Tamiya- German Heavy Self-Propelled Howitzer Hummel (Late Production)
For an overview of my First Look at this kit, please refer to: https://www.amps-armor.org/SiteReviews/ShowReview.aspx?id=14392
Well- we begin where most armor builds begin- the lower hull- adding return rollers, and assorted parts underneath.
The rear panel attaches as well as the bogies, exhausts, road wheels, idlers, and drive sprockets. All road and idler wheels have poly caps inside which make adding and removing them for painting quite easy.
Next step is assembly and installation of the link and length tracks, as well as the fighting compartment floor, fenders, and upper hull parts. Following this is the attachment of the upper hull to the lower, as well as the installation of the ammunition cases, antenna, and armor plates.
Step 18 begins assembly of parts to the side armor plates. The inside faces of these plates have definite sink marks which are mostly hidden by the parts you attach such as the MG34, barrel cleaning tools, and other assorted boxes. However, one may want to remove these before all of that. Attaching these side plates proved not as easy as you would expect from a Tamiya kit...not everything sat flush as it should and some clamping was needed to get things square.
At step 24, construction of the gun begins. These steps are where the small screws and pins come in, making the gun moveable. The steps for the cradle assembly benefit from care, so one doesn't lose the small screw to attach things like I did. The equilibrators feature a ring jig to help achieve the desired shape which helps once you go to snap them in place.At this point, one must decide to use the two piece plastic barrel or the separate metal barrel, which includes rifling inside. I chose to use the metal and loved the results.
After fitting the barrel into the cradle, all the small bits like the traverse wheel and gun elevation assemblies continue.The gun shield and front armor plate complete this assembly. I had a bit of trouble when it came time to attach the front armor plate. One side snapped right into place, but not the other. It really took some time and patience to get it to sit correctly. To complete the build, we work on assembling the platform for loading shells and the rear doors. Sink marks were again the case on the inside faces of these doors as one can clearly see in my closeup photo-
From there, assembly of the figures begins as well as finishing the shells and cases and attaching the decals for the two types of shells-- HE and smoke. Figures are newer and went together really well--- I really like what Tamiya has done with it's newer figures.
Paint and Finishing
I chose the Western paint scheme since this was a big anniversary year for D-Day and I was feeling like honoring that. I used AMMO by Mig Dunkelgelb paint for the one toned scheme and the Tamiya decals went down smoothly. I used some of AMMO's Oilbrushers to help with the oil paint rendering technique, as well as their pigments and washes for inside. Some Value Gear German stowage was added throughout to give it a bit more lived in look. The last couple photos show off the figures a bit better as well as the fixes to the sink marks...
Tamiya continues to deliver excellent upgrades to their tried and true kits. In this case, the addition of the Detail Up Parts Series metal barrel really brings the quality of the kit to a new level. New figures and the link and length tracks are an excellent upgrade as well- and they all really look great! The sink marks on the armor plating sides and rear doors are a bit of trouble and require some meticulous work to remove. In the end though, the modeler is left with an excellent representation of this important piece of self-propelled gun history and the makings of an excellent vignette or diorama.
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders and those interested in self-propelled artillery guns.
Thanks goes out to Tamiya for this review kit.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
If you liked this review, consider joining AMPS. Your annual membership
includes six copies of AMPS's magazine, Boresight,
and helps to support our ongoing reviews.
Click here for more information about joining AMPS