Thursday, 13 April 2017

Trumpeter AS-90

The AS-90

The AS-90 is build as a replacement of the M109 howitzer (also) used by the British army until the 90's. With it's 45 tons it is much heavier then the 23-ton M109 but considerably lighter then the 60 ton PZH2000. The gun has many automatic features to get the shells on target but is less advanced as the PZH2000. Almost 180 vehicles have been build for the British army and 120 turrets are being build for the Polish Army. These will be mated to a K9 Thunder chassis ad hull build in Korea.

The Trumpeter model

In cooperation with Pit Road Trumpeter produced a model of the AS-90 (Kit. No. 07221)and it is the only one available in 1/72. It is a model with a medium part count and is one of Trumpeters earlier releases. There are some impressive large slide molded parts in the box such as the turret, upper and lower hull. These parts do have mold seams running over the in 'unconventional' places due the to way the slide mold is build up. The mold seams are not very prominent so take a good look when sanding the turret clean. The towing cables are provided as lengths of wire. The tracks are link 7 length but they are slightly to wide to fit in the drive sprocket and hull so I ended up bending the long upper and lower parts around all wheels like the tracks of Revell's Leopard II A6 are intended to be used. A part you might want to a just is the rack on the top of the turret which has a solid engraved filling where there is mesh in reality. This can't be molded in plastic and I covered it up with a piece of cloth on my model. All hatches can be made open but the crewmen featured on the box are not included. The AS-90 has been painted in a ocker-green, all ocker, all green and black-green camouflage so there is quite some choice for colors. On to the photo's, the inside of the AS-90 is large and the plastic inside can't be seen usually but it is see-able on the photo due to the camera flash.

This model is nice to build but the difficulty with the tracks don't make it a model you should build as a first model.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

A small preview of the FV-4005 Stage II 183mm JS tank killer

Here a small preview of one of ACE newest releases, the FV-4005 Stage II 183mm JS tank killer. This is the model of an experimental British tank destroyer developed during the 1950's. It was developed to counter the heavy JS-series tanks developed by the Soviet union. It consisted out of a massive 183 mm AT canon mounted in basically a pillbox on a centurion tank hull with earthspade added to the back, probably to withstand the recoil.

Ace released a model of this experiment. The hull is equal to the hull of the Centrurion Mk. III released in 2016 but the turret parts are new. As with all new ACE releases this model comes on sprues with parts numbers on them, greatly simplifying the task of finding the parts on the sprues. A small fret of photo-etched parts is also included, mainly for the structural ribs which are externally mounted on this vehicle. The detail on the parts is a bit soft compared to other brands. There is a lot less flash on the parts compared to earlier releases. The model has about 150 parts so it is not really suited for beginners. The tracks are a two piece vinyl affair which is not my favorite but they will do.

Photo's of the new parts

The instructions with the new parts:

The first sprue with new parts:

The second sprue and photo etched parts: