One of the kits that have been on my to-build list for a while (which most likely means I might get to build it in the next 10 years) is Bronco’s 10.5cm LeFH18(SF) auf Geschutzwagen 39H(F). The vehicle is essentially 10.5 cm field howitzer mounted on a chassis of the French Hotchkiss H39 light tank. Wehrmacht has captured handful of these during their French campaign in 1940. This self-propelled gun is one of those vehicle, which came to see the light due to the expediency with which German designers have been able to reuse whatever material to improve mobility of their army.
Bronco’s kit is one of their earlier ones and has been released already some year ago. First thing that still surprises me is how little publicity there was and is around this kit. I admit that the quality is not at the level of the more recent releases by this producer, but I haven’t encountered any negative reviews or any other indication of significant shortcomings of this model. Given that the vehicle participated in the ever-popular Normandy campaign, I would expect to see it more often on the photos and display tables at model shows.
The second thing which I don’t quite understand is the lack of aftermarket parts for this model and this was putting me off when thinking about starting it. Any aftermarket sets are mostly designed for the much older Trumpeter kit.
During my recent trip to France I paid visit to Blast model store and the one detail kit I have picked up was the Blast model set for this vehicle (again the one designed for Trumpeter kit). The detail set provides resin parts replacing quite a few donor kit parts. The casting is very fine and there is only very little flesh to be removed from the casting blocks. While Bronco’s kit was much improved compared to the Trumpeter one, this set still has quite few parts offering significant improvements over the donor kit, such as the ammunition stowage racks – comparing the resin alternatives I was surprised to see how much simplified are the plastic ones.
One particular part of the detail set that is extremely well detailed is the radio set and the instruction provide detail schema for wiring and connecting all of its parts (the radio equipment actually comprises 8 resin pieces,not counting the headphones you might want to add).
All in all I am so far very pleased with the quality of this Blast detail set, which was the first I ever got from this brand. Hopefully I will be able to get my hands on it sometimes (relatively) soon…
(please note that the photos below do not depict all of the detail set parts, there are few more).