Welcome to the arty party.
Hello everyone, today I’m reviewing the M109 Howitzer box for Team Yankee. I’m using a pre-production version, so there may be some differences in the final released version, which I believe is available 20th February. A box contains the pieces to make 3 M109s, I’ve given the metal pieces a quick black wash, to help show the details in the picture and to aid me de-flashing them.
As you can see in the above photo you get several gun barrel options to make different versions, which as far as I know are not in use in any battlefront system…yet. I know that I need the longest one.
The resin hull and turret are nice and chunky,
I had to wash these very thoroughly with warm water and washing up liquid to get the release agent off, there’s still a few resin flakes kicking around, which I think I will attack with an old toothbrush – Edit, sorry guys this should have been removed as the models are pre production and the finished models are not sticky – Ben. The bottom of the hull where the track attach needs some attention as there’s lumps of resin that require cutting back, a job I hate doing as resin can be hard to cut and somehow always ends up flinging into my eye. The details are plentiful, crisp and neat; the overall structure is nice and square.
The barrels have the typical mould line running down their length on both sides, but it’s a simple enough job to file this off. It’s nice to see the muzzles have holes in them and I don’t need to drill them out (which is something I’d encourage you to do if you are not already).
The tracks are a familiar sight, but there are no notches on the back to ensure you glue them in the correct orientation to the resin hull, but they didn’t seem necessary (Edit – seems those notches would have been useful as I glued mine on backwards – Dave). Mine were nice and straight, and there’s no mould line, which is great as that’s usually a PITA to remove nicely. The tracks have varying degrees of flash behind the wheels, this doesn’t bother me as I tend to be heavy mud and crud around the wheels.
You get a minefield token for use with the special ammo you can purchase for 1 point in game.
In the production release you should get a unit card, not pictured here because I don’t have one.
I didn’t get any magnets, so will delve into my assorted collection to magnetise the turrets.
There are two options for the single hatch; open or closed. This has a mount for a .50cal, but I don’t have any spare .50cals to take advantage of that. Having subsequently built my M1 Abrams, I discovered you get a spare .50cal per sprue, so that solves that problem.
There was no commander sprue with this set, but I’m sure you’ll be swimming in spare commanders from your Abrams/M113s etc, so I hope you saved some for these bad boys. This could be because it was pre production.
Finally there’s some stabilizers (I think that’s what they are) to glue on to the rear.
On to construction.
A quick dry fit shows that the turret has a lot of wiggle room, it’s definitely the opposite of snug, so in my opinion magnets are essential.
As you can see here, I ended up using a fair few magnets and even with that amount the turret won’t stay on if I turn it upside down and give it a little wiggle.
The tracks were a little fiddly to attach, either the hull needed trimming or the tracks did. They’re not the best fit and I feel the need to fill in with some liquid putty to encourage them to stay put.
When I came to the attach the gun, I realised there are holes for gluing in magnets so you could hot swap the barrels. I’m not going to bother. I quickly found out that attaching the barrels is not an easy thing to achieve, I hope someone at battlefront can give us some tips. If I simply super glue them in, the barrels would end up completely horizontal, not pointing up nicely like they do in the pictures. I started to carve the rear of the barrel, but that was going nowhere fast. They are currently sat in a splodge of plastic putty, propped up by the hulls…I’ll have to see how that turns out.
I left the barrels overnight to allow the plastic putty to dry, they seem to have stuck well enough, but I didn’t get enough angle on them, which is a shame. I don’t know how I would have achieved this without the putty, please share if you figure out what I’m doing wrong as I’d like to know.
Then I moved on to the stabilizers. In the picture below the left hand one goes on no problem. The one on the right…argh. There’s not enough space between the hinges of the hatch and a little peg that I ended up chopping off. You can see it to the right of the hull.
Although there’s only a few pieces, these are not my favourite model to construct, but they look cool completed. I can understand battlefront not wishing to make these out of plastic, but I really wish they had.
I’ll pop some pics up when they are eventually painted and better yet used in anger on the battlefield.
Thanks for reading