by: Kevin Brant [ ]
The 10.5cm leichte FeldHaubitze was the standard divisional light artillery gun used by the German Army during World War 2. The gun was designed and built by Rheinmetall in the late 1920’s entering service with the Wehrmacht in the mid-1930’s. In 1942 regimental requirements needed a light gun, thus modifications to mounted the leFH 18M gun onto the PaK40 carriage where done. This modification also changed the muzzle brake, providing a shorter recoil.
The kit is stated to be newly tooled from Dragon Models and includes a five figure crew.
8 plastic sprues
1 small sprue of clear plastic
1 small fret of photo-etched parts
1 instruction book
While this new kit from Dragon Models is stated to be newly tooled, a first look at the sprues show that most of the sprues do come from older kits, for example the carriage is marked “PAK 40” and the gun sprue is marked for the “G.W. Pz.Kpfw III/IV” kit. Having not personally seen the other kits, I must say the moldings of the parts looks very good. If any of the parts are retooled, I am not sure which ones. The kit is molded in the typical grey plastic from Dragon Models and from what I see, there is no flash and no ejector marks that will show after assembly. The moldings do show some great looking and crisp detail.
Looking at the gun itself, the molding of the shield is well done with nice looking surface details, and it is thin. The gun barrel is one piece, slide molded for a hollow barrel end. But the muzzle brake will need to be assembled. And the barrel assembly is where it construction begins, to include the breech assembly.
Construction then moves on to the shield and gun mounts. There are some very nicely detailed parts here, and care will be needed not to break some of the finer parts. Final construction should prove to be good looking elevation gears and mounts. Included in the kit are some clear plastic parts for the sights, and a little creative masking will be needed if you intend to keep the ends clear.
After the gun cradle is complete, assembly moves onto the carriage. As mentioned before, the sprue and parts are very familiar to the PaK40 kit, and it does look well detailed as well. The arms can be positioned in towing or firing position, with the inclusion of the crew, firing position looks to be optimal.
With the two sub-assemblies complete, you can now mate the gun cradle with the carriage. Unfortunately Dragon Models did not include any photo-etched details for the gun assembly.
The kit does include five Dragon Models figures to represent the crew of the gun while operational. The figures look to be very well done, typical Dragon Models fashion. One nice bonus in the kit is a large sprue of German individual gear and weapons, some of it slide molded for hollow barrels. This will be a nice addition to your spares box. There is also a photo-etched sprues for gun slings.
A few draw backs, the kit does contain a few rounds of ammunition for the gun, but not nearly enough to display as a diorama out of the box, thus some aftermarket ammunition and boxes will be needed and as mentioned earlier there is no photo-etched parts for the gun.
The instructions are typical Dragon Models, and I recommend that you study them and dry fit often. They do look to be well organized, and include paint call outs. There is one paint scheme for a single gun from an unidentified unit is Western Europe 1944, and no markings.
Overall this looks to be a good kit from Dragon Models. Unfortunately, as stated to be newly tooled, the sprues show the parts from previous releases, and I am unable to determine what the new tooling is. The kit should build into a nice representation of the 10.5cm leFH/40 and with the figures, it is almost a diorama in a box. The lack of extra ammunition and photo-etched details is a slight draw back, but the inclusion of the large sprues of German personal gear is a plus. It is a great subject of a towed mid to late German field gun, and would be worth the building of the gun in firing operation. A very nice kit, and recommended for artillery fans.