China’s ambitions to become a world power are starting to be acknowledged by all, and that include model making companies. Being a Hong Kong company, Meng Model is not exactly what you would call “Chinese company”, although on paper is exactly what it is. And me, not being their most devoted fan, was pretty skeptic when they announced a “new release”, again promised to be very interesting and unusual. Then they released this kit.
And slammed my expectations to the wall. This is not only rare vehicle, but modern, obscured in secrecy, unpopular /in the news and videos/ and most importantly – unexpected from a modeling company. I’ve said pretty much all I think in the video below, and here I will try to mention what I missed to say.
First is the history of it. China begun developing this howitzer in the late 90s, or at least it is believed so. According to different sources, the first prototype was completed in 2003, and the People’s Liberation Army of China begun accepting it into service in 2007. Others claim that it was accepted in 2009, but that really doesn’t matter, as long as we know that now it is in active service. It is developed by Norinco company as a successor to PLZ-45 which have some reputation and it is used by several armies around the World. Little is known about its combat experience, although it was used in local conflicts several times.
Improved variant of PLZ-45 is the vehicle of our interest here, and unfortunately we know little about it. It is believed to be driven by 800-1000HP diesel engine, depending on the modification, maybe, but just maybe made by Deutz. The main gun is 155mm, with a barrel lenght caliber 52 or 55. Firing range is aboce 50km, believed to be 53km. It is a tracked vehicle with torsion bar suspension and with some armor, but not heavy one. Eventually to provide protection from small arms and battlefield shrapnels. The total weight of it is supposed to be 35 000kg.
The turret resembles the one of 2S19 MSTA, and some claim that the semi-automatic ammunition loading system is copied from it too. It is claimed that there is an export and domestic market version which differ one from another.
The kit is simple, which is not typical for Meng Model, but I mos’ def’ dig that!! It features goodies as a metal gun barrel, active suspension, 3 camo schemes, clear parts and nice decals. Being one of my favorite subjects, the Self-propelled howitzers were somewhat dull subjects up until last couple of years. Now Meng gave us this and alongside with PZH 2000 /2 versions/ and its AUF 1, the filled the gap that many wanted filled. I hope you will enjoy the video, and feel free to ask me whatever question about it anytime!
You can get this kit here: Meng PLZ05