Building Italeri's 155mm M1 Howitzer
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII


The gun was primed in gray. I then masked off the gun tube and gave the rest of the piece a coat of Model Masters Olive Drab. The gun was weathered as usual.

Because of its recoil through the barrel sleeve at very tight tolerances, the tube was bare metal. Period photos often show tarps covering the tubes when the guns were not active. Now you know why! The technical manual discusses using a dark green grease to minimize the brightness of the metal, so that might be why the barrel looks darker in some black and white WWII era photos. But in pictures of the gun in firebases in Vietnam, the tubes are clearly metallic.

As I was building the gun and thinking about the diorama and its setting, a little phrase entered my mind: "the Sons of Thor." Gun crews occasionally named their field pieces or painted slogans on them. I decided this was an apt inscription for this crew and hand painted the lettering on the gun cylinder cover.


For my diorama I needed to build an ammo tray, which the crew used to hoist the heavy projectiles to the breech, and a rammer. The aiming posts would have been placed beyond the boundaries of my diorama so I didn't have to deal with them. Other equipment was provided by the excellent 105mm howitzer maintenance set from Warriors, as the guns would have share many of the same tools.

Background on the 155mm Howitzer
Overview of the Model and References
Building the Howitzer Assembly
Building the Carriage Assembly
Painting and Accessories
Pictures from the Technical Manual
155mm Ammunition
Pictures of Museum 155mm Howitzer

Diorama: "Mail Call for the Sons of Thor"



Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII © 2002—2007 Timothy S. Streeter