Panda-Hobby 1/35 M109A7 Paladin Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2019||Manufacturer||Panda-Hobby|
|Kit Number||35028||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch, White Metal|
|Pros||Nice details||Cons||None noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$69.95|
The M109 series of self-propelled artillery systems is based upon the 155mm howitzer and has evolved over time to incorporate new technologies and capabilities. The latest version in service is the M109A7, which builds onto the numerous updates in the M109A6 by replacing the out-of-date powertrain and track with the engine, transmission, and track from the Bradley family of fighting vehicles. While a variety of allied nations operate older versions of the M109, only Saudi Arabia and the US Army operate the M109A6 and the A7 is currently exclusive to the US Army's Brigade Combat Teams.
Panda Hobby is first to produce another modern subject, this time is the 1/35 M109A7 Paladin. The kit is molded in tan styrene and is presented on seven parts trees plus upper and lower hull, upper turret half, and rear storage container, one tree of clear parts, two frets of photo-etched parts, and one box of individual track links cast in white metal. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Detailed suspension/drive train
- Nicely detailed hull exterior
- Photo-etched grilles on the engine deck
- Positionable driver's hatch
- Positionable rear compartment door (no interior inside hull)
- Positionable turret hatches
- Clear periscopes
- Detailed turret exterior
- Detailed 155mm howitzer
- Choice of crewed .50 cal machine gun, crewed grenade launcher, or CROWS II atop turret
- Individual track links
- One figure included along with a 155mm projectile
Decals are provided for two subjects, both of which are in desert colors.
This is going to be a relatively easy build though there are lots of details and opportunities to weather this model. There don't appear to be any surprises and this will be a fun build to add to the scale garrison.
My sincere thanks to Panda-Hobby for the review sample.