The M198 155mm towed howitzer was first developed and introduced during the late 1970s to replace the aging M114 155mm towed howitzer, which had its origins to WWII. The main design concept of the M198 was to greatly increase the range over the M114 while still providing a 155mm towed using the current inventory of ammunition.
The M198 was fielded to the US Army and to the US Marine Corps where it replaced the aging M101A1 105mm howitzer, thus not only giving more range, but more firepower. The M198 has also been fielded by some US allies such as Australia and Canada.
The main drawback of the M198 was its size and weight. For mobile or air assault units, it was difficult to transport and required a large crew.
Currently the US Army and Marine Corps are in the process of replacing the M198 with the new M777 which is lighter and more automated, but still carries the big punch. The M198 served well in Operation Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom .
The M198 is usually paired with an M923/925 5 ton truck as the prime mover.
Upon opening the box you are presented with 4 sprues, A, B and 2 x C. The A sprue contains the large base parts of the howitzer while the B sprue has the barrel and panels for the trails, mountings for the barrel, sights and other miscellaneous parts. The C sprue is the tire rims, suspension, hand wheels, handles, ammunition and powder.
All of the sprues appear to be molded very well. The details appear to be crisp with no flash and what ejector pin marks do exist, are placed in places where they will not show on the finished model.
The gun trails are molded from styrene, and the big box channel molding appears excellent with no molding imperfections.
Added Parts and Accessories:
Other parts included are two rubber main tires and two smaller auxiliary tires. They again are crisp with the proper tread pattern and molded markings.
A small photo etch sheet is included for the large rounded cover on the rear of the weapon. Also on the sheet are some other small detail parts for the main carriage.
Covers which are pre rounded and made from photo etch are included for the covers on the equilibrators.
Lastly there is a small sheet of decals and string included for the lanyard.
The kit includes a 12 page instruction booklet. There are 17 total steps to the assembly of the kit. The last two steps are a choice which allows the modeler to either portray the weapon in travel mode or in firing mode. The instructions appear clear and are in the normal “picture” mode.
Also included with the instructions is a separate gloss sheet which is two sided and gives either camouflage or all green paint pattern and shows where the small set of decals are placed.
This kit appears to make a good addition to any 1/35 firing battery and will pair up well with an Italeri M923 or M925 as its prime mover.
Highs: The kit is molded quite well with crisp details. Kit includes a small PE sheet, good tires and a nice color painting guide.Lows: The plastic barrel! This kit would be perfect if Trumpeter provided a metal barrel. Considering the barrel length, this is a huge low.Verdict: This kit will make a good addition to anyones scale battery. The kit will pair well with the Italeri M923 or 925 5 ton truck and AFV 155mm/ 8 inch ammunition to build a great artillery emplacement.
About Mike Del Vecchio (redleg12) FROM: NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES
I modeled both plastic models and model rockets from my early years through college. I left the hobby to have multiple carrers, family and all those things. After almost 30 years I returned and found a passion with 1/35 scale artillery in 2004.
Today I am a retired Major, US Army Artillery Office...