10.5 cm leFH18/40 w/Gun Crew
Dragon, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description||Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6795; 10.5 cm leFH18/40 w/Gun Crew|
|Media and Contents:||318 parts (305 in grey styrene, 10 etched brass, 3 clear styrene)|
|Price:||pre-order price US$36.99 via Dragon USA Online|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||Provides a nice centerpiece and details for an artillery diorama; well done gun and carriage|
|Disadvantages:||Nothing major noted|
|Recommendation:|| Highly Recommended for all German and “Redleg” fans
As WWII progressed the Germans had to increase production of nearly all of their war material, and one of the solutions/compromises they made was to combine items where it made sense and simplify parts and other supply problems. The 10.5 cm leFH18/40 was one of those, in which they combined the lower carriage and parts from the 7.5 cm PaK 40 antitank gun with the upper carriage and shields of the 10.5 cm leFH18 howitzer. This had two advantages: one, it simplified the supply of carriages as noted above; and two, it lightened the 10.5 cm by 600 kilograms which made it easier to manhandle in Russia.
However, when something looks too good to be true it usually is, and here the howitzer was too much for the lightweight antitank gun carriage. As a result it caused problems, and heavy weight or not the older howitzers were kept in service until the end of the war.
DML has made several versions of the 10.5 cm howitzer but nearly all of them have been as part of a self-propelled weapon. This time they have combined bits from the Gw III/IV Heuschreke kit with the PaK 40 carriage and the crew from the premium version of that kit to create a new towed piece. The box photo illustration still notes that “The trails may be stowed on the rear of the hull” which I do not think they meant to say!
The model is pretty straightforward and the barrel is a one-piece molding with a nine-piece breech that can be displayed open (although the directions do not indicate that) and comes with a three-piece muzzle brake. This has to go on after the gun shield (Substep L) is attached to the carriage. Note that the upper carriage simply sits on the lower carriage - no locking pins or rings are used to connect them.
The entire PaK 40 carriage less lower shields is used and two new spacers are provided to get the wheels from the i.SG. 33 to fit in the proper position.
The figures have been around for a while but are still good and useful as they cover generic gunner positions as commander, aimer, loader, and rammer (and one that sort of looks to be doing something important but I am not sure what!). Directions for them are simply B&W photos and no painting directions are provided (the box art simply shows the gun at rest).
There are no decals and finishing directions only indicate to paint the entire gun sand yellow for use on the Western Front in 1944. An Sd.Kfz. 7 is partially shown on the box art as a suggested towing vehicle.
Technical support is credited to Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Overall, DML has had a nice string of useful artillery pieces and this one fills in another niche.
6433 67 Five figures, basic kit
6433 10 Ten arms
A 53 PaK 40 - lower carriage, trails
D 2 s.IG.33 - wheels
L 11 10.5 cm - OVM, keepers, details
G 68 Generic German Kit - helmets, bread bags, canteens, gas mask canisters, etc.
K 64 leFH 18/40/2 (Sf) - upper carriage, howitzer, ammunition
K 3 Clear styrene
W 30 Generic German Weapons - Kar 98K, MG34, MG42, MP40, Gw 43, MP44
MA 10 Etched brass
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.