Tuesday, September 15

Preview: Test shot build up: Semovente da 75/18 (w/full interior) from Italeri

We have been waiting for sprue shots for this, and now they are here we can show you a little more about the forthcoming new mould 35th scale Semovente da 75/18 from Italeri. Due in October - very soon we thought you might want to see more about it...

Preview: A new mould (w/full interior) Semovente da 75/18 from Italeri is on the way in October

From Italeri
Kit No #6569
1/35th scale
Photo-etched parts included
Full interior kit
Markings in Italian and German forces in the box.
Available in October
Italeri has a long-awaited Italian Icon of the battlefield coming our way in October - the new 35th scale Self-propelled M42 75/18 mm (commonly known as the Semovente da 75/18). We have a little on the real thing and the kit on the way from Italeri in our preview. 

First, the Semovente da 75/18 in history.

History of the Semovente da 75/18
Before the start of the Second World War, the Italian Royal Army expressed the need to have mechanized artillery units able to support the infantry and armoured units. The self-propelled 75/18 was developed on the hull of the medium tank "M", which proved to be the Italian armoured vehicle most feared by the allies during the conflict. In fact, thanks to its 75mm howitzer installed in the casemate, it proved to be an effective anti-tank weapon capable of annihilating even the most powerful and heavily armoured British and American tanks. In addition to its good firepower, far superior to that of the M-13 and M-14 tanks, the “Self-propelled” was appreciated for its low profile which made it more difficult to spot and its overall good running performance.
The Semovente da 75/18 is an Italian Self Propelled Gun developed in part on Germany’s successful use of the StuG III during the French campaign. The first prototype delivery occurred on 10 February 1941. Pleased with the results, the Regio Esercito ordered 60 units. Delivery occurred in 1941 and shipped to the Italian divisions in Libya by January 1942. 

Crews used spare track links to improve protection - this tank was no exception
In 1942, Ansaldo built 162  75/18 M41 units using an upgraded chassis. In 1943, the Semovente da 75/18 M42 began using the chassis and engine. Ansaldo built 190 units. The Semovente M41 da 75/18 can be distinguished from its predecessor by longer fenders. On the Semovente M40 da 75/18, they only covered the front part of the tracks.
The vehicle-mounted an obice da 75/18 mod. 34 field gun fixed in the superstructure. The front armour comprised of two 25 mm plates bolted together. Although mainly used as artillery, this Self Propelled Gun was quite effective against the U.S. built M3 Grant and M4 Sherman medium tanks utilized by the British Army. Although these machines were not widely known, the vehicle performed well in its role. 

Semovente da 75/18 during the North African Campaign, 1942.
Though it was technically similar to the StuG III, it had a totally different role, serving as divisional artillery instead of a pure assault gun. The organic structure consisted of two artillery groups for every armoured division, with two batteries each (four 75/18 each and a command vehicle). The total was of 18 75 mm L/18 (included two in reserve) and 9 command vehicles, which were characterized by additional radio equipment and a Breda 13.2 mm heavy machine gun mounted instead of the main gun. The number originally ordered, 60 total, was enough for the three armoured divisions.
These units were of good quality and respected in the campaign in North Africa. In an , the 75 mm EP (Effetto Pronto; Ready Effect, or HESH rounds), was capable of piercing 3.14 inches (80 mm) of armour plating at 500 m.

You can see the rounds on the top of this tank that was abandoned after becoming immobile
Indian troops inspect a captured Semovente in German markings in Forli, 30 January 1945.
Variant Differences
Semovente 75/18 M40: weighed 13.1 tons, a max speed of 20 mph (32 km/h). The powerplant is a V8 SPA 8 T M40, 11,140 cc with 125 hp. Maximum Range is 210 km. Armament includes an additional 6.5 mm Breda 30 MG.

Semovente 75/18 M41: weighed 13.5 tons and a max speed of 21 mph (34 km/h). The powerplant is a V8 SPA 15 T M41 11,140 cc with 145 hp. 6.5 mm Breda 30 MG  upgraded to 8 mm Breda 38 MG.

Semovente 75/18 M42: weighed 15 tons, max speed of 24 mph (38.4 km/h). The powerplant is an 8 cylinder SPA 15TB with 190 hp. Max Range is 200 km. Upgraded armour of 70 mm on front casemate, 45 mm on sides and 50-55 mm on the front nose.

Carro Comando: Command tanks lack the obice da 75/18 mod. 34 and have additional radio equipment.

Semovente da 75/18 M41 Specifications
Model Semovente da 75/18
Crew 3
Horizontal Traverse 40°
Vertical Traverse -12° to +22°
Rounds 44
Muzzle Velocity Approximately 450 m/s
Firing Range 9,500 m
This new-tooled kit from Italeri:

From Italeri
Kit No #6569
1/35th scale
Photo-etched parts included
Full interior kit
Markings in Italian and German forces in the box.
Available in October
A full interior kit, this new mould kit from Italeri is of course made in 1/35th scale, and features a surprisingly small amount of sprues for a tank. We think there must be vinyl tracks as we cannot see any large track runs on the sprues.
 It looks like a posable suspension and three figures of crewmen (Italians) are included in the kit. Spare Jerry cans are included in the kit also.
 We are struggling to find the internal parts of this kit - but it IS there - in the form of crewman seats, controls and other smaller parts harder to see.
 As well as these sprues you also have a photo-etched sheet with scale-thinness parts to add to the tank.
Test Kit Build Up:
We have some pictures of the final test kit - both inside and out for you. You can see the interior of the kit here in this spot pretty well. The open turret top lends itself to this full interior kit quite nicely as you can see with he tank's turret off.
The tank in profile, This time with the turret on, again with the turret roof opened and the front hatches propped open 
Unfortunately, this tank has a vinyl track which will put some off, but some might just want a quick build. There are some tools and photo-etch included to enhance the look of the tank, however.
This kit will be available from Italeri directly in October from their website or from their distributors worldwide