105mm US Field Howitzer M2A1

Kit #: 72527 Preview by Will Alcott - will_alcott(at)yahoo(dot)com
Edited by Al Magnus

The M2A1 (later M101) was the standard US medium howitzer of WWII through Vietnam. ACE also offer a kit of the post-war M101 (72235), and comparing online images of the parts and instructions, it appears to be identical to this kit, aside from the paint schemes.

The box is illustrated with a US Marine M2A1 in a four-tone camouflage. Inside, there are 4 small sprues, containing 53 parts, moulded in medium grey (with swirls of black on one sprue). Compared to the M1A1 pack howitzer kit I purchased at the same time, the moulding seems less crisp, with less fine detail. There is little flash, but the sides of the trail arms, the underside of the cradle, and the barrel all suffer from sink marks. Four of the parts are indicated as not for use on the sprue diagram (two wheels, a sight and a box). I believe these are for the M2A1 on carriage M2, which to my knowledge has not been released by ACE.

Assembly looks fairly complex, particularly mounting the gun shield (which was sometimes omitted). The elevation equilibrator spring (part 21) is a fixed length, meaning you'll have to modify this part if you want to display the gun with the barrel in anything other than a horizontal position. Like the pack howitzer kit, the tires only show the faintest indications of tread. Five well shaped 105 mm shells are provided.

Instructions consist of a parts diagram, several exploded-view diagrams, and a painting diagram. Three schemes are illustrated - US Army, Normandy summer 1944 in overall olive drab, US Marine Corps, Saipan June 1944 also in overall olive drab, and 13th Marine Artillery Division, USMC, Iwo Jima 1945, in four-tone camouflage as illustrated on the box top. No decals are provided.

Ace have provided a nicely detailed kit of an important artillery piece for WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

Preview sample purchased by the author.

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Article Last Updated: 08 March 2015