Trumpeter 1/72 British AS-90 SPG Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||October 2005||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||British AS-90 Self-Propelled Gun (SPG)||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||7221||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Highly detailed||Cons||Many small parts that may not appeal to the beginner|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$14.95|
The AS-90 'Braveheart' is a 155mm self-propelled gun (SPG) that provides mobile artillery support to the forces of the Royal Army. Entering service in 1992, this formidable artillery system arrived too late for Desert Storm, but the Braveheart was front and center during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Since its service introduction, 179 AS-90s were produced, though approximately 140 are currently in service as the Ministry of Defence downsizes the Royal Army.
Not long after its service entry, the AS-90 underwent a number of upgrades, including the 'Desert' upgrade to make the system more compatible with the harsh conditions faced during Desert Storm (and again in OIF). A longer barrel has been designed to extend the firing range of the AS-90 as well.
When you open the box of this latest release from Trumpeter, you'd think that this was a 1/35 scale kit for all of the parts. This kit is molded in light gray styrene and is presented on six parts trees, plus the upper and lower hulls and turret. In all, the consists of 388 parts and there is no interior! According to the instructions, all of these parts are used in this build. So if you're wondering if this kit is detailed, wonder no more!
Assembly begins with a nicely detailed lower hull and suspension. You can see in the middle photo that the road wheels and suspension arms are one tree and the track is on the other. There are actually two trees of wheels and two of track, the duplicates were not shown. The track is molded in varying lengths to make assembly easy, with only individual track links needed to run around the drive sprocket and return.
Next comes the upper hull with its various fittings and stowage boxes. The completed upper hull comes together with the lower hull.
The most detail seems to rest with the turret. The exterior receives lots of stowage boxes, pioneering tools and a basket.
Markings are provided for an OIF vehicle and an SFOR example.
Trumpeter continues to raise the bar on detail for 1/72 scale armor.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!