by Gil Gonsoulin
This is another Roden kit enough said: The Roden Howitzer was released (or escaped) to be a companion to their Holtz 75 artillery tractor. The kit consists of the howitzer, limber and a fixed emplacement mount. The emplacement mount isn’t shown on the box art, but it’s in the kit. It can be assembled in the towed or ground positions. I chose the towed version. One of the photos shows the entire model plus the Holtz 75 tractor. The entire model with tractor is almost two feet in length.
Now on to the model itself: To start off the instructions have a number of errors. Parts are mis-numbered and assembly steps show parts in the wrong place. One of the main faults is the placement of part 1G. These are the bands that go on the howitzers wheels. The box art shows the pattern going in different directions. However the parts can only go on with them both in the same direction. Photos of the real howitzer show them as in the box art. How do you get something this obvious wrong?
Some parts should be left off until the final assemble because they can be broken or miss aligned. Another error is no the limber. The tow ring is attached to the frame with two very small rods. Without some other attachment point this would be torn off as soon as the howitzer was moved. To correct this I added a piece of plastic tube between the ring spring and the limber frame.
The kit was painted using Model Master Field Drab to closely match the tractor. Then it was weathered using Winsor Newton oils. To sum it up this kit is not for the faint of heart. It came close to being in the trash can quite a few times.