Friday, April 15

Preview: A newly-tooled 1/35th scale U.S. Army M110 howitzer 8 inch (203mm) M110 self-propelled howitzer from AFV Club

Long needed in the detail that you can almost bank on from AFV Club, the U.S. Army M110 howitzer 8 inch (203mm) M110 self-propelled howitzer in 1/35th scale is their latest newly-tooled kit. We look at the features of the kit and the real thing in our preview...

Preview: AFV Club's new M110 8 inch Short Barrelled SPG

U.S. Army M110 howitzer 8 inch (203mm) M110 self-propelled howitzer
From AFV Club
Number: AF35110
1/35th Scale
New tooled kit
Expected release in May
Price: $77 USD From Hobbylink Japan
The Subject: The Short Barrelled U.S. Army M110 howitzer 8 inch (203mm) M110 self-propelled howitzer:
The M110 is the original 203mm howitzer of the M110 family. The M110 uses the same hull as the M107 and is fitted with a short-barreled 203mm M2A2 howitzer. Most M110 have been converted to M110A2 standard. The M110 is a self-propelled howitzer of US origin. In the 1950'ss the US Army required new heavy artillery for long-range shelling and destruction of vital enemy positions. The new systems were to be mobile, be air-transportable, use common parts and be quick in and out of action. A self-propelled gun carriage would meet these requirements better than towed artillery. The Pacific Car and Foundry Company came up with a chassis that allowed for interchangeable 155mm, 175mm and 203mm cannon. Prototypes were developed as the T245, T235 and T236. After a series of tests and design changes the T235 was accepted for US service as the M107 and the T236 as the M110 in 1961.

From the Australian War Museum archives - Phuoc Tuy province, South Vietnam, 1971. Us army m110 8-inch self-propelled guns at fire support base 'Olsen' on route 1.
The M107 and M110 both use the same chassis. The tracked chassis is made out of steel. The driver is seated on the left with the engine to his right. The armament is fitted to a large turntable with a limited traverse. A large spade is fitted at the rear to stabilize the vehicle during operation. The M107 is fitted with the very long 175mm M113 gun, while the M110 is fitted with the short 203mm M2A2 gun. Later the M110A1 and A2 introduced a much longer 203mm gun. Besides the driver, the gun is operated by 12 other people. Of these 5 are carried on the weapon and the rest by the track M548 tracked cargo carrier, which also carries additional ammunition. Most M107 and M110 have been upgraded to the M110A2 standard.

8-inch self-propelled howitzer M110 of United States Army in the United States showing the rear spade in this stock footage grab.
The M110 with the short barrel M2A2 howitzer. This has a very limited 16.8 km range, requiring it to be close to the front line and operate within the reach of enemy artillery. The M110A2 has a much-improved range of up to 30 km. Due to the size and weight of their ammunition, both systems have a low rate of fire and require a lot of crew to operate the weapon.

Vietnam - Operation 'Jeb Stuart' The gun crew of Btry. 'B', 1st Bn, 83rd Arty. fire their 8-inches M110 SP Howitzer in support of other batteries during a fire mission.
During travelling and in the firing position all members of the crew except for the driver are out in the open. This means that they are not protected from direct fire, shell splinters and NBC threats. Compared to a towed gun of similar proportions the M107 and M110 are very quickly in and out of action. While being tracked vehicles they are also much more mobile than most towed artillery. Both models are fitted with the Detroit Diesel 8V71T 405 hp diesel engine.

"Assassin" from 39th Engineer Battalion, 101st Airborne Division’s 203mm (8 inches) M110 Self Propelled Howitzer at LZ Cindy(Tra Bong), NDP Wrong Hole (My Lai), QL-1 and Chu Lai base.
The main user of the M107 and M110 was the United States. Both models were actively used in Vietnam. The M110 also saw operational use with UK and US forces during the First Gulf War. The M107 and M110 were also widely exported, mainly to Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

German M110 during training, in the winter of 1970–1971

The new Kit from AFV Club
The newly-tooled kit from AFV club will have a lot of modellers ready to make their own big boom! The kit's features are notated on their promo photographs of this built and painted test kit...

The kit comes with a metal barrel - quite a big chunk of material! and the full elevation and depression of the gun can be replicated.
Internals are included, with the mechanism of the breach and the internal driver's station included in full detail.
The gun is replicated in fine detail, and speaking of workings, the full loading and feeding mechanism is included. The recoil spade can also be lowered into a firing position or in transport mode. 
The marking choices capture four versions of the gun, from the Vietnam war and in service in Europe...
This kit is going to be released probably early in May 2022.

You can find more about this kit on the AFV Club website...