Long Tom Crew and Gun Hoist
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

Hobby Fan

The M59 "Long Tom" cannon is the post-WWII designation for the 155mm Gun M1 on M1carriage introduced in 1941.

It was served by an artillery crew of 14. This is the first of two four-figure sets from Hobby Fan that, while designed to accompany AFV Club's Long Tom, can be repurposed for other artillery pieces. In fact, due to the absence of web gear, they can be adapted for other settings, such as a Quartermasters unit unloading supplies or a graves registration detail.

Two soldiers are grasping the "gun hoist" (carrier) that holds the round for the gun, while the other two men stand ready with their ramrod.

The figures wear a mix of early and late uniforms that will place them in an autumn 1944 setting or later. The only additional gear is a lone canteen. You could add a few more canteens (and M1 carbines if these boys are near the front) to dress up your setting if you desire.

The sculpting of these figures offers an excellent level of detail. The only quibble is that they all have the same tall, thin body type. It would be nice to have a little more variety in height. There is virtually no clean-up necessary once the casting blocks have been removed from the figures. Hobby Fan has the practice of setting the mold plugs for the helmets on the bottom of the piece, rather than the top. That means you don't have to worry about an out-of-round helmet when removing the plug, but you have to take care separating it from the rim of the helmet. The intricately shaped carrier is cast, amazingly, as one piece. The ramrod is made up of plastic rod and a resin head. There was no shell provided with my set, even though the box art suggests it may be part of package.

This very fine set offers a modeler with a good imagination and decent reconfiguring skills that chance to explore options beyond a Long Tom emplacement. The carrier and ramrod are essentially the same type as used with other 155mm artillery; you could use these with Italeri's 155mm howitzer or Academy's M12 gun motor carriage.



Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII © 2002—2005 Timothy S. Streeter