Building a vignette with the Vargas M777 Howitzer and 3D-printed artillery crew

Here's a brief review of  Luis Vargas 1/35 3D printed M777 howitzer, complemented by a US Artillery set also 3D printed by Holden8702.

The kit comes in 30-40 parts on “sprues” consisting of 3D supports. Fewer parts than a plastic kit, since each part contains lots of intricate detail in itself. No sanding of mold lines or filling of ejection pin marks was a bonus.

Assembly was straightforward, with only minor issues: 

a) a support arm under the gun was too short for the 45 deg. angle and had to be lengthened; 

b) the left electronics screen is too low to allow fitting one of the adjustment wheels and needs to be repositioned; 

c) part of the barrel assembly (which isn’t visible) is a bit too short; 

d) the tires are modelled to show a flat spot in the wrong place when posed in the elevated firing position.

Instructions consist of 3D drawings with parts highlighted in color to show their locations. A number of pages are dedicated to placement of hydraulic lines, which I only partially added here.  I would say this is the weakest part of the model, as they could be enhanced with additional illustrations / explanations to assist the modeller.  That said, not a big issue given the limited number of parts.

Overall it is a superb kit, even if having to use CA glue exclusively can be unforgiving. I used five minute epoxy on joints that required additional strength. There are few print layer lines visible which disappear once primed and painted.  No decals or paint schemes are included, you will need to rely on references.

I wanted to build a vignette, but there are very few options for modern artillery crews in 1/35th.  I ended up purchasing a set of five figures on Shapeways (  These were very well done and each came as a single piece of clear resin. 

I’m happy with the results and had fun building and painting the model and vignette.



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