105mm Howitzer Ordnance: Comparison
of 1/35 Scale Sets
this comparison review is only as exact as my ability to align the various parts
of the kits below against a metal 1/35-scale rule from Armor Research Company
and observe their dimensions with my 52-year-old eyeballs. Your need for exactitude
may vary. But this will give you an idea as to how much "in the ballpark"
these products are.
the kits that are reviewed are problematic to one degree or another, with two
exceptions. Based on the available historical information accumulated and reviewed
by Kurt Laughlin, Verlinden produces the most accurately sized end-opening box,
and Tiger Model Design's ammo tubes are spot-on. Other tubes tend to follow the
lead of the boxesa tad shorter or longer.
are a numerous top-opening boxes, having either latches on both ends (Resicast)
or pair of side hinges and single latch (Tank Workshop, Verlinden). We did not
find these designs after reviewing 17 official U.S. Army technical manuals and
documents from the WWII period. These latched versions
may have been based on a common post-WWII design (the 105mm howitzer ammunition
used today is essentially the same as that in 1940, as is the packaging). Some
manufacturers may have confused 105mm howitzer and 105mm gun ammunition. If you
want use these top-opening boxes for a WWII diorama, you might be safer
in an earlier setting, such as North Africa (U.K. Priests) or Sicily/Italy (U.S.
and UK Priests). I invite any manufacturers to contact me with reference information
that could change our conclusions.
my knowledge, no accurate short two-round boxes have been modeled. Verlinden includes
a short box that is too long and too shallow for the WWII version. Again, it may
be a post-war design.
products not on hand for review are also included for informational purposes.
If anyone would like to provide the data or product samples, I can include comments
on these kits.
the end, an inch or two deviation on such accessories is not going to have as
much of an impact on the quality of your project as your construction and finishing
skills. But these comparisons may help steer you to products you are looking for,
or help you avoid buying mismatching products.
105mm Ammo Boxes
Elefant-JM Model (#35017)
end-opening boxes, 35"x 13½" x 8½"
is presumably a set of end-opening boxes, as there are no hinges, but no hardware
on the end panels either. The box is a couple inches short of the actual size,
and a tad too wide and tall. The three securing straps are raised slightly but
do not have the clasps that hold the ends together. The ends of the boxes flare
slightly from top to bottom, perhaps because of the molding process. The wood
grain texture is very subtle. The package comes with a length of thin string to
cut for the carrying handles. According to Marek Jentschke of Nordland Models,
his business has picked up the Elefant product line and this set, which has been
out of production for a time, will reappear again.
[NOT AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW]
resin 105mm shell crates
105mm Ammunition, Crates, and Spent Ammo Cases
piece with 48 full fiber tubes, each 29" x 4½"
piece with 13 top-opening boxes, each 34" x 10½" x 9"
piece with 25+ empty fiber tubes
piece with 50+ empty cases
piece with 5 M1 ready rounds on tarp
piece with 11 M1 ready rounds on two boards
high explosive M1 rounds with fuze, 30" x 4"
closed fiber tubes, 29" x 4½"
empty fiber tubes, 27" x 4½"
fiberboard tube end caps, 6 ½" x 4½"
empty cases, 13" x 4"
closed top-opening boxes, 34" x 10½" x 9"
open top-opening boxes, 34" x 10½" x 9"
lids for top-opening boxes
fiberboard tubes are attached to the carriers at one end, eliminating the detailing
on the caps; the other molded end has simplified detailing that does not give
depth to the indented radius. The open ends of the empty tubes are hollow and
appropriately thinned, relieving the modeler from having to hollow them out as
is necessary with the Tiger Model Design tubes. The downside is that the tubes
are a couple inches short.
other significant downside is that these boxes open from the top, have latches
on both ends, and measure about 4" too short than the end-opening box. The
boxes are girdled with the metal straps slightly raised. They are the only ones
reviewed here that have the ends of the straps properly fastened. The ropes handles
are molded in place. The wood grain is subtle and included on the interior of
the empty boxes. (See the full
review of the Resicast boxes for a suggestion on how to make them more resemble
the end-opening boxes.)
ammo rounds and empty casings are a tad short but well defined.
large pieces are molded onto thick bases that may need to be ground away or set
into your groundwork and blended into the surface.
main advantage with this kit is that it will convincingly outfit your 105mm weapon
[NOT AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW]
rounds, empty cases, full and empty tubes, opened and closed top-opening boxes.
From the photo, it appears that these boxes are a hybrid of features.
Boxes Open End
The Tank Workshop (#1009)
closed end-opening boxes, 43" x 13½" x 7½"
open boxes without lids
boxes measure out about 5" longer than the real end-opening box. The straps
are raised, rather than inset. The closed boxes have a nut on the end to be opened,
but there are no washers on either end.. The opened boxes have no detached lids.
The ends have rope handles (which are "hanging" upward, as if just lifted).
The wood grain is subtle.
Opening 105mm Boxes
Tank Workshop (#1008)
closed top-opening boxes, 38½" x 13½" x 7½"
(not including cleats)
measurements here come close to the first box packaging, but we're uncertain of
the hardware accuracy: hinged on one side, with the clasp in the center of the
opposite side. The ends have cleats for lifting and carrying rather than rope
handles. The wood grain is subtle.
105mm Ammo Packing Tubes
Tiger Model Designs (#353153)
empty fiber packing tubes, 31" x 5"
fiberboard tube end caps, 6" x 5"
I assisted Joe Bakanovic on developing and researching these items, along with
TMD's 105mm and 75mm fiber tubes. That said, these M39 tubes have considerable
detailing missed by others, including the spiraling seam around the length of
the tubes and the ridged metal end caps. The inclusion of the latter detail means
that "open" ends of the tube pieces are the parts that attach to the
carriers-thus requiring that they be drilled out to accomplish the realistic open-end
look. That can be done with a hobby knife to some extent, but a motor tool is
more useful. Watch your fingers!
M10 Ammo Trailer
Tiger Model Designs (#353002)
to carry 44 rounds of 105mm ammo (as well as varying quantities of 75mm and 155mm
ordnance), this trailer builds up into a neat accessory for a Priest or 105mm
Sherman. The kit is for the more experienced modeler and builds up-with care-into
a very nice model. Read
full review here.
end-opening box with recessed straps and separate end lid, 37" x 13"
top-opening box with separate lid, 37" x 13" x 8"
top-opening box with separate lid, 33" x 13" x 8"
closed fiber tubes, 33" x 5"
metal tube, 37½" x 6"
high explosive M1 rounds, fuzed, 31½" x 4"
high explosive M1 rounds, unfuzed, 31½" x 4"
complete rounds, smoke shell M84, 30½" x 4"
complete high explosive anti-tank round, 31" x 4"
unidentified complete round, 32"
high explosive M1 projectile, fuzed
high explosive M1 projectile, unfuzed
unidentified projectile, fuzed
empty cases, 15" x 4"
fiber tubes for fuzes
case for zone charge for M3 howitzer round, 6½" x4"
round empty case for zone charge for M3 howitzer round, 6½" x 4"
fiber tube for zone charge for M3 howitzer round, 8" x 5"
end-opening box is most accurate of those reviewed. It has hardware resembling
a wing nut for opening, and the diamond washers on both end pieces. The recessed
straps are nicely done but do not have the clasps that hold the ends together.
The ends of
the top-opening boxes have latches; the lids have cleats. These boxes are the
same size as the end-opening box, and about an inch shorter than the pre-war/postwar
The wood grain is overly exaggerated and simplified (several deeply scribed lines
per board) and is included on the interior of the empty boxes. There is some molding
distortion on the lids. All boxes have molded-in rope handles.
ammo is correctly sized and has well-delineated features. This is the only resin
set that includes some projectiles separated from the cases and the later M105
tubes that opened from either end, which enables one to portray the assembly of
the rounds or adjustment of the powder charges. Also, this is the only kit that
offers the unique metal canister used in the Pacific.
quite a bit of grinding or sanding necessary to remove the boxes from the large,
thick carrier. Some cleanup is necessary on the tips of the rounds.
one of the earlier AFV accessory kits, it tries to cover a lot of ground, which
is not always a good thing if you're trying to build for a specific locale. But
it gives you a start at building up a bit of firepower for your diorama, provided
you're willing to invest in several sets.
mm Shell Box Stencils
Archer Fine Transfers (AR35288)
AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW]
sheet provides enough markings for 10 boxes used by both US and Commonwealth 105mm
howitzers. Suitable for Resicast sets 35.2294 and 35.2295. Illustrated instructions
Armorscale/Lion Marc (#A35-004)
set provides a total of six rounds of turned aluminum: three standard high-explosive
M60 shells, and three high-explosive anti-tank M67 shells. Brass cases are included
for the six rounds and three extra empty cases.
Rounds for Modelers
Howitzer Ordnance: Comparison Review of 1/35 Scale Sets
Howitzer Kits, Accessories, and Conversions