Tuesday, 3 October 2017

A small preview of the Riich model M109A6

Never available as a 1/72 plastic model before but now there is with the release of Riich Models M109A6 'Paladin' howitzer. The M109A2 version is also available. The M109 howitzer was used from 1963 on wards. The chassis is made from aluminum and shares a lot of parts with the M113 APC and M108 light howitser which is basically a M109 with a 105 MM gun while the M109 has a 155 mm gun. All M108's where rebuild as M109's after insufficient performance during the vietnam war. The firing range of the first models was 18 km and they had a crew of 6. It weight of the vehicle is with 27,5 tons quite low. Being in service for over half a century means a lot of updates and changes to systems. Currently the most modern version in service is the M109A6 with a crew of only 4 and a firing range of 22 km. An A7 version is being developed sharing parts with the M2/3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and firing systems originally developed under other projects. The finishing of testing and starting of the production of the A7 version should start about now.

As said Riich model created a 1/72 model is the A2 (Kit No. 72001) and (Kit No. 72002) version. A model of the M922 Field Artillery Ammunition Support System (FAASV) is also planned (kit No. 72003). Revell will also release a G version this month. The pictures below are from the A6 version from Riich Model, click on the pictures for a lager version (Note that there are two of each sprue with the suspension and tracks, I just photo graphed two sides of the track sprue):

Riich Models have chosen a classical molding approach, so no slide molds and large parts with details on numerous surfaces but classical sprue's with a front and backside. There are about 100 parts on the hull and turret, suspension, wheels and tracks are 2 x 43 parts finally there are 8 photo etched parts. The detail is very good, tools are molded on the model which is not to every ones taste but I like it because as lose parts there are to fragile. The number of very small parts is limited but still they are there. At about € 21,00 it is more expensive then most other kits but what could be due to the photo etched parts. Riich Models certainly have created a gem of a kit with this release. Great to see the iconic M109 finally incarnate as 1/72 plastic model, after about 50 years it really was time. With a choice for both the A2 and A6 version you can build the most modern or most used version. One of the best features is the anti-skit relief on the front of the model and turret roof. this looks fantastic and is difficult to create yourself on this scale. The barrel is one piece except for the muzzle break faithfully reproducing the open structure of the muzzle break.

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