In-Box Review
M109A2/A6 Engine
M109A2/A6 Engine and Transmission Set
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by: Gino P. Quintiliani [ HEAVYARTY ]

M109 History

The M109 is an American-made self-propelled 155 mm howitzer, first introduced in the early 1960s. It has been upgraded a number of times to the current M109A6 Paladin version. The M109 family is the most common Western indirect-fire support weapon of manoeuvre brigades of armored and mechanized infantry divisions. The M109A2/A6 is powered by a two-cycle diesel, 440hp, DDEC 8V71T engine from Detroit Diesel Corporation, and an Allison ATD-XTG-411-4 transmission with four forward and two reverse gears. The vehicle has a range of 214 miles with a maximum speed of 40mph. The M109 saw its combat debut in Vietnam. Israel used the M109 against Egypt in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and in the 1982 Lebanon War and 2006 Lebanon War. Iran used the M109 in the Iran–Iraq War, in the 1980s. The M109 saw service with the British Army, the Egyptian Army and Saudi Arabian Army in the 1991 Gulf War. The M109 also saw service with the U.S. Army in the Gulf War, as well as in the Iraq War from 2003 to 2011.

The Set

On the heels of the excellent new series on M109 Howitzer kits from AFV Cub, Real Model introduces an engine and transmission set to dress them up. The set includes on large casting of the engine and transmission and a small casting for the batteries. The set comes packed in a sturdy cardboard box with the parts bagged inside. There is also a single sheet guide included that shows color photos of an actual engine to assist in painting.

The mold quality of this set is exquisite. Real Model has captured the engine and transmission parts expertly. I don’t know how they are able to cast that much detail in one large piece. There are various hoses and lines that are completely free of any supports and they are cast perfectly. The most baffling is a hose from the engine to the transmission that is about an inch long and has nothing holding it up. It is just there, spanning the gap. The smaller casting for the batteries is equally well-molded and looks great as well. There is everything here to make a really nice engine compartment. All you need to do is connect the battery compartment with the main casting, paint, and drop in place. The only thing you may want to add is a prop shaft on the driver’s side from the transmission to the final drive. This may not be needed though since it is mostly buried under the battery boxes.

The set is designed for the new AFV Club kit and drops right into their hulls with no modification. Also, the parts line up with the open hatches perfectly. With slight modifications (a bit of sanding and filing), it will also fit into the Italeri M109 (and its re-boxed releases by Revell and Tamiya) hulls.

Highs: Expertly cast and easy to install since it is in two big pieces.
Lows: None noted.
Verdict: This is a very nice and expertly cast set that will be very useful to dress up your M109 models well. I highly recommend this set. It looks great; a winner for Real Model.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35257
  Suggested Retail: $45.95
  PUBLISHED: Nov 03, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Gino P. Quintiliani (HeavyArty)

Retired US Army Artillery Officer, currently a contractor at MacDill AFB in the Tampa, FL area. I have been modelling for the past 40+ years, really seriously on armor and large scale helos (1/32, 1/35) for the last 35 or so.

Copyright ©2021 text by Gino P. Quintiliani [ HEAVYARTY ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks for editing and posting the review Darren. This is really a nice little set.
NOV 03, 2013 - 06:04 AM
Hi Darren, thanks for the detailed review. And nice you used a Dutch engine photo. (6)
NOV 03, 2013 - 06:43 AM

Click image to enlarge
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