A Brief History
Marketed by HäT as the Skoda 75mm Mountain Gun, it's proper designation is 7.5cm Skoda Gebirgskanone M.15. Manufactured by Skodawerke Actien-Gesellschaft (aka Skoda), it
was the most numerous, important as well as the best mountain gun of the Austro-Hungarian Army in World War One. Designed as a mountain gun it was built as lightly
as possible and could be disassembled into 5 parts: carriage, inner barrel, outer barrel, cradle and shield. The Austro-Hungarian Army liked the design enough to keep
it in production until the 1930s and it even served in the early years of World War Two. It was also used by the Germans during World War One, not as a mountain gun,
but as a mobile close support gun. In this role
it proved to be less robust than the Germans liked. The Germans seldom disassembled it because there was usually no need
for that on the Western Front. As a result the guns suffered more abuse on the bumpy marches while still assembled resulting in premature wear on the gun's major parts.
Inside the box you get four identical sprues in hard grey styrene plastic. Each sprue has just 8 parts. Instructions come as a simple exploded diagram on the
back of the box. No decals are included.
The parts themselves are typical for these simple war gaming kits from HäT, being somewhat softish. The larger parts have a noticeable orange peel like texture.
Small seams are present on most parts though there's no extra plastic flash to speak of.
Detail is a bit disappointing. The wheels have only 5 lugs nuts while period photos show six, and restored museum examples have twelve (which makes me believe that
the wheels on the museum pieces are not original or maybe from guns produced post First World War). The kit's shield does
have some rivets but not as many as it should, though this is not a big issue. The largest problem comes with the trail. The kit has it molded with flat sides, which is
not correct. The real gun exhibits very prominent edges that I believe are the result of the carriage being made from stamped metal, versus cast metal, in
an effort to limit the gun's weight.
The box top picture serves as the painting guide and shows the gun in an overall greyish green camouflage which I assume is the colour that the Austro-Hungarian
Army would have used in World War One. It may even be the colour for a German gun as well. While the box top art is catching and provides some guidance regarding colour
it would have been nice to have some sort of callouts for the major paint manufacturers to ease paint selection.
For my gun I decided to go with something other than the drab monotone finish suggested on the box top. On the Landships II  site I found a nice article on the dapple
camouflage used by the Germans in the First World War. I found no proof that this gun would have been camouflaged this way but the scheme appealed to me and it would make the
model stand out amongst the other guns on the display shelf.
After my initial light grey primer I applied a base coat of Aeromaster RLM Graugrun with an overspray of the same lightened with some white. The dapples were
Testors Flat Black, Middlestone and Aeromaster RAF Dark Green. To make the dapples I experimented with something different. I cut some short thin strips cross wise from a leather
lace and used the pointy tip to apply the spots. I found that as I applied the dots, the tip would flatten over time due to paint absorption
and the spots applied would grow in size, which actually improved the look of the dots. The only thing I didn't like was that the leather strips sometimes applied
too much paint and the drops would
become noticeably thick after they dried. To fix this I lightly sanded the face of the shield to level the paint.
As a quick build this gun is quite acceptable. As a display model, not so much. As you can see there are some
shortcomings with the kit, though none too serious that some basic construction skills and time expenditure couldn't fix. With four kits in the box you'll have some
spares to fall back on should you make an error along the way. And the extra wheels can be used to scratch build some simple farm carts for a diorama as well.
 Landships II
 Silicon Valley Scale Modelers (gallery walkaround)
 Hans de Regt (photo album)
 italie1935-45.com (Skoda article with diagrams)
Review sample purchased by the author.