Meng 1/35 French AUF1 155mm SP Howitzer Kit First Look
By Dave Manter
|Date of Review||July 2013||Manufacturer||Meng|
|Subject||French AUF1 155mm SP Howitzer||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||TS004||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Interesting subject||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$89.99|
In the early 1970's, after the French Army expressed dissatisfaction with the MK F3 self-propelled howitzer, French Army Industries Group started developing a brand new self-propelled howitzer. The howitzer was formally named AUF1 and put into mass production in 1977.
About 440 AUF1's were produced. They were used by the French Army and also exported to Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Iraq used this howitzer against Iran during the Iraq-Iran war.
AUF1 is based on a modified chassis of the AMX-30B MBT and equipped with a 155mm 39-caliber gun with an auto-loading system, giving a rate of fire of 8 rounds a minute and a sustained rate of fire of 6 rounds per minute.
The Meng kit consists of a massive 890 styrene parts molded in green and brown, 17 styrene parts molded in clear and 10 photo etch detail parts. All of the parts are molded to perfection with no flash present. The detail is very crisp. 360 of the parts are for the individual and workable track links. The instructions are some of the best written that I have seen and will be easy to follow. Some key features of the kit are:
- Workable suspension
- Workable individual track links
- Detailed lower hull
- Detailed air filter assembly
- Choice of open or closed exhaust
- Photo etch muffler guards
- Folding jig for muffler guards provided
- Track assembly jig provided
- Full interior provided for turret
- All hatches can be open or closed
- Full ammo load provided
- Paint mask for wheels and track provided
Meng has really stepped into the modeling market and have become one of the major players!
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!