by: Alan McNeilly [ ]
The main stay of British Field Artillery in the 1st and early part of the 2nd World War was the 18pdr Field gun. Resicast have recently released a later version of the gun suitable for use in the early part of WW2 either with the British Expeditionary Force in France or the British Troops in North Africa.
The 18pdr was first produced in 1904 and by the end of WWI there were approximately 9,400 in service. With a range of just short of 6000 meters and a well respected reliability the gun was widely deployed by the British.
This kit was mastered by George Moore, who since his recent retirement has been keeping even busier than usual on the model front. Over the years George has brought us many excellent and detailed masters that have been turned into terrific kits. As I mentioned in a previous figure review the combination of players, in what I tend to think of as the "Resicast Team", have provided... indeed continue to provide... a bench mark in quality and detail that sets the standard in the 1/35 scale world of British figures and equipment.
The production of this kit is very much in keeping with the new theme Resicast have been producing of early war subjects, both figures and kits that have not previously been available for the modeller.
For information I have included some very useful data from Derek Barton, whom many of you will already know but who is my prime source for all things artillery.
A list of the guns and carriages is as follows:
• Mk 1 1904
• Mk 2 1906
• Mk 3 Development model only
• MK 4 1918 with Astbury breech
• Mk 5 As Mk 4 but modified for the Birch Gun SP
The Mk 4 guns were used for the conversion to 25 pdr beginning in August
1936 as the Ordnance QF 3.45in Mk 1 and re-designated Ordnance QF 25 pdr
Mk I in February 1938.
• Mk 1
• Mk 2 New manufacture of Mk 1C with hydro-pneumatic recoil and longer cradle
• Mk 3 for the Mk 4 gun with box trail
• Mk 4 As Mk 3 with new trail & traversing gear & shock absorbers between
• Trail & axle tree
• Mk 5 Split trail
There were numerous sub marks of both gun and carriage.
As the majority, if not all Mk 4 guns were converted to 25 pdr, those that
saw action from 1939 as 18 pdrs would have been Mk 2's. The carriages
would also have been Mk 2's as the Mk 3, 4 & 5's were all for the Mk 4 gun.
There were 4 types of Mk 2 carriages, any or all of which could have been
in use in 1939.
• Mk 2 as detailed above
• Mk 2* similar to the Mk 2 but based on the Mk 1*
• Mk 2PA The Martin Parry conversion
• Mk 2R Mk 2 with solid rubber tires.
With the change from horse drawn guns, some of the ammo wagon limbers were used as gun limbers and the one in the kit is in fact an 18 pdr ammo wagon limber. This limber had the split doors whereas the gun limber and the ammo wagon both had a single door.
The kit comes packed in the standard professional hard box format sealed with a paper label detailing the manufacturer and product details. The box top shows a picture of the built, but unpainted, artillery piece. Inside the box is an A5 size 24 page instruction booklet. The instructions take the normal Resicast format, a parts listing, step by step pictorial build instructions with text explanations where necessary and half a dozen pictures of the actual gun in action for reference. The pictures are clearly marked with the appropriate part numbers that correspond to those on the parts themselves.
The kit is cast in a light grey resin and the parts were free from any damage or cause for worry. Nine plastic zip bags contain the resin parts and to accompany that you get a small fret of PE and a selection of brass shells and casings.
The kit provides a highly detailed set of parts to build one 18pdr Mk 2 gun. The gun is mounted on the carriage Mk2PA and my thanks to Derek Barton for helping clarify the various stages and Mks of weapon and carriage. Checking the parts against the available references I have, everything you need to build an accurate model of this much used weapon would appear to be in place. To add further detail to the gun a small fret of PE parts is provided. The gun comes with an early set of pneumatic tires typical of those used as the artillery converted from horse drawn to vehicle towed weapons during the 1930s. The weapon can be displayed in the firing or towed capacity.
The guns were converted for towed use and pneumatic tires using the 'Martin Perry' conversion, (Martin Perry were an American company). This was basically a bracket that fitted over the existing axle, with a stub axle lower down on the bracket. In effect the height of the gun remained the same, the wheel centers were lowered to accommodate the smaller wheel.
To accompany the 18pdr is a ammunition limber that can be modelled with either open or closed doors. This is a quaint item as it shows the limber with the pneumatic tires which give it the appearance of a kind of Heath Robinson affair being an adapted design rather than a new designed limber. I believe this example is designated the No 29 Limber.
It is worth noting here that the term Limber seems to have changed to that of Trailers Artillery with the changeover to vehicle towed equipment.
To round off the build you get 6 brass 18 pdr shells and 6 empty casings. If you need additional ammo these are available as a separate item from Resicast.
Another excellent and highly detailed piece of artillery from Resicast. The kit contains many small, and some fragile, parts so this is not a kit for beginners. The parts are excellently cast and as user friendly as a resin kit can be. If you take your time and a little extra care you should end up with a cracking model of this widely used weapon.
The 18pdr was the main stay of the Royal Artillery both during and after WWI. So you could find this artillery piece spread across the then British Empire. The guns were used in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaya mainly in static defense so they may not be the kit version, so check your references. The 18pdr was also used by the Canadian Army.
The gun was withdrawn from service in 1942 being gradually replaced by the 25pdr.
Normal precautions apply when working with resin.
My thanks to both George Moore and Derek Barton for providing much further useful information for the review.