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M109 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer - Vietnam War

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  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
M109 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer - Vietnam War
Posted by Sergeant on Saturday, October 13, 2018 2:19 PM

This is the type of armor/artillery I was involved with during the Vietnam War era 43 years ago.

https://www.flickr.com/gp/164748493@N04/p2B72V

I’ve been looking for a top quality 1/35 scale model of the M109 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer and Tamiya’s item #37013 seems to be the only one available.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/164748493@N04/shares/UsoDYQ

I like Tamiya models, but there are several high quality model armor/artillery manufactures in the market. I would like to know if there is another choice before I purchase the Tamiya model.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Saturday, October 13, 2018 2:40 PM

That Tamiya kit is a re-boxing of the Italeri kit. The orignal kit was produced in 1983 and several companies have box it since in different variants. As far as i know these are the only 35th m109's on the market.

https://www.scalemates.com/kits/224342-tamiya-37013-m109

 

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Saturday, October 13, 2018 3:04 PM

Bish

That Tamiya kit is a re-boxing of the Italeri kit. The orignal kit was produced in 1983 and several companies have box it since in different variants. As far as i know these are the only 35th m109's on the market.

https://www.scalemates.com/kits/224342-tamiya-37013-m109

 

 

Thank you Bish, that is a cool provenance website for models.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Saturday, October 13, 2018 3:12 PM

My first choice in traceing the history of a kit and finding any reviews.

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Saturday, October 13, 2018 3:18 PM

Hello Sergeant!

It's very interesting to see your post here. I've just started building an M109 A-nothing, but in 1:72 scale. Revell has released this kit like half a year ago and it's quite nice - but it might be too small for you.

I was thinking about building an M109 in 1:35 too, but what stops me is the interior. On all the photos from Vietnam that I see the M109 is always wide open, and I would like to show my gun like that, but hen I would need some interior for it - and that is a hard thing to do. Do you have any photos of the interior of the M109? Or better still, a TM?

There are a few very nice models of the M109A2 in 1:35 around, so what can be done (and I already started gathering the resources for that) would be to take the hull and suspension from the modern kit and plant the turret, or maybe just parts of it from the Italeri kit. This way you would get to use the modern quality parts most of the time, using the old Italeri parts only where applicable.

Looking forward to seeing your build - good luck with it and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Saturday, October 13, 2018 3:48 PM

Hello Pawel, your desire to model the interior of an M109 is right-on target in my opinion since I spent many hours on the firing-line with crew members and we always had the back doors opened.

The video link below is the most accurate view of a Vietnam era M109 I have seen, but it would be a major task to model from scratch. However, if you did and displayed your model anchored with the back doors opened in firing mode that is exactly the way they were used in combat.

https://youtu.be/naLdUA7QRNE

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Saturday, October 13, 2018 4:09 PM

I had a similar issue with a 35th AS90 i built at the end of last year. They usually fire with the back door open. And while the resin AM set i had included some lovely detail on the rear door and side hatch, there was nothing else insid. It was a shame to have the doors closed, but i just wasn't up to scratching the inside. That would be some impresi9ve work if you did that on the 109 pawel.

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Saturday, October 13, 2018 4:49 PM

Bish and Pawel,

If you hadn’t mentioned the interior of an M109 I probably would not have gone looking, but see what I found in 1/35 scale.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/164748493@N04/shares/x2Q1b1

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Saturday, October 13, 2018 4:51 PM

i.ve seen the blackdog stowage sets before but not an interiour detail set.That looks very nice.

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Saturday, October 13, 2018 5:40 PM

Now Sarge: It say on the kit it's an interior for the A2 version. Now we're looking up to you to tell us (better yet: show us!) what needs to be done to make it an A-nothing interior. Some things, like the ammo rack in the back of the turret are obvious. But what else?

Thanks in advance and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Saturday, October 13, 2018 6:20 PM

Pawel

Now Sarge: It say on the kit it's an interior for the A2 version. Now we're looking up to you to tell us (better yet: show us!) what needs to be done to make it an A-nothing interior. Some things, like the ammo rack in the back of the turret are obvious. But what else?

Thanks in advance and have a nice day

Paweł

 

Well Pawel I sure put myself in a corner! You’re absolutely right the Black Dog kit is for an A2 version (long barreled) M109. I also could not find it listed on Black Dog Model’s website, so I wrote to them asking if it’s still available. It may only be available on eBay, or something like that. In the mean time I will look for details that might answer our question about an A vs A2 interior.

I have a retired Master Sargent friend who is knowledgeable about self-propelled howitzers and he might have some ideas.

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Sunday, October 14, 2018 3:40 AM

Sergeant

 

 
Pawel

Now Sarge: It say on the kit it's an interior for the A2 version. Now we're looking up to you to tell us (better yet: show us!) what needs to be done to make it an A-nothing interior. Some things, like the ammo rack in the back of the turret are obvious. But what else?

Thanks in advance and have a nice day

Paweł

 

 

 

Well Pawel I sure put myself in a corner! You’re absolutely right the Black Dog kit is for an A2 version (long barreled) M109. I also could not find it listed on Black Dog Model’s website, so I wrote to them asking if it’s still available. It may only be available on eBay, or something like that. In the mean time I will look for details that might answer our question about an A vs A2 interior.

 

I have a retired Master Sargeant friend who is knowledgeable about self-propelled howitzers and he might have some ideas.

 

I found the TM (Technical Manual) numbers for both the A and A2 version, please see link below:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/164748493@N04/shares/p7De00

I also found a description of major changes between the two versions, most notable is the gun mount which makes sence because of the barrel length, see link below:

https://flic.kr/p/29ghp69

However, I think there is an easier way to determine what changes took place by having the following book:

https://flic.kr/p/29ghp2m

If I’m correct this book will show us the interior for both the M109A and the A2.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Sunday, October 14, 2018 7:40 AM

The main visual differences on the interior of the M109 and an M109A2 is a different rammer and an ammo rack in the left rear corner of the turret.  On the M109 there is a rammer and tray attached to the rear turret ring.  The rammer/tray folded in the middle and to the rear to fire.  On the A2, the rammer is only attached to the breech of the gun.  Most of the rest is the same.  I have the Black Dog interior and Italeri M109 parts and plan on using them for an M109 that I will convert from the AFV Club M109A2 kit.  In Boresight Magazine (AMPS publication) from Jan/Feb 15, there is a build article that shows exactly how to do it.

M109 Interior from youtube video showing the crew conducting a fire mission. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iswntrU0z6I

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Sunday, October 14, 2018 12:53 PM

HeavyArty, thank you for answering many of my questions. I can see you have actual experience with US Army artillery and the 1/35 scale M109 Howitzer. Since you already have the Black Dog interior what do you think of it’s quality?

I would like to build the 1/35 Tamiya M109A mainly because I’m familiar with Tamiya models, but I have been told it’s actually an Italeri kit. That being said what do you think of the Italeri M109 quality?

My plan is to build a diorama with this howitzer in firing position and a truck near by with men loading ammunition. This is how I remember the firing line at Fort Sill in 1974.

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Sunday, October 14, 2018 3:02 PM

The Black Dog interior is really nice and very detailed.  I highly recommend it.  It is made for the AFV Club kit, so I am not sure how it will fit in the Italeri (Tamiya) kit.

Yes, the Tamiya kit is a rebox of the Italeri kit, with a few updated parts.  It is an OK kit, but has some issues.  The biggest is the right front hull doesn't line up well and requires quite a bit of filling and sanding to get it all closed up.  The tracks are also pretty stiff and hard to get right.  It is pretty simple in overall details too.  I have built a bunch of the Italeri kits over the years since the AFV Club ones are only a few years old.  I prefer the AFV Club ones as they are very nice and highly detailed.

The diorama sounds good.  I would recommend the AFV Club M54A2 for the truck.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    November, 2016
  • From: Baraboo, WI
Posted by Poniatowski on Sunday, October 14, 2018 3:15 PM

Hey Fellow 13B 'Gun Bunny'.  I started on the M109 with both the bustle (turret ring) and breech mounted rammers... ended up on the Paladin. I made a good representation with the first Ital. kit, which was an M109, rather than A3 or whatnot. You can still find them on ebay and with a little cutting and work they turn out okay. Sadly, as you well know, any M109 should have a FULL interior as missions were usually executed with the doors all open, so quite a bit of work to get the interior done right. 

The interior in the link is nice, but yeah, not an M109.. You'd have to make the wine rack, etc. Not that you'd notice, but I think the engine compartment bulkhead is also a bit different. I'll have to look at my manuals.

 

Ron

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Sunday, October 14, 2018 6:18 PM

D

Poniatowski

Hey Fellow 13B 'Gun Bunny'.  I started on the M109 with both the bustle (turret ring) and breech mounted rammers... ended up on the Paladin. I made a good representation with the first Ital. kit, which was an M109, rather than A3 or whatnot. You can still find them on ebay and with a little cutting and work they turn out okay. Sadly, as you well know, any M109 should have a FULL interior as missions were usually executed with the doors all open, so quite a bit of work to get the interior done right. 

The interior in the link is nice, but yeah, not an M109.. You'd have to make the wine rack, etc. Not that you'd notice, but I think the engine compartment bulkhead is also a bit different. I'll have to look at my manuals.

 

Ron

 

HeavyArty and Ron, I found the following information regarding AFV Club M109A2 which looks to me like an M109, please see link below:

https://flic.kr/p/2bYLvq7

If I‘m correct this AFV A2 kit is made to look like the M109A but would probably work with the Black Dog interior and allow the doors to be open in firing mode?

I read the AMPS review on the AFV M54A2 and it definitely looks good to me.

My purpose in building a diorama using the M109 howitzer and truck is to display the models at American Legion Posts and the Veterans Hospital in my area. Many of the men are Vietnam Army and Marine veterans and some worked with M109 and Deuce and a half trucks, but I don’t think they will remember every interior detail, but they will definitely remember the short tube compared with the A2.

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Sunday, October 14, 2018 8:32 PM

The picture you linked to is the AMPS article I was talking about.  I don't know why it is titled M109A2 as he is converting/backdating the AFV Club M109A2 into a straight M109.  The Black Dog interior is made for the AFV Club kit, so it fits it perfectly.  In the article, he used the old, out of production Trakz/KMC M109A2 interior hull and turret sets designed for the Italeri kit since the Black Dog set was not out at the time.  He also used the M109-specific parts (short barrel, travel lock, pantel cover, turret rear doors, etc.) from Italeri's kit to backdate it.

The M54A2 kit is great and is the exact truck that was used during Vietnam for ammo resupply.  It will fit perfectly with the M109.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Monday, October 15, 2018 4:31 AM

HeavyArty

The picture you linked to is the AMPS article I was talking about.  I don't know why it is titled M109A2 as he is converting/backdating the AFV Club M109A2 into a straight M109.  The Black Dog interior is made for the AFV Club kit, so it fits it perfectly.  In the article, he used the old, out of production Trakz/KMC M109A2 interior hull and turret sets designed for the Italeri kit since the Black Dog set was not out at the time.  He also used the M109-specific parts (short barrel, travel lock, pantel cover, turret rear doors, etc.) from Italeri's kit to backdate it.

The M54A2 kit is great and is the exact truck that was used during Vietnam for ammo resupply.  It will fit perfectly with the M109.

 

HeavyArty, I found a new Tamiya M109, item #37013 on eBay for $45.00, but it would ship from Shanghai, China and I would need to pay $20.00 return shipping if it was not as advertised. There are; however, plenty of AFV M109 A2 models available since I would need both to accomplish my objective. Most of the Tamiya M109 models are selling for $80.00 to $115.00, so $45.00 is a very good price. My first thought is I don’t feel comfortable about buying a model from someone I don’t know in Shanghai and second I don’t know how much work will be involved in retrofitting a Tamiya short barrel gun in an AFV A2 turret.

Based on the Carl Wethington article do you see any retrofit problems with the short barrel gun?

 

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”— Winston Churchill 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Monday, October 15, 2018 7:00 AM

The short barrel will fit the AFV Club kit without issues.  From the article, it looks like the rest of the conversion will not be hard either.  The Tamiya kit is overpriced in my opinion.  Look for one of the older Italeri or Revell boxings as they are usually cheaper.  Additionally, I order from overseas sellers all the time and have had no issues.

 

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    November, 2016
  • From: Baraboo, WI
Posted by Poniatowski on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 9:40 AM

Sergeant

D

 
Poniatowski

Hey Fellow 13B 'Gun Bunny'.  I started on the M109 with both the bustle (turret ring) and breech mounted rammers... ended up on the Paladin. I made a good representation with the first Ital. kit, which was an M109, rather than A3 or whatnot. You can still find them on ebay and with a little cutting and work they turn out okay. Sadly, as you well know, any M109 should have a FULL interior as missions were usually executed with the doors all open, so quite a bit of work to get the interior done right. 

The interior in the link is nice, but yeah, not an M109.. You'd have to make the wine rack, etc. Not that you'd notice, but I think the engine compartment bulkhead is also a bit different. I'll have to look at my manuals.

 

Ron

 

 

HeavyArty and Ron, I found the following information regarding AFV Club M109A2 which looks to me like an M109, please see link below:

 

https://flic.kr/p/2bYLvq7

If I‘m correct this AFV A2 kit is made to look like the M109A but would probably work with the Black Dog interior and allow the doors to be open in firing mode?

I read the AMPS review on the AFV M54A2 and it definitely looks good to me.

My purpose in building a diorama using the M109 howitzer and truck is to display the models at American Legion Posts and the Veterans Hospital in my area. Many of the men are Vietnam Army and Marine veterans and some worked with M109 and Deuce and a half trucks, but I don’t think they will remember every interior detail, but they will definitely remember the short tube compared with the A2.

 

 

 

I'm pretty sure one thing they'll remember is the wine rack, so maybe scratch build that. Other than that, you're probably right. The M109 and A1 were without radios, just intercom and I see the same on the interior kit. There were no powder cannisters stowed behind the driver on the floor of the M109, nor was there the treadplate for the gunner over the traversing mechanism. Also, there were some little half bulkheads in the sponsons for green bag cannisters (1/4 inche black pads on them), with web straps to hold them. It looks like they have only white bag cans in the kit. Also, aside from the lack of plumbing, the gunner and AG hand controls ran parallel to the centerline of the turret (if I remember correctly). The kit also lacks the manual elevation handcrank, but nobody but a red leg would notice that.  Otherwise, it looks super!

I have an original M109 manual, so feel free to ask questions about details. 

 

Ron

  • Member since
    November, 2016
  • From: Baraboo, WI
Posted by Poniatowski on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 9:55 AM

I can't seem to upload images. Any suggestions?  It seems to be a pretty bulky process.

 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 6:33 PM

Thank you Ron, I would appreciate your first-hand knowledge when I get the models purchased. There will be an M109 model, an AFV M109A2 model and the Black Dog interior kit. Like you said some interior items may need to be scratch built.

  • Member since
    November, 2016
  • From: Baraboo, WI
Posted by Poniatowski on Friday, October 19, 2018 11:41 AM

Sergeant

Thank you Ron, I would appreciate your first-hand knowledge when I get the models purchased. There will be an M109 model, an AFV M109A2 model and the Black Dog interior kit. Like you said some interior items may need to be scratch built.

 

It will be fun!  Feel free to PM me for email addresses and such. I can photo and send copies to you.

 

Ron

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Friday, October 19, 2018 12:18 PM

Poniatowski
I can't seem to upload images. Any suggestions?  It seems to be a pretty bulky process

Firstly, the photo has to be hosted somewhere on the web like Photobucket, fotki, etc...  Once it is hosted, open the photo on the hosting site and copy its web address: http://www.....jpg

Now go here and open a "Reply".  In the bottom bar across the top of the reply box is a button with a mountain and sun on it.  This is the "insert/edit image" button.  Click it and you will get an "Edit image" pop-up window that shows you were to paste the copied web address (source box).  Paste and hit OK and the pic should show in your post.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Friday, October 19, 2018 2:51 PM

HeavyArty

 

 
Poniatowski
I can't seem to upload images. Any suggestions?  It seems to be a pretty bulky process

 

Firstly, the photo has to be hosted somewhere on the web like Photobucket, fotki, etc...  Once it is hosted, open the photo on the hosting site and copy its web address: http://www.....jpg

Now go here and open a "Reply".  In the bottom bar across the top of the reply box is a button with a mountain and sun on it.  This is the "insert/edit image" button.  Click it and you will get an "Edit image" pop-up window that shows you were to paste the copied web address (source box).  Paste and hit OK and the pic should show in your post.

 

https://flic.kr/p/2bYLvq7

Hi Gino, I have tried this several times and all I ever get when I past is the web link to my picture on the hosting site - Flickr (like the link above). However, I’ve always used an iPad and the other day I read something on this forum about a differance in the way pictures are posted if you use a smart phone or tablet compared with windows computers?

Harold

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Friday, October 19, 2018 3:30 PM

I think it has more to do with Flickr (but I always use a laptop).  There is a special way you have to copy the link from Flickr.  I don't know what it is as I can't get any pics to work from Flickr either.  I have no issues with Photobucket.  You do have to pay for Photobucket though; about $50/yr.  To me it is worth it.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, October 19, 2018 3:58 PM

I can't post from Google, either, so I use Fotki. Costs about the same as Gino's paying.

No way to post from iPhone, would assume pad is the same problem.

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Friday, October 19, 2018 8:41 PM

HeavyArty

I think it has more to do with Flickr (but I always use a laptop).  There is a special way you have to copy the link from Flickr.  I don't know what it is as I can't get any pics to work from Flickr either.  I have no issues with Photobucket.  You do have to pay for Photobucket though; about $50/yr.  To me it is worth it.

 

GMorrison and Gino, I forgot that I had a Photobucket account from several years ago. Look what I found in my library, it's a picture of two architect friends that I took fly fishing on the Metolius River in central Oregon. That trout is a seven-pound rainbow and needless to say my friends were very impressed with the fishing. 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, October 20, 2018 12:47 AM

May be a collection of things conspiring.

You need to have the "....jpg" link to the flikr image to post in the image link.

Also, Kalmbach seems to have some internal filters on what content it allows "through" as image links (which appears to be the major hurdle with Google Photos).  But, it looks like their firewall has some blanket blacklist settings which will bar stuff from a number of sites.

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