AFV Club 155mm M-109 Doher
The Israeli Army is well known for fielding only the most rugged of military hardware, and in self propelled artillery, the M-109 is almost the exclusive in Israeli inventory. This is AFV Clubs rendition of an M-109A2 Doher. Doher, or runner in Hebrew, is a follow on to the successful M-109A1 Rochev program. The Doher generally replaced Rochev in most all Israeli SP armor units by 2003.
AFV Club has put an exhaustive amount of work into creating this highly accurate kit, and the work shows. Right out of the gate, the sturdy box provides reference material and an unusual photo orientation. Packed inside the box are no less than 18 (yes EIGHTEEN) sprue trees, one photo etch sheet, one turned aluminum barrel and spring assembly, rubber tracks, and other small parts. Because of the extensive parts count and the size of some of the finer parts, I personally recommend that builders with some skill tackle this project.
No kidding there are at LEAST 18 sprue sheets. Some are double sheets and AFV club was nice enough to include extras like personal weapons, ammo crates, bags, spent rounds, and other parts to enhance the already intricate kit. I was very surprised to see the turned aluminum part for the barrel and the spring mechanism, a very smart addition to this kit from AFV CLUB.
AFV Club did a nice job of packaging inside, as you can see with the barrel, all of the items were individually packaged in bags (some of the double sprue sheets like the "P" sprue were packaged together). I did have one single part that fell out of a bag when I removed the trees, so it is worthy of note to take a look before opening or make sure that you open the bags somewhere parts will not end up on the floor.
Getting into the instruction booklet ( yes its a BOOKlet!) there is a dizzying array of steps to accomplish. Some of these steps can be a bit confusing, so slow intentional reading and dry fitting of parts is definitely in order to avoid confusion and future frustrations. The 47 step instruction booklet provides fairly detailed instructions, but the modeler must pay close attention to steps as many require multiple steps within each and/or modification of the supplied parts to accurately depict the Israeli version here.
The parts are all very nicely identified in both the instructions and on the sprue sheets when they are there ( more on that later). Sprue gates are fairly thick and might require some attention with sanding sticks after parts are removed, but should not present a problem for modelers of average skills. There are quite a few ejector pin marks on many of the larger parts, so its important to understand if these will be seen in the final product and address them accordingly.
While on the subject of trees, AFV club has put a lot of attention into SMALL details, and as such the modeler needs to have some way of removing these parts from their sprue gates without sending the part to feed the carpet monster! Additionally, some of these parts as you can see in the above picture are fragile, and unfortunately some of my parts suffered breakage in moving through the trees. Be careful with any of the bin basket parts as they are very thin and break easily. As my friend Steve says, "lots of fiddly bits" in this one, so have some form of vision enhancers and part removers handy, take time to use either tape or a plastic bag to cut parts in, and be ready to pay close attention to part numbers and sprue trees.
Decals and painting instructions are provided for four versions of IDF Dohers and should be no problem for someone with average skills.
Highly Recommended for intermediate to Advanced builders.
Thanks goes out to AFV CLUB for this review kit.
Reviewed by Brian Messier
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