Building the Italeri Late M7 Priest
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

105mm Howitzer

The howitzer goes together quite easily, save for numerous pin marks on the sleigh and arc assemblies. Some of these can be filled in easily, some not. Other things to pay attention to include making sure the outer faces of the two shield sections are flat along the edges (there's a bit of a flare along the edges), and seams are removed on the barrel, recuperator, and cradle (this took several attempts, even after the first coat of paint). Eduard supplies pieces to cap the ends of the recuperator, but make sure you have sanded down the end faces so the parts sit flush on them; some putty might be needed to blend the rims of the photoetch parts with the plastic. There also are metal parts to cover the seams on the rear trough of the cradle and on the breech plate. The shields need a pair of bolts added to their tops for the connection of the support arms.

The equilibrator beneath the cradle is a poor representation, with a couple of nasty pin marks smack into the sides of the spring that are virtually impossible to repair. The two rods on the top side are presented as a solid flat plate. I used the trusty Dremel and X-acto to open the area and shape the rods. The photos shows the Italeri part on the left and the Academy version on the right. They share the identical problem and were cleaned up in the same maner.

It's worth noting that this howitzer fits perfectly on the Academy kit supports for those modelers preferring the more crisply molded Italeri weapon over the Academy version. I decided to do that for my Priest set in action in Sicily, and reworked the breech to an open position. The Tankograd book provided the detailing guidance for the breech block and lever.

Suspension and Lower Hull

Driver's Compartment
Fighting Compartment
105mm Howitzer
Upper Hull Exterior
Final Assembly, Painting, and Weathering


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