The 75mm Pack Howitzer was an excellent light weight artillery piece of its time, seeing service from the late 1920’s through to the 1960’s. Designed to be broken down into parts for transport by pack animals in rough terrain, this gun was a go anywhere artillery piece when needed. Its light weight also made the 75mm pack howitzer an ideal choice for air transportable artillery. The Americans often chose to parachute the various parts to troops where needed, the British preferring to transport by Horsa glider as a single unit ready for use. An excellent example of the 75mm Howitzer is on display at the Army Air Corps Museum at Middle Wallop and if you get the chance to visit you should do so.
This model is supplied in one of Bronco Models
smaller boxes. The box consists of a cardboard tray and card lid, the card will be susceptible to damage from rough handling by postal services. Inside the box you will find;
5 green sprues
3 grey sprues
2 loose wheels
A brass muzzle
A decal sheet
A photo etched fret
An instruction booklet
My initial look over the model leaves me with mixed feelings; the 75mm pack howitzer is clearly the Vision Models offering, as the company name is stamped into the sprues. I know that this model when first released was bashed due to flash and ejector pin marks, in the hands of Bronco Models
the flash is no more, unfortunately Bronco Models
has not been able to tackle the ejector pin marks. The gun portion of this offering also suffers from some quite large gates between the sprue and the moulded part on some areas, these areas will require care when removing the parts or damage to the moulding is likely to occur.
The carriage does appear to be a very good match for my reference pictures of the howitzer at Middle Wallop. Construction looks fairly straight forward except for some of the very small detail parts offered. The ejector pin marks I mentioned earlier should be mostly hidden on the carriage, but make sure you take care of any I have missed on the unassembled model. It is good practice to follow the adage ‘if in doubt fill the pin mark’. I will say that the spade looks to have been particularly well replicated.
It is the gun where i have the most concern about the ejector pin marks. Down one side of the barrel there are two ejector pin marks, one large one small and they will be in my opinion a pig to fill and sand. Fortunately the cradle and the iconic saddle of the 75mm pack howitzer are not affected by this issue. Also of note is the fact that there is a selection of ammunition supplied with the model and a selection of small arms in the form of:
Webley revolver in holster
Colt 45 in holster
There are three sets of wheels supplied with this product, two of the wheels sets have a road tread pattern tyres acceptable for the World War 2 period and supplied as both one piece and a 2 part offering, it is the two part offering that the instructions tell you to use. The box art depicts a gun with the rough terrain pattern tyres which I am familiar with on 25pdr guns. All of the images I have seen of the 75mm pack howitzer show road tyres in place, but I have not seen an image of the 75mm pack in action and it is guns in action that I believe would use the rough terrain tyre pattern. I cannot prove this to be a fact, but it is my belief.
The figures are Bronco Models
own work and an excellent job they have done. Anyone who has built one of the British Airborne kits that Bronco Models
has released, will I am sure attest to the excellent quality of the injection moulded figures. Uniform detail is very good, which with the bottom of the jackets being supplied as separate parts look very realistic. Crease detail is second only to resin figure detail when it comes to a realistic and natural look. Bronco Models
has even supplied the soles of the boots as separate parts where this area will be visible. The camouflaged helmets look very good and even have separate chin strap detail; no painting around them required. The facial and hand detail is of an especially high standard. Figure B is the only one of the five figures I do not like, this is not because there are any problems with it, but the stance does not fit well with a gun in action and the figure looks like someone who is bored rather than firing on the enemy. Another plus point with the figures is that Bronco Models
has supplied decals for them in the form of Para Wings and rank insignia.
The gun itself is a mix of highs and lows, with the biggest issue being the ejector pin marks on the barrel. None of the other ejector pin marks should present a major issue with the clean up, other than there being a fair number of them. The figures are the real stars of this release from Bronco Models
and I hope to see Bronco Models
release more dedicated figure sets as an area of the hobby in which they are becoming very good. If you put some work into the howitzer and your figure painting is reasonable, this model could make for a very nice small diorama or part thereof.
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