provided
as part of the accessories. In this case it locks the gun into use only with Marine
Corps units in the Pacific from about mid 1943 to 1945. While the box art oddly
shows at least two of the crew fitted with some sort of boots or leggings, the
fact is that all four figures have unbloused utility trousers with shoes. The
four new arms now provide for serving the gun with more realistic poses than the
original combat ones. No weapons are provided, which for Marines could be wrong
based on photos.
assembly consists of photos of the stick here variety and copy
the box art painting directions.
small set of decals from Cartograf are provided and this time they include some
specific markings for the guns.
finishing options are offered: all appear to be for USMC units on Iwo Jima 1945,
but three are identified as US Army which seems wrong. The choices
are basically camouflaged or olive drab, with one weapon from the 3rd Artillery
Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, coming with a pin-up and the name GYRENE
GAL. Another OD weapon is named MISS FORTUNE.
summary, this compliments the first kit and now offers a choice for our Leatherneck
66 Four figures and basic kit from USMC - Iwo Jima set
6531 7 Four new arms,
3 x 105mm rounds
A 46 Howitzer and recoiling mechanism, detail parts (upper
B 25 Howitzer lower carriage, gun shields
C 33 Trails, wheels,
MA 1 Turned aluminum barrel section
to Freddie Leung for the review sample.