Maquette 1/35 Russian Gun Limber Kit First Look
|Date of Review||August 2004||Manufacturer||Maquette|
|Subject||Russian Gun Limber||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||3509||Primary Media||32 parts (30 in grey styrene, 2 in green styrene)|
|Pros||Molds have been cleaned up since first released and parts are now recognizable; handy, standardized limber can be used for a number of different guns or objects||Cons||Still a rough kit and a rough build|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$6.98|
Some time ago Maquette released a "limited production" kit of a ZIS-2 57mm antitank gun, one of the longest-serving weapons from the Soviet era and one still occasionally encountered today. But this "kit" was only a Zvezda-produced Italeri ZIS-3 gun with a new sprue of parts that included a new gun shield, new barrel and a limber. But the sprue of new parts was poorly done - one wag estimating that it took a good 15 minutes to cut the molds - and was literally a sheet of flash with some bumps in it.
Maquette has quietly gone back and cleaned up the molds for the limber, and now released it as a separate kit. This is the "Universal Limber Model 1942" that was used with all Soviet light artillery weapons - 45mm and 57mm AT guns, 76mm regimental howitzers, and all light support systems requiring either horse or motorized drayage. It was little more than a hollow box on wheels with a draw bar and tow hook, topped off with a flat bench seat for two. Inside the limber was adjusted by "trays" for the specific artillery system being supported; these carried the specific types of ammunition needed.
This is the same sprue from the ZIS-2 kit so it comes with the 57mm barrel to replace the ZIS-3 barrel (they are identical for the most part other than the barrel, which is why the 57mm could pack such a wallop as it used virtually the same propellant charge as the 76mm divisional gun) and the new gun shield for that weapon. There are none of the bits needed for harnessing horses to this kit, but most modelers who want to do so will have done the research and have something in mind for use. Wheels are again clones of the old Italeri ZIS-3 kit wheels (all of them literally came from the GAZ-AA series trucks, as the Soviets decided early on to standardize to simply tire and wheel supply lines.)
No markings or painting instructions are included, but like all wartime vehicles and guns these limbers were overall Soviet Army protective green (FS34102).
Overall it's nice to see the molds cleaned up for this kit.