ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale 25-Pdr Mark II w/Limber

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale ?39-?45 Series Kit No. 677
4; British 25-pdr Field Gun Mk. II w/Limber - Smart Kit; 186 parts (161 in
grey styrene, 21 etched brass, 4 DS Plastic tires); pre-order price US$41.9
5 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: use of modern molding techniques makes for a more faithful repr
esentative of this weapon; several construction and build options provided
Disadvantages: no ammunition!
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all ?gonners? and WWII Commonwealth fans
As I noted with the first version of this kit (No. 6675) a new gun was dev
eloped after WWI which became the famous 25 pounder. While its design had s
tarted in 1925, due to the efficiency (and prevalence) of the 18 pounder it
was not until 1935 it was fielded. To save money during that time, the new
barrels were mounted on redundant 18-pdr carriages as the Ordnance QF (qui
ck firing) 25 pdr Mark I.
But due to the design of the lower carriage, the gun could not be elevated
high enough to get full use out of its capabilities. So a new carriage wit
h box trails and a large opening between them (which would permit sufficien
t elevation and traverse) was designed, combined with a special platform th
at would permit 360 degree rotation within a set position. This became know
n as the Ordnance QF 25-pdr Mark II on Carriage 25-pdr Mark I.
This wound up being the mainstay gun of the Royal Artillery during WWII an
d into Korea and beyond. More than 12,000 were built, and they were used in
all theaters of operations. Later, when it demonstrated some capability as
an antitank gun, a double baffle muzzle brake was fitted to cope with the
increased charge and recoil.
It was normally coupled to the Artillery Trailer No. 27 Mark I or later mo
dels. This limber, in its 25-pdr version, provided stowage of up to 32 roun
ds of ready ammunition in two round trays. While the ammunition was nominal
ly separate loading, it could be stuck together just before firing. Crew of
the gun was five or six: one aimer, three or four other numbers for ammuni
tion, and a gun captain.

DML now offers the later version of the Mark II gun with its unique square
two-baffle muzzle brake and other detail changes to the upper carriage; th
ey replaced a sprue of 21 parts with two sprues of 32 parts. While it still
includes the No. 27 trailer (limber) it no longer comes with a crew, but o
ddly enough now retails for $2 more than the original kit. As previously ci
tedit was based on pieces on display at ?Firepower?, the Royal Artiller
y Museum at Woolich. From what I can tell from comparing the photos to the
1/1 scale example, DML appears to have hit all the marks.
The gun itself now comes on four sprues: the gun, the recoiling section, t
he shield and upper carriage, and the lower carriage (trails) and base elem
ents and wheels. All show evidence of intensive use of slide molding to cap
ture both inner and outer details. The gun proper now consists of nine part
s (all styrene). The breechblock can be position opened or closed; however
the activation lever (C3) is only shown in one position. It was noted that
there is no breech inside the block for projectiles to load in so any use o
f ammunition will not be able to have anything in the breech itself. The cr
adle offers a choice between early production riveted components (C22/C23)
or welded ones (C20/C21). The warning instructions brass plate is present b
ut alas, not readable (but then again I had to get within three feet of it
to read it on the prototype!)
The lower carriage and wheels are nicely detailed, and the complex shapes
of the prototype are captured. The only thing missing from the kit here is
the coil of rope that was to be hung off the front of the gun shield. Gun s
pikes (B21/23), the shovel (B18), a spare rammer (A13) and mattock (A26) ar
e provided. Note the upper gun shield can also be shown up or folded; the g
un shield itself is molded credibly thin and free from ejection pin marks.
Steps 5 and 6 are an either/or proposition, as they cover firing and trans
port modes for the gun. In ?Firing? part A16 is used to attach to the r
otating base (A17/48) and in ?travel? part A15 is used. Part A4 is inte
resting; it is the spade protector which is used when the gun is fired from
its platform so the gun can swivel around the platform without digging in.
It is shown in position in Step 5 and stowed in Step 6; note if the gun is
fired without using the platform the protector is left stowed so the spade
can function. Also note in Step 5 that the items in the cutaway (MA6/7) ar
e apparently mounts for aiming stakes (not provided) that go on the outside
of the right side of the box trail; DML?s directions tend to not be as h
elpful as they could be with parts like this.
Steps 6-11 cover the assembly of the No. 27 trailer. This also has some op
tions such as open or closed doors, two removable trays with brass details,
and two different styles of hitch to connect to the gun lunette. The wheel
s even come with separate handbrakes and activating arms. But unlike the or
iginal kit which had three rounds for the gunners to handle there is NO amm
unition provided with this kit, which is a bit of a shame (don?t believe
the box claim!).
The tires are DS Plastic ? seamless and of the right pattern when matche
d with photos. The injection nub is on the inside of the rim and should van
ish behind the wheel rim when installed.
No decals are provided. Painting directions give two options: Unidentified
Unit, North Africa 1943 (sand overall); Unidentified Unit, England 1943 (n
o color shade given but standard British green should be the shade).

However, based on the ?Firepower? guns (an early Mark II sans muzzle b
rake and the last one in service with the British Army) ? lovingly restor
ed to near original finish - there are a lot of details which need painting
and are not called out. Most of the leather bags appear dark brown, the se
at is varnished wood, as are the rammer and mattock and shovel handles, and
the sights are either natural metal or black. DML needs to pay more attent
ion to painting details.
Overall this is a nice kit but has been compared with a similar effort fro
m Bronco. Consensus is the Bronco kit has more details and a better No. 27
? but is a bit of a handful as it has a lot more parts and three frets of
etched brass. The DML one is a very good effort ? and much easier to bui
ld.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
AMPSOne
Loading thread data ...

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.