M55 8 Inch Self-Propelled Howitzer 1:32 Scale Revell Kit #85-7855 Review

RoR Step-by-Step Review 20110521*
M55 8 Inch Self-Propelled Howitzer 1:32 Scale Revell Kit #85-7855 Review
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The M55 used components of the M47 Patton tank, but the automotive aspects were reversed. The engine was mounted in the front and drove through a front-drive sprocket. The driver’s cupola is visible on the front left of the turret, and spare track blocks were stored on the turret front. When ‘Nam came around the U.S. Army quickly pressed the M55 into service. It only carried 10 rounds but its 203.2mm howitzer could drop them on targets over 10 miles away. While it borrowed components from the M-47 it had significant drive train and layout differences.

For the Modeler: This is a Revell Selected Subjects Program (SSP) release of the Renwal Blue Print Model Series 8 Inch Self-Propelled Howitzer Revell kit #85-7855. It is a skill level 2, 1:32 scale; kit molded in white, clear and chrome plated pieces with soft vinyl tires. My initial thoughts of the kit; Revell made a good choice bringing this model back because models of this vehicle are hard to find.  Over all, the kit is less detailed than newer models on the market today but that should be expected from older re-released kits. The kit instructions have been updated by Revell and are very easy to follow and are clearly illustrated but because this kit is produced from an older mold most of the parts will require cleaning up, trimming, filling and sanding to produce an award winner. While comparing the kit instruction to my M55 reference material I noted that a muzzle and flash suppressor are available for the gun barrel. Puzzled by this, I conducted an extensive search to find photographs of the actual vehicle that had these parts installed but I was unable to find any. I decided to build the model to represent an M55 at the time of the Vietnam War. Unlike the box art, this vehicle was likely never camouflaged by the US Army at the time the vehicle was in service there. This kit also comes with six crew figures that were not used for this review.  Happy Modeling – Pat

Covered in this Review: If you want to perfect your build; basic construction; paint selections and applications;  preparing parts for better finishing; adhesive selections and applications; design and camouflage considerations are made for historical accuracy; altered assembly sequences for fit and finish; interior finishing options are discussed; marking and decals considerations; preparing parts for good adhesion; identifying and repairing mold flash, ejection pin marks and seams; using styrene rod to simulate hull bolts; making realistic exhaust grills; using differing shades of color for realism; more robust track construction; weathering techniques; highlighting panel lines for realism; barrel modifications for fit and authenticity; turret door issues; telescope sequence warning; adding scratch built parts to the commander’s hatch; adding a nickname with dry transfers; Using decal setting solutions; are all fully examined in this complete 14 page, full-color Step-by-Step review.

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