The barrel can also be used with the Dragon "Hummel" kits if required but the construction notes here are for fitting the barrel to the two sFH 18 15cm Field Howitzer kits.
The set has the single turned aluminium barrel that matches available dimensions well with the muzzle drilled out to a depth of 15mm that includes fine rifling for a good appearance. The etched fret includes parts for the barrel, breech and gun cradle as well as a bonus a couple of 15cm ammo boxes plus the decal stencils for the boxes and 15cm ammo rounds.
Stencil decal sheet
For the barrel itself there is a small etched ring with fine bolt heads for around the foremost barrel section while other etched parts are for the kit gun cradle support and a small upper fitting for the breech. There are alternate cradle parts for either the Dragon or Trumpeter kit and you should take note of the different part numbers here.
For the Dragon kit only there is additional etched detail parts for the breech block that require you to cut away part of the plastic block to add back the etched parts. These should only be added if displaying the breech open as it will not slide all the way closed with the etched parts attached.
To fit the barrel to the kit breech is similar on both kits and it is best to assemble the breech halves and allow the glue to dry fully before making any alterations to make the job easier. For the Dragon kit you firstly cut away the locating pin on the front of the breech and drill a 6mm hole, the instructions say a 5mm hole but you will need 6mm to fit the metal barrel plug snugly.
For the Trumpeter kit you only need to enlarge the hole in the breech to 6mm and as there is already a smaller hole in the kit breech this is fairly sinple operation.
When drilling large holes in small parts as with the Dragon breech it is best to drill a small hole first to ensure it is located centrally and progressively drill larger holes say starting with 2mm then 3.5mm, 4.5mm until the final 6mm drill, this will make holding the part easier and reduce any problems that may occur if you just tried to drill the 6mm straight off.
Assembled barrel on the Dragon kit, note additional etched details on the breech block
Comparison of the available metal barrel rifling.
Barrel length comparison of available metal barrels including the Dragon and Trumpeter kit barrels.
There is also provided in multi-part etched assemblies are the two cartridge cases with separate lids and securing latches allowing these to be built open or closed for diorama purposes as well as the small decal sheet with a selection of stencilling for the cases and the kit supplied shells and cartridges for a very nice finally to the update set.
Assembly of the cases is a little intricate and care will be needed but the end result are quite detailed cartridge cases wiht the instructions having exploded view drawings that are quite easy to follow but as usual you should study these carefully before assembly to avoid any problems.
The bonus cartidge cases are jsut that a nice bonus to use with the gun in a diorama setting to add more value to the set.
The question most would ask is why would you want a new metal barrel when both kits come with metal barrels already? The answer to that is the Dragon barrel doesn't have any rifling while the Trumpeter barrel rifling is quite crude so this barrel adds to that detail quite noticably. There is also the additional etched parts to add further detail making the set a very viable option for those wanting to detail up their sFH18 kits.
Highly recommended 8.5/10.
See the sFH-18 150mm Howitzer subjects page for additional reviews.
German Heavy Field Artillery
Ground Power No.70
See the Griffon Model website for full details of update sets available.