second book I purchased when I got back into modeling in 1990 was The Verlinden
Way, Volume II. And that book developed in me a special appreciation for settings
with artillery as the main focus. Along with Verlinden's nice vignettes surrounding
Italeri's 105mm howitzer and Tamiya's white metal 75mm pack howitzer, there were
also a nebelwerfer, 25pdr field gun, and M30 mortaras well as Shep Paine's
classic '88 in the church rubble. Also featured were an Easy Eight and 105mm Sherman
built by R. De Craeker. These latter two scenes had dozens of spent cases and
empty ammo tubes and boxes scattered around. I was impressed by these dioramas
on two levels: there was this impressive evidence of the act of the waging war,
and these scenic elements were crafted by hand, before the rise of the aftermarket
industry we enjoy today. And these dioramas undoubtedly fueled my creative approach
to Mail Call for the Sons of Thor.
I was delighted when I heard Resicast was producing a set of 105mm ordnance, as
I've got a couple Italeri howitzers and Priests in my stash, as well as the Tamiya
105mm Sherman and the more recent Academy Priest. Unfortunately, the set falls
short, literally and figuratively.
roll call of items is impressive, beginning with four large collections of ordnance:
- 1 piece with 48 full fiber
- 1 piece
with 13 top-opening boxes
piece with 25+ empty fiber tubes
piece with 50+ empty cases
remaining pieces can be used to dress the firing area or give a more personalized
look to the large pieces:
piece with 5 M1 ready rounds on tarp
piece with 11 M1 ready rounds on two boards
high explosive M1 rounds with fuze
closed fiber tubes
empty fiber tubes
fiberboard tube end caps
closed top-opening boxes
open top-opening boxes
lids for top-opening boxes
Kurt Laughlin's summary
of 105mm howitzer rounds and packaging during WWII for the historical background
on this type of ammo. Kurt's
research revealed that the most common 105mm box used through the war was a long
end-opening box. Unfortunately, the Resicast boxes are based on a drawing of a
box style (shorter, top-opening, with latches) that could not be found in the
17 technical manuals or reports of the war period that were consulted. It may
be that this drawing is a post-WWII howitzer or gun ammunition box. But it does
not appear to be something used during WWII. One could attempt to make it look
more like the standard box by removing the latches from the ends. To create an
open end-opening box, one could saw off one end piece, and replace the lid on
the top of the box, and add thin straps made of paper of foil.
Resicast boxes are girdled with the metal straps slightly raised over the surface
of the wood. In actuality, channels were routed into the wood slats. However,
they are the only ones I've seen out of several competitors' sets (Verlinden,
Elefant, The Tank Workshop) that have the fasteners integrated with the straps.
The ropes handles are molded on the ends. The wood grain is subtle and included
on the interior walls of the empty boxes.
The Resicast fiberboard
tubes (and rounds), as also shorter than their real life counterparts. The the
tibes are attached to the carriers at one end, eliminating the detailing on the
this end cap; the other end cap has simplified detailing that does not give depth
to the indented radius, at least on the WWII era tubes I've seen. The open ends
of the empty tubes are hollow and appropriately thinnedunlike those from
Tiger Model Designs, which have the correct cap detailing but you must manually
drill out the opened tubes. It's a compromise of the casting process, the third
option being to run the carrier along the length of the tube, but the modeler
risks scraping the tube out of round while removing the carrier.
pieces are all well-cast without any flaws or excessive flash. The four large
pieces are cast atop ground surfaces formed over a base about 1/8" thick.
Given that most groundwork has some depth of a base of Celluclay or similar material,
it's merely a matter of evening off the bottom of the resin piece and setting
it into your ground material and blend it in with the modeled surface.
know from experience what a pain it is to amass and assemble piles of discarded
ordnance, so these large castings will be a real time-saver. If you're a stickler
for accuracy, you might be challenged trying to add the colored tape to the tubes
that are molded together. The stripes for the separate tubes can be painted or
wrapped with a suitably sized decal stripe that you might be able to find in the
railroad section of your hobby store.
for the boxes, as if in answer to a prayer Archer Fine Transfers has simultaneously
released a set of 105mm
Ammo Crate Stencils for the Resicast boxes. You'll need two of these to cover
the 17 boxes in the Resicast, however.
been waiting for nearly 20 years for this is the type of set. The downside, however,
is that research strongly suggests it is the wrong style of box for this era.
to Graham Sellar at Resicast for this review sample.