with 105mm Howitzer

Italeri Kit #6429
1:35th Scale
First Look by Terry Ashley

The Vehicle: (Notes by Peter Brown)
The DUKW amphibian is the classic example of a vehicle designed to do a specific job which it did well. Sixty years after it first saw the light of day, it may have been imitated but perhaps never bettered in in many cases, like the old Dakota cargo plane, its only replacement is another one. Based on the mechanical parts of the GMC 2.5 ton 6x6 truck, it combined the features of a land-based load carrier with a utility boat which allowed stores, men and equipment to be moved quickly and efficiently between ships offshore and supply dumps inland. Although like most hybrids it had its problems - for example, the enclosed boat hull meant that any cargo had to be raised and lowered into the carrying area which took more effort that in a conventional lorry, and it was a big vehicle to manoeuvre in built-up areas - its only real problems in operation was that there were times when there were not enough of them and other times when they were allowed to travel too far inland to make the best use of their unusual characteristics.

Introduced into service 1943, the DUKW served first in Sicily, then on through the Italian and North-West European campaigns and also in the Pacific although the tracked LVT series were more common there and it was also used in Burma. It continued in use in military service for many years post-war, several found their way into civilian agencies as emergency and rescue vehicles, others have been used with greater or lesser degrees of modification as pleasure craft and several preserved ones appear at vehicle rallies.

The Kit:
Following their earlier DUKW, Italeri have now re-released the kit with the inclusion of the 105mm Howitzer.

The kit is basically the same as the first release plus the addition of the four wheel well spats, an extra tyre ‘bumper’ and some wheel chocks with altered parts 21A and 22A (see below) so check the review of kit 6392 here for a rundown on the kit contents.

ItaleriAlso included is the M2 105mm Howitzer which is exactly as it was when released as kit No.319 some years back and still includes the three figures which are rather basic by today’s standards. The 105 is not bad for its age as it comes from the time when Italeri kits had very fine parts and crisp clean mouldings and in some respects better than some current Italeri kits. There are some sizable pin ejector marks to be removed from many of the parts which were also a characteristic of past Italeri kits but nothing that can’t be dealt with.

The new box is also thankfully quite a bit larger than the first kit to accommodate the extra 105mm howitzer parts.

The only alterations to the original kit parts are to the side panels of the cargo bay (parts 21A and 22A) which have two “notches” added to accept the 105 wheel hubs due to the gun being slightly too wide to fit into the cargo bay as it comes.

Images of the cargo bay sides from the kit 6392 (top)
and the altered parts from kit 6429 (Bottom) with the "notches" added.


This notch was incorporated into the side panels in DUKWs, from June of 1950. During WWII, the M2 series 105mm carriage frequently used narrower wheels and tires (7.50-24), mainly as a rubber economy measure. With these mounted the M2 carriage would fit in the bed so long as the tires were on blocking to keep the wheel nuts above the bed coaming. It's also possible that some impromptu "body work" was performed to allow the wheel hubs to clear. After the war, the specified 9.00-20 wheels and tires were used which are what are in the 105mm kit. (Thanks to Kurt Laughlin for this additional information and the image below.)


This and the drain holes on the side panels means only a post WWII vehicle can be made from the kit parts as they come in the box without modification.

A length of twine is included for the tie down ropes for securing the gun to the cargo bay and the instructions have a diagram showing the positioning of the ropes.

ItaleriA new decal sheet is included with markings for four DUKWs, two used by the USMC at Iwo Jima in 1945 and is finished in the distinctive Olive Drab/Dark Sand Yellow/Light Sand Yellow cam scheme and two from US Army units in Germany 1945. One of these is from the Seventh Army and carries the colourful marking “Pistol Packing Mama” on both sides of the hull and is shown on page 67 of Allied & Axis No.2, the other has the nickname “The Texan” but is otherwise unidentified.

Overall a nice kit and if you are familiar with the first DUKW kit then you know what to expect from this “new” kit. Any of the update/detail sets released for the first kit will also be able to be used here with the possible exception of the canvas cover over the cargo bay if the gun is fitted. The inclusion of the wheel well spats will be useful as this seemed a bit of an omission from the first kit.

The Sprues
Click for larger view,
New Parts
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bookUS Amtracs and Amphibians at War

Steven Zaloga & George Balin
Concord Publications
ISBN 962-361-655-4

bookGround Power Magazine
#67 - 12/1999

Published by
Delta Publishing Co.Ltd.

Easy 1WWII US War Department
Technical Manual CD-ROM
TM9-325 US 105mm howitzer

Easy 1 Productions #T003

Easy 1WWII US War Department
Technical Manual CD-ROM
TM9-802 US 2 1/2 Ton, 6x6 Amphibian Truck (DUKW - 353)

Easy 1 Productions #T025
The Photo Journal of the Second World War No.2

Ampersand Publishing.
The publishers of MMIR magazine.
96 pages soft cover.
bookDUKW in Action
Squadron/Signal books #2035
ISBN 0-89747-372-8

bookmv-2 DUKW 2 1/2 ton 6x6 Amphibian
Jeff Woods
ISO Publications


On the web: Kit courtesy of my Credit Card and the excellent service from Blast Models

Page Created 12 March 2004
Updated 13 March 2004

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