This kit is a representation of the 25 pdr field gun used by the British Army during WWII. The original design was for a field gun designated as Mk II. It replaced two WWI field guns. In 1943, an anti-tank round was designed for the gun and a muzzle brake was required due to the higher muzzle velocity. This was designated as Mk II/I if modified, and Mk III if built from production. This gun served with all British and Commonwealth forces during WWII, Korea, and into the 1990’s.
This is a multimedia kit but the use of the PE is required, there are no optional plastic parts. Please be aware that some of the plastic parts are very, very small and will take a steady hand to get them off of the sprue without damage. And, when they are off the sprue, these minuscule parts do their very best to hide or get lost in the carpet or even on the work table.
Before starting the model, you need to decide how you want to display the gun, either in travel mode or firing mode. Then you have to decide between Option 1 and Option 2. The only difference that I could determine between these two options was small variations in the gun mounts and the number of bolts displayed. Then you will need to determine which barrel you want to use. I choose the late version with the muzzle brake and counter balance. The instructions are fairly clear on what to do on each version. I built mine in the firing mode Option 1 version.
- A – This sprue contains the trails and aiming wheel
- B – This sprue contains the gun cradle, wheels, and various miniscule parts
- C – This sprue contains the barrel (one piece), splinter shield, and various parts
- E – 4 tires
- G – Ammo trailer parts
- H – Ammunition and ammo boxes for the trailer
- I – Ammo crates
- P and Pb – Photo etched parts
- Three decal sheets and one piece of string
- Step 1 – This step builds the breech and, if you are careful, the breech block can be built so that it can be moved with the lever. This will help in the painting of that area.
- Step 2 – This consists of the assembly of the gun and gun cradle. Some of the parts are very small and delicate that will require a lot of care to keep them from being damaged during the build. The barrel is a one-piece molding using slide mold technology so you have a plastic round barrel with only minor mold seams to deal with. The muzzle brake is molded with the barrel and is very well done. This step also has you build the counter weight. I waited to do this item until it was time to mount it (step3) so that it would be flush with the barrel. Part Cb8 shows it being glued to part B70, the elevation gear, by 2 mounting holes on B70. However, there are not location holes, but pins. I had to cut the pins off and drill 2 holes so that part Cb8 would attach correctly.
- Step 3 & 4 – This step indicates where the gun is to be shown on the cradle depending on which position you want to display, either firing or travel position.
- Step 5 – This step starts the build of the gun sight. This sight is very detailed and will be a high point of the model. This step also starts the use of the photo-etched parts in earnest. Part P47 is a flat piece of PE that you will attempt to bend into a curved piece with a flange that is also a curve at a 90 degree angle from the first curve. I was unable to accomplish this feat. I also suggest that you leave off adjustment arms (B57 and B52) until you mount the completed gun sight subassembly in step 6. This will allow you to make adjustments for the proper fit. All I can say about this step is that there is a lot of PE and it will take a lot of patience to get it correct.
- Step 6 – This step builds two subassemblies (6 & 7) for mounting in step 9. The instructions for subassembly 7 show it being glued together, then in step 9 being mounted on the gun cradle, and then a part of it is glued to the trail in step 14. This will not work. I suggest that you assemble the hand wheel and attach it to the cylinder (B61), then set everything aside till step 14, where you can glue support arm (B73) to the trail and then fit the rest of the subassembly to the support arm and the rest will be adjustable and will fit in easily.
- Step 7 – This step also has you adding some rivet heads to the carriage support sides (B42 and B41). These rivet heads are molded into the Sprue B runners. Here you will have to remove the heads with the correct height, because once you have cut them from the runner you will not be able to hold them and sand/cut off any extra plastic. I mounted them by putting a drop of glue on the support side, poked a sharp, pointed blade tip into the head, then placed the head in the glue drop and did a slight blade twist to release the rivet head.
- Step 8 – Adds part P43 to B46 and creates a oil can spout from stretched sprue for part B54. This step also adds PE part P1 to the oil can. The instructions never show the oil can being added to the right side of the gun. However, in step 17 it is shown in place.
- Step 9 – This step adds larger bolt heads from the B sprue runner. Then it adds the gun sights to the left side gun carriage along with the 2 subassemblies 6 & 7 from step 6. If you are careful, you can get the elevation gear (B13) to be able to rotate, allowing you to position the barrel at any desired elevation.
- Step 10 – This step attaches the carriage assembly and mounts the barrel assembly by trapping it between the two carriage halves. Be careful not to glue subassembly 7 into place here. Wait till step 14 where everything will be in its proper place. The second half of step 10 builds what looks like a tool box. You also bend and assemble the photo-etched tool box rack. You should bend the rack and have it ready to use for test fitting the tool box. The rope handles on the tool box will interfere with the rack if not extended outwards to fit over the edge of the rack. I left the tool box out so I could paint and weather it separately, then dropped it into the rack towards the end of the build.
- Step 11 – This step is concerned with the construction of the two trailing arms. You will need to decide if you want the arms in either travel mode or firing mode. I chose to show them in firing mode. I suggest that the support mounts (A46 and A47) be glued directly to the splinter shield in step 15, and then you can use the small amount of play to mount the splinter shield to the trails directly in step 17.
- Step 12 – This step builds the two road wheels. It is very important that, when you glue part A35 to B3, you keep the orientation as depicted in the instructions. In step 13, you will glue in parts A4 and A5 and they have locating lugs that fit into A35 and B3 if the orientation is correct.
- Step 13 – This step is completion of the gun trails and the mounting of the wheels. The axles (A37 and A38) have angles built into them. However, they can only be glued in one direction due to a half moon locating lug that mates with the center axle (A36). Something is wrong here and I suggest that you dry fit numerous times till you get a fit that you believe will be acceptable. I also suggest that you glue the photo-etched straps (P9) to the pad (B69) first, and then mount the whole subassembly to the trailing arm. I glued the straps to the trailing arm and then the pad to the straps, and the grooves in the pad did not match where I had glued the straps.
- Step 14 – This step mates the barrel and gun carriage to the trails. I suggest that you wait on this step until after step 17 where you finish the assembly of the trails. The barrel is supposed to be loose and moveable anyway and you probably would remove it to do the additional work and painting.
- Step 15 – This step builds the splinter shield. There are a lot of photo-etched parts to be added in this step. Several of these photo-etched parts are attached on a single edge only. So, you will need to make sure of your attachment and keep your work area clean, so when it pops off you can find it again. There are two aiming stakes that I left off to paint and add decals to them. They were mounted at the end.
- Step 16a – This step adds even more items to the splinter shield. The instructions show the aiming port shield in the closed position. If you are building in the firing position, this should be depicted in the open position.
- Step 16b – This step builds the trailing arms towing hookup. The instructions show a subassembly of a photo-etched lever (P7) being attached to part A48. These are just begging to be knocked off during the rest of the assembly. I left them off till just before I started painting. And I still knocked one off and could not find it. Also attachment rods A41 and A42 were left off till the subassembly unit 17 was added in step 17. This allowed me to make sure that they matched up to the trailing arms.
- Step 17 – This step builds the subassembly 19 which has the recoil spade and aiming slide. It also takes subassembly 16 (assembled in step 16) and attaches it to part A49. This part and others make up subassembly 19. Then subassemblies 19 and 20 are attached to the trails. After this is complete I added the rods A41 and A42 in their correct places.
- Step 18 – This step builds the aiming wheel. You use different parts to show either the transportation mode or firing mode. In firing mode, bolt B76 is suppose to go thru all parts and only be glued to retaining ring B14. However, the bolt was either too short or I cut it off the sprue incorrectly. I ended up just gluing everything together.
- Step 19 – This step mates everything together, either in transport or firing mode, depending on what choices you made earlier.
- Steps 20 thru 26 – These are the steps to build style option 2.
- Step 27 – This step builds the ammo boxes. There are two styles of crates, metal and wood. Now you build your second kit, the ammunition trailer.
- Step 28 – This step builds the trailer box framework. In retrospect, I would change the sequence to: Build the ammo trays in step 35 first. You can use them as spacers so that you can get parts H6 and H4 correctly spaced. I originally built this step as described in the instructions and, when I got to step 35, the trays would not fit and it took a lot of effort to pull everything apart and rebuild. Make sure when you attach the brake handle that it is vertical because, if you get it too far off of vertical, it will interfere with the fender.
- Step 29 – This step builds the 2 door latch handles as subassemblies 30 and the trailer hitch as subassembly 31.
- Step 30 – This step builds the 2 door stops. It appears that these could also be used to move the trailer around manually.
- Step 31 – This step builds the 2 trailer wheels and the top of the trailer as subassembly 34.
- Step 32 – This step attaches the 2 wheels to the trailer. I left them off for ease of painting and weathering. This step also adds the tray braces Pb1. Because of the poor spacing when I built these in order according to the instructions, they did not fit. My suggestion here is to wait till step 35 is complete and then use plastic strip to replace the PE part Pb1. By doing this, you can adjust the length of each brace so that it fits properly.
- Step 33 – This step builds the door side of the trailer box. You can show the doors either closed or open. If closed, you can skip all the parts to build the interior, trays, and ammo. I chose to leave the doors open.
- Step 34 – This step builds the trailer hitch and extension. There were no problems with this step.
- Step 35 – This step builds the ammo trays and attaches the fenders. When building the ammo trays, you need to be careful as the ammo will not fit in the tray properly because the tray is too short. This will not matter if you place all the trays in the trailer, as you cannot see very much of the ammo.
- Step 36 – This step mounts the top and the door plate to the trailer. I had to do a lot of fiddling to get the top into place. Eventually, I cut off some of the locating pins to get the top to drop into place.
- Step 37 – This step adds 4 latches to the top of the trailer and attaches the trailer hitch extension bar to the back of the trailer.
Painting and Decals
The color charts shows the reference numbers for Tamiya, Humbrol, Mr. Hobby, and Mr. Color. The paint schemes and associated decals are as follows:
The general paint scheme is overall dark yellow or dark green with no other camouflage colors. The paint schemes for the trailer appear to come from museum pieces as there are numerous items painted red. I’m not sure that this is a proper paint scheme; you will need to check your references to help you decide what to do.
The decals are for the ammo and ammo boxes and just a few for the gun. The kit provides 32 shells, and has plenty of decals for the rounds. A name plate goes on the inside of the splinter shield and numbers go on the aiming sticks. They have no manufacturer's name other than Bronco, so I have to assume that Bronco produced them themselves. They appear to be in register but they are stiff. To get the decals to lie down on the ammo took several coats of Solvaset.
The build is at an Intermediate/Advanced level with very good detail and some exceptionally small plastic parts. The molding is crisp, with no flash and minimal mold lines. I can recommend this kit to all artillery fans.
British 25 pdr field Gun in Detail by Wings and Wheels Publications
I would like to thank both Dragon Models USA and IPMS-USA for providing the kit for building and review.