Trumpeter's 1/35 German K18 Heavy Field Gun
By Don Barry
Trumpeter Kit # 02313
German 17cm Kanone 18 World War II Heavy Field Gun
1/35 scale MSRP $74.95
Brief history: Designed to replace the 15 cm Kanone K (E), this gun was used at the corps level to provide extra long range artillery support, including counter-battery fire. Manufactured by Krupp, and used throughout the war, the piece was effective and very accurate. It was, however, quite expensive, overly heavy, and hard to maneuver. It took an inordinate amount of time to set up and break down, and many were lost in the latter stages of the war due to being overrun by the advancing enemy. Full-up travel weight was 51,533 lbs. (over 25 tons), with a maximum range of 32,000 yards, over 19 miles.
The kit exhibits Trumpeter's usual high standard of molding, with crisp detail and clean castings. This reviewer's example showed no flash or shrinkage marks. There are many ejector marks, although most are on inner surfaces. Unavoidably, there are some that show and will need to be removed. They are shallow, for the most part only faint raised rings.This gun can be built in the travel or firing mode, and these differences begin to appear in step 9 of the instructions. There are many cylindrical sub-assemblies that could be built ahead a step or two and allowed to cure before sanding and integration. The four piece barrel is an example, the front and rear halves could be done initially, and allowed to cure thoroughly before finishing. This also holds for the breech and breech block. Trumpeter also offers an ammunition set for this gun, item # 06609, can a dedicated crew be far behind?
There are 401 plastic parts on 13 sprues, 4 black vinyl tires, 2 black metal coil springs, 2 lengths of metal tube, 22 photo-etched parts. 17 parts listed as not for use. A 24 page instruction booklet is provided, broken down into 25 assembly steps, and including a parts map. No decals are provided. All the sprues are marked with letters, and the parts are numbered. A full color painting guide is included, showing two paint colors, German grey and black, and referenced to Mr. Color, Tamiya, Model Master, Humbrol and Vallejo paints. No markings are shown.
This is a fine looking kit overall, and fills a long neglected niche in military models, and is a must-have item for artillery buffs. My sincere thanks to Stevens International for the reveiw kit. I highly recommend it to experienced builders, as it is a complex subject. Happy modeling and may you always find the dropped part.