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Built Review
135
155mm L/39 Barrel for the AS90
155mm L/39 Barrel for the SPG AS-90
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


_ORGINPUB:
Armorama

Introduction

The AS90 is a 155mm lightly armoured SPG (Self Propelled Gun) which is built by BAE systems. The AS90 went into service with the British Army in 1992, which have so far purchased 179 AS90’s. The AS90 currently equips six regiments in the RA (Royal Artillery) and RHA (Royal Horse Artillery) of the British Army. There are two types of this SPG, which are the AS90 and AS90 Braveheart. The AS90 Braveheart has a 52 calibre weapon as opposed to the 39 calibre of the standard version. There are only two trial versions of the AS90 Braveheart at this time, as the programme has been put on hold.

This barrel is going to be used on the Trumpeter version of the AS90, which does supply a plastic version of both gun types and is, I believe, the only plastic injection moulded version of the AS90 there is.

Contents

The barrel is packed in a clear zip lock bag with a white sticky label with the product details printed on it, the bag is stapled to a printed card listing contact details for JB Model.eu. The bag contains;
• A turned aluminium barrel.
• A turned brass collar.
• A turned brass muzzle brake.
• Two profiled brass baffles for the muzzle brake.
• A brass ring.
• A profiled brass collar.
• A small Photo Etched fret containing two rings and 2 aiming points.
• A resin piece replicating the rubber recoil cover.

Review

Despite my best efforts, I have been unable to locate specifics of the AS90 155mm gun in order to confirm the accuracy of this product. I have measured the components with a digital caliper and those measurements can be seen on the attached pictures in order to clarify exactly where the measurements have been checked.

The aluminium barrel is cleanly turned and well finished, the portion of the turned aluminium barrel that can be seen once assembled tapers down from 6.78mm to 5.83mm. The location for the muzzle brake is a threaded area allowing for the secure connection of the muzzle brake, this end of the barrel is drilled out to a depth of 9.95mm and rifling has been imparted. The rifled portion does have one fault in that it is straight, as opposed to rotating around the inside of the barrel, in my opinion this does not matter as it is only just visible once the muzzle brake is attached.

The muzzle brake, which consists of four brass pieces and one PE ring are cleanly turned and fit together very well. Attaching the outer of the two baffles in the muzzle brake will take some careful planning, as despite being an outer part of the muzzle brake it still fits inside the muzzle brake body. This means that regardless of whether you solder or use CA to attach the piece, the task will need be done on a flat surface and the preferred method executed via the holes in the sides of the muzzle brake. The aiming point for the muzzle brake has been supplied in the form of a PE piece, and two of these have been supplied should the carpet monster get hungry.

The breech end of this barrel overcomes one of the most obvious problems with the kit supplied item. The kit supplied barrel has not replicated the droop of the rubber corrugated sleeve. This error has been overcome in this after market barrel by supplying this part in resin, which is cleanly moulded, well detailed, and without any air bubbles in my sample, and is far superior to the kit version. In order to mate the assembled barrel to the mantlet, you need to remove the locating tab inside the mantlet and the resin “rubber corrugated sleeve” then fits cleanly.

The two brass pieces and the PE ring slide on easily and will need to be attached using your preferred method. I have noted one omission at this end of the barrel which is that the toothed retaining ring, which I believe retains the rubber sleeve, has not been replicated.

From the pictures I have attached to this review you will observe just how much shorter the AM barrel is compared to the kit supplied item. I do know that the kit supplied barrel is too long to be accurate, unfortunately I have been unable to determine by how much. There is one other weakness with this product which is the lack of any instructions, this weakness however is being addressed and instructions will be available on the JB Model.eu website shortly in a PDF format.

Conclusion

My inability to locate exact dimensions of the AS90 main gun means that I cannot comment to confirm or deny its dimensional accuracy. I do, however, feel it is a superior offering to the kit supplied option in terms of finesse of parts, the general look of the assembled main gun, and of course the well replicated droop of the rubber corrugated sleeve.
SUMMARY
Highs: The general fit of the parts is excellent and the droop in the rubber corrugated sleeve really adds to the realism of the product.
Lows: The omission of the toothed retaining ring for the rubber corrugated sleeve spoils what I believe is an excellent product.
Verdict: I highly recommend this product for anyone building a standard AS90. The price, delivery time, postage costs, and overall level of detail is excellent.
Percentage Rating
92%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35B51
  Suggested Retail: 9.85 Euro
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Feb 20, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.04%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.18%

Our Thanks to JB Model.eu!
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 Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2019 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.



Comments

Thank you for the support of the review and kind words Mike and Pawel. Mike you will not be dissapointed. As regards producer verse supplier, I am fully aware that RB Model produce the barrel and that JB Model are the supplier of the barrel. Now as JB Model sent me the product it is JB who get credit/thanked for it. I do however feel a review is not the place for this discussion, but thank you again for lookiing.
FEB 21, 2010 - 04:43 PM
To me, it is no different than if Squadron sent you a Hobby Boss model to review.....still a HB kit. As someone who will be importing RB Model soon, I can tell you that they are indeed RB Model barrels, just that JB sells them as well.
FEB 21, 2010 - 04:53 PM
Darren, excellent review and thanks for taking the time to write it and share it with us. Scott, you have a PM.
FEB 21, 2010 - 05:28 PM
I hate to correct some obvious mis-perceptions on all parts here, but we DO credit the manufacturer of the product. Products supplied by DragonUSA get credited as "Kit supplied by" below the review, but Dragon (DML) or other manufacturer gets listed as the kit maker. The simple situation here was that JB Model did not indicate on the product packaging that RB was the actual maker of the product. So RB was not given the credit. So sorry we are not mind-readers or know every miniscule aspect of the hobby/production on the entire globe. It was a simple mistake and WILL happen again most likely if a vendor re-brands an item as their own. Again... very sorry about this. Errr... no I'm not. Jim
FEB 22, 2010 - 03:39 AM
Jim S and James thank you for your efforts in attempting to clarify the situation. James has changed the title at my request in the hope that future comments will be on the review of the barrel, rather than who made or supplied it. Thank you for looking.
FEB 22, 2010 - 04:48 AM
Hi All, Here's Jerzy - JBModel.eu Normally I am in the background. I saw your discussion and felt it is appropriate to say something. 1st I would like to thank Darren on my behalf - JB and RB - for reviews. I have sent few packages for reviews to help you choose best products Darren is spending his time and did great job. I see huge confusion around our names. JBModel - comes from my initials. I cooperate with RBModel and resell products on top my own JBModel production. From time to time RB does some production runs for me as well, and I supplied some plans for naval barrels. Long and good cooperation. We know each other personally. About labels - they and the names were agreed with RB long time ago to avoid any issues in the future. I simply believe that label brings better exposure and also protects the product during shipping. Product should be packaged nicely. If you look at Pawel's post with his screen shot above. My website clearly mentions the actual producer. There are products made by JB and by RB. I hope that clarifies to all. Thanks again to guys who purchased from me. I am trying to even more improve the products list and the service. Cheers Jerzy JBModel.eu
FEB 23, 2010 - 08:48 PM
Thank you for your comments and clarification Jerzy.
FEB 24, 2010 - 04:25 AM
This barrel set is something I have been waiting for since I got my AS90 kits. Back in 2005 I was able to take some close-up photos, of two AS90s at the Walney Airshow. The airfield is owned by the company which produced the AS90 so they had many of their products on show. I just wish I had taken more shots of the barrel as I only have one that shows the rubber sleeve in any detail. P.S. Just wanted to add that I have just ordered two.
MAR 12, 2010 - 10:37 AM
I buy my RB Model gun barrels and accessories from Blast Models and they come in plain zip-lock bags with the reference of the product but no mention of RB Model on the sticker. For what it's worth I think it's best to list the products as RB Model on Armorama. Cheers, Christophe
MAR 12, 2010 - 09:05 PM
   

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