In-Box Review
3-Inch Gun or 105mm Howitzer
WWII US 3-Inch M5 ATG/w M1 or 105mm Howitzer M2A1 Carriage
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by: Mike High [ TACFIREGURU ]


The M2A1 105mm howitzer was the WWII standard light artillery piece for American artillery units in the European and Pacific theaters. The M2A1 entered production in 1941 and was the replacement for the 75mm WWI howitzer.

The US 3-inch Gun, M5, was an anti-tank gun developed during WWII. The gun united the barrel of the T9 anti-aircraft gun and components of the M2 105mm howitzer. The M5 was issued to tank destroyer battalions in 1943 and the M5 saw combat in the Italian campaigns and in Northwest Europe.


This PE set is for either the AFV Club kit AF 35S64, U.S. 3-inch Gun M5 on Carriage M1 or AF 35160, 105mm Howitzer M2A1 & Carriage M2.

Included with this set are two frets of PE, one length of plastic rod, and one length of brass wire. There are also the requisite instructions; one-sheet (two sides) that are well laid out and clearly defined.

This set will cover the gun shield and its related brackets, braces, and hinges. There are also fittings for the trails, replacement spades, “base plates” for five rounds, and a grip for the hand brake. As a bit of a bonus, there are replacement parts for the .50 cal that could be mounted on top of the gun’s recuperator (as this was for sub-caliber training and not used in combat). However, unlike the picture provided with the set and Voyager’s website, the barrel and cooling sleeve are not provided (VBS 0201).

The Review

This Voyager Model PE set will do an excellent job of adding detail to either your M2A1 105mm howitzer or US M5 3-inch Gun.

As mentioned, the instructions are quite clear and will leave little doubt as to where the parts are to be attached. Needless to say, with some of the parts being exceptionally small, I would recommend laying the PE down on a medium to dark (Tamiya or painter’s) tape to allow for greater visibility and to keep the part from “launching into the nether regions” as it’s removed from the fret.

The instructions are laid out in easy to understand sub-assemblies. All steps clearly indicate if a kit part needs something removed or drilled. There is one section (d) covering the inner shield brackets that will require brass or aluminum tubing (not provided). No size is offered, but it appears it would need to have approximately a 1mm outer diameter? I don’t know that needing the tubing and the fiddly aspect of the end pieces would make this much of a benefit over the kit’s plastic parts.

The hinges, as with PE of this caliber, are quite intricate. The top portion of the shields can be bent to the proper angle; I would recommend forming the shield first, then attaching the hinges and support brackets.


This is a very nice set of PE for the aforementioned kits. There are a lot of very small and delicate parts so attention and patience will be needed. The set covers most, if not all, of the parts one would want to replace. Highly recommended.
Highs: A very nice set to detail-out either the 105mm Howitzer or 3-inch Gun.
Lows: Set needs tubing for the inner shield braces which is not provided. Voyager’s typical method of showing more that what’s provided.
Verdict: A very nice set of photo etch for the AFV Club 3-Inch Gun or 105mm Howitzer. This set will replace the commonly needed-to-be-replaced parts. Care will need to be taken when removing some parts from the frets and when assembling the hinges.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: PE 35449
  Suggested Retail: 6.99
  Related Link: Voyager PE 35449 Page
  PUBLISHED: May 27, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Voyager Model!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Mike High (TacFireGuru)

Like most, I started out in my young years; building Monogram armor and aircraft. Joining the Army at 17 in 1981 put a stop to my building for many years, I retired in 2001 and ran across Armorama....I've been re-hooked since. I'm a notoriously slow builder and seem to have more than one buil...

Copyright ©2021 text by Mike High [ TACFIREGURU ]. All rights reserved.


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