Self-Propelled Howitzer IDF M109 Doher / Rochev
Kinetic, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Brett Green
The Rochev is the name for the M109 self-propelled howitzer entering Israeli service in the early 1970s.
The Doher is an upgrade based on the M109A5 self-propelled howitzer. It was used in limited numbers and is currently the subject of a replacement programme.
All types share the same hull, turret, barrel, engine & transmission. Most of the improvements to the Doher are internal and can't be seen from the outside: Inertial Navigating System (INS), air filtering system, and some changes in the driver's panel & cabin and NBC protection added.
The external, visual differences are:
List of differences were found on www.israeli-wepons.com
F i r s t L o o k
Kinetic has followed up its mid-2012 US M109A2 release with this Israeli variant that may be built as the Doher of Rochev variants.
Kinetic’s new 1:35 scale Israeli M109 comprises approximately 328 parts in pale grey coloured plastic. Bucking the trend somewhat, There are no multimedia parts in this kit. Kinetic seems determined to keep the building process as simple and straightforward as possible while retaining a decent level of detail.
Kinetic’s plastic parts are presented in a grey colour and are mainly free from moulding flaws. Some of the smaller parts have a little flash to clean up though.
The level of overall detail is good.
Alternative parts are supplied to allow either the Doher or Rochev variants to be built.
Construction commences with a nice looking mantlet followed by the turret assembly. This is quite a busy area with stowage boxes, tools and a .50 cal heavy machine gun. The tools and .50 cal are not really up to the standard of the rest of the kit and will best be replaced with aftermarket items or parts from the spares box. The rear stowage baskets are a bit chunky but should look acceptable when assembled.
There is no interior but hatches are supplied as separate parts. I am sure that it is only a matter of time until some enterprising resin manufacturer decides to fill this large space for all those superdetailers out there.
Two generous photo-etched frets are supplied.
These contain mesh for the big stowage bins and many other details.
The big 155mm barrel is split into two horizontal halves, with alternative muzzle brakes being supplied as an additional two parts each.
Suspension arms are separate parts (rejoice, diorama builders), while the road wheels are cleverly designed to enclose the wheel between the tyre halves. This should make painting easier.
Link and length tracks are supplied in black plastic – long straight sections for each top and bottom run; and individual links and connectors for the front and rear curved sections. The tracks are generally good, but the track pins are poorly represented on the edges of the track connectors on the long runs.
Markings are provided for four Israeli vehicles – two Doher and two Rochev versions.
The decal sheet does not contain any credits for design and printing but registration and printing are perfect.
C o n c l u s i o n
Kinetic’s 1:35 scale Israeli M109 Doher / Rochev looks to be a straightforward build and at USD$35.99 it is less than a half the price compared to its AFV Club competition.
The moulding quality is good, and it is nice to have solid plastic link and length tracks.
The main shortcomings – the tools, .50 cal and the side track connector detail – will be pretty easy to replace or correct if they bother you, but will be quite functional if they do not.
Thanks to Lucky Model for the sample.
Text and Images by Brett Green