Geschutzwagen 39 H (f)
On Track Models
||resin with Injection Moulded Tracks
||First Look and Construction Summary
Reviewed by Brian
During the invasion of France, hundreds of French Tanks were captured including the
Hotchkiss H-39 Tanks. These vehicles were converted to Anti-tank and Self-propelled
artillery vehicles. Between 1942 and 1943, 48 Hotchkiss H-39 tanks were converted to
artillery platforms. These vehicles mounted 10.5cm howitzers. Most of these conversions
used the leFH 18 howitzer, but a few were converted using the leFH 16 howitzers.
I have only been able to confirm 3 battalions that used this vehicle, (note: unit of issue
is 12 to a battalion so there is one more unit). This howitzer saw use in the 1/155
Motorized Artillery Regiment, 21st Panzer Division; Sturmgeschutz Abteilung
200; and the 8th Panzerartillerie Abteilung. They were still in service during
1944 and saw action in Normandy. These vehicles were only used in the West.
The only known surviving vehicle is located at the Saumur Museum in France.
1. Books International (English version of Wydawnictwo Militaria) Wespe,
2. Panzers in the Saumur No. 3, ISBN 4-499-20597-2
3. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of WWII, Chamberlain, Doyle, Jentz ISBN
As my past experience with On Track Model, this kit is of high quality.
It is molded in a tan resin and the injection tracks are in a black styrene. It includes a
detailed interior. In my example, someone had cut into the bag with the individual links
and removed 1 complete fret of links, and cut 1/3 of a fret from 2 others. An email to the
company resulted in a return email only hours later and the replacement parts arrived
about 12 days later. That's what I call service. No decals are included. The instructions
are straightforward and include an eight-page photo layout of the finished model from
Steps 1 and 2 consist of building the road wheels. Each side has six road wheels; two each
are encased in three assemblies. To build one assembly, eight parts are used.
Step 3 is the mounting of the road wheel assemblies, the return wheels, and the drive
wheels to the lower hull. This step also included the mounting of the front nose (which
has the stamped 'Hotchkiss' plate on it). The interior is also begun at this time with the
installation of the transmission, drive shaft, and engine firewall. There is no engine
included, but it would not be visible anyway.
Step 4 and 5 is the interior of the two fighting compartment shields.
This includes the mounting of machine gun ammunition drums, storage boxes, radio,
periscope tubes, 10.5cm cased ammunition shells on one side and uncased shells on the
other side. A 'at-a-boy feature of this kit is that the plates on the shells contain all
the stamp markings that you would find on rear shells.
Step 6 is the building of the cannon, mount, and the front shield. Also in this step, the
rear floor is installed and the shields from steps 4 and 5 are attached. The tracks are
also installed at this time. While the tracks are not 'ModelKasten' quality, they are on
par with the DML tracks and are a big improvement over the older resin individual links
that were included in some of the first On Track Kits.
Step 7 is the finishing of the rear and the outside compartment.
Included in this step is the mounting of the muffler, lights, tow hooks,
tools, and rear hatches.
Review Copyright © 1999 by Brian
Page Created 11 March, 1999
Last updated 22 July, 2003
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