In-Box Review
M198 155mm Towed Howitzer
M198 155mm Medium Towed Howitzer (Early Version)
  • 001307

by: Mike Del Vecchio [ REDLEG12 ]

The M198 155mm towed howitzer was first developed and introduced during the late 1970s to replace the aging M114 155mm towed howitzer, which had its origins to WWII. The main design concept of the M198 was to greatly increase the range over the M114 while still providing a 155mm towed using the current inventory of ammunition.

The M198 was fielded to the US Army and to the US Marine Corps where it replaced the aging M101A1 105mm howitzer, thus not only giving more range, but more firepower. The M198 has also been fielded by some US allies such as Australia and Canada.

The main drawback of the M198 was its size and weight. For mobile or air assault units, it was difficult to transport and required a large crew.
Currently the US Army and Marine Corps are in the process of replacing the M198 with the new M777 which is lighter and more automated, but still carries the big punch. The M198 served well in Operation Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom .
The M198 is usually paired with an M923/925 5 ton truck as the prime mover.
Plastic Parts:
Upon opening the box you are presented with 4 sprues, A, B and 2 x C. The A sprue contains the large base parts of the howitzer while the B sprue has the barrel and panels for the trails, mountings for the barrel, sights and other miscellaneous parts. The C sprue is the tire rims, suspension, hand wheels, handles, ammunition and powder.

All of the sprues appear to be molded very well. The details appear to be crisp with no flash and what ejector pin marks do exist, are placed in places where they will not show on the finished model.
The gun trails are molded from styrene, and the big box channel molding appears excellent with no molding imperfections.

Added Parts and Accessories:
Other parts included are two rubber main tires and two smaller auxiliary tires. They again are crisp with the proper tread pattern and molded markings.
A small photo etch sheet is included for the large rounded cover on the rear of the weapon. Also on the sheet are some other small detail parts for the main carriage.
Covers which are pre rounded and made from photo etch are included for the covers on the equilibrators.
Lastly there is a small sheet of decals and string included for the lanyard.

The kit includes a 12 page instruction booklet. There are 17 total steps to the assembly of the kit. The last two steps are a choice which allows the modeler to either portray the weapon in travel mode or in firing mode. The instructions appear clear and are in the normal “picture” mode.
Also included with the instructions is a separate gloss sheet which is two sided and gives either camouflage or all green paint pattern and shows where the small set of decals are placed.
This kit appears to make a good addition to any 1/35 firing battery and will pair up well with an Italeri M923 or M925 as its prime mover.
Highs: The kit is molded quite well with crisp details. Kit includes a small PE sheet, good tires and a nice color painting guide.
Lows: The plastic barrel! This kit would be perfect if Trumpeter provided a metal barrel. Considering the barrel length, this is a huge low.
Verdict: This kit will make a good addition to anyones scale battery. The kit will pair well with the Italeri M923 or 925 5 ton truck and AFV 155mm/ 8 inch ammunition to build a great artillery emplacement.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 02306
  Suggested Retail: 45.99
  PUBLISHED: Feb 15, 2009
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Mike Del Vecchio (redleg12)

I modeled both plastic models and model rockets from my early years through college. I left the hobby to have multiple carrers, family and all those things. After almost 30 years I returned and found a passion with 1/35 scale artillery in 2004. Today I am a retired Major, US Army Artillery Office...

Copyright ©2021 text by Mike Del Vecchio [ REDLEG12 ]. All rights reserved.

Comments This might help shed some light on that. This appears to be the PIP that led to the M198A1. There also appears to be an M198A2.
FEB 16, 2009 - 11:20 AM
Very nice review. Having chiefed the M198 I can only tell you a few of the differences in the older version. I'm not sure if the upgrades constituted an actual designation between early and late, but these are some of the differences: Early models did not have the reinforcing gussets around the area of the travel lock, and the wheel/tire combo was not sufficient for the weight of the gun. They were later changed as the tires were prone to blowouts. There were also problems with the original trunnions, which were replaced as well. Brake pressure guages were added to more easily monitor the brake pressure. ETA: Wow. Apparently a lot more involved, according to the post above mine. Most of those changes will remain unseen. One thing I am curious about: Does the PE barrel shroud have the perforations in it? One of our artillery experts on here claimed there were no perforations on the real thing, which is untrue. I'm curious if the kit portrays this feature.
FEB 16, 2009 - 11:20 AM
James - Thanks Bob - Yep, this big boy needs a 5 ton. The upcoming Trumpeter release is the M1078 with only a single rear axel......wrong truck. I'm sure it will come in another variant but at least not until next year. You will just have to stick with "my generation" for now....M923 Joe - Thanks for the info 18 Bravo - To answer your question, yes the barrel shroud is perforated Rounds Complete!!
FEB 17, 2009 - 12:08 AM
Cool! A plastic 2 piece barrel! Now I can spend all my time fiddling to get it aligned. Sigh... I guess this is why they call it "modeling".
FEB 17, 2009 - 12:32 AM
It sounds like a great kit, but now there is a new piece of artillary for us modern kit builders.
FEB 17, 2009 - 01:08 AM
I just got my kit two days ago and your review helped a lot in my decision to get it although I have been looking for this artillery piece for a while now. About the barrel, will it not be too heavy if it were metal considering its length and size
FEB 25, 2009 - 08:07 PM
The M1083 will in fact be released sometime in the future. Check out this thread.. scroll down a bit and you will see pics posted by Iamsu. Hisham
FEB 25, 2009 - 08:25 PM
Noli - I'm glad the review helped. As far as the metal barrel weight, I would not think so, yes it is long, but if it were a problem, you could add counter weight to the hollow trails. Hisham - Thanks for the link. I figured once they came out with the 1078, likr the have done with the Stryker, there would be other kits of the different variants. I'm old school, almost all the time the M198 has been in service, it has been towed by M923/5 series. That will complete my system! Rounds Complete!!
FEB 27, 2009 - 12:07 AM
Nice looking howitzer, great addition to the modern armor models.
FEB 27, 2009 - 03:30 AM

Click image to enlarge
  • 006162
  • 005189
  • 004204
  • 003203
  • 002241