Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Review - Heer46 Russian B-4 Howitzer

Time flies when you have a real job to do - my apologies for the long gap between posts...

Anyway, today I have a look at Heer46's massive B-4 howitzer.

The 203mm howiter M1931 B-4, nicknamed Stalin's sledgehammer, represents the heaviest artillery used by the Red Army in significant numbers.It entered service in 1933 and was used as division and corps artillery until the 1950s. During this time the "Bolshevik" factory produced over 800 of these guns. It was mounted on wheeled or tracked carriages, both without their own engine. Overall weight was close to 20 tons with an overall length of 9.3 m. 15 men were needed to achieve a nominal rate of fire of 1 round per minute. Every shell contained 100 kg of high explosives and had a range of 18 km.

The Heer46 kit comes in just 7 parts and assembly is pretty straight forward. No additional work beside a good scrub with soap water  was needed and everything can be put together easily with superglue.

The only major issue I have with the kit is that it can only be build in transport position. It is not possible to elevate the barrel and the tail is just one piece.

There is also no crew available, so I've built mine out of Warlord Games's Soviet Infantry (Winter) box.

Here are some pictures of the partially painted version (together with partially painted crew of 5):

And last but not least, a size comparison with the T-26:

Taken together, the B-4 is a nice model and a good addition to every Soviet army. It is definitely exotic and an eye-catcher, and I can't remember how many times I was asked if that is a 40K gun ;)
Anyway, an option to build it in firing position would be great.
The prize is 23.5€ (~ 26 US-$ or £20), which is okay considering that it comes from a small company and is the only way I know to get this particular gun.

Next time (and hopefully not again a full 4 weeks in the future) I will have a look at some infantry sets I recently received from Black Tree Designs.