login   |    register
Armor/AFV
For all ground-operating modelling subjects.
Review
Panda: M109A7 Paladin Howitzer
CMOT
Staff MemberEditor-in-Chief
ARMORAMA
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
KitMaker: 10,954 posts
AeroScale: 290 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 01:16 AM UTC


Gino P. Quintiliani reviews and builds the M109A7 Paladin from Panda Hobby in 1/35th scale.

Read the Review

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
HeavyArty
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: May 16, 2002
KitMaker: 17,690 posts
AeroScale: 1,728 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 01:14 PM UTC
Thanks for posting this up Darren. It has been a fun build and looks really good to me.
Taeuss
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Manitoba, Canada
Joined: January 03, 2016
KitMaker: 3,777 posts
AeroScale: 2 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 01:46 PM UTC
Always liked the M109 family and this new addition looks like a winner that'll make more appreciate this great armoured vehicle. Great review!
gbrame
#488
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Colorado, United States
Joined: October 03, 2005
KitMaker: 30 posts
AeroScale: 1 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 03:29 AM UTC
Being in the middle of this build for the 'I like big guns...' campaign, the review is dead on. Thanks for this. The tracks were time consuming, with the center guides being a challenge. I found using VMS Flex CA worked really really well. The final result is very nice. My first metal tracks.

I scratch built the foul weather view ports based on photos as the supplied piece lacks.. well view ports.

In my kit, I noticed that many of the placement holes for parts were too small and had to be expanded. A few sinks in visible places, and the engineering of the sprue attachments could have been done a little cleaner (like NOT being in the middle of curves that are visible).

Overall a nice kit, my first Panda. I would not recommend to someone not willing to do research or to deviate from the instructions.
HeavyArty
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: May 16, 2002
KitMaker: 17,690 posts
AeroScale: 1,728 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2020 - 10:14 AM UTC
I finished this one up. I had no issues with final assembly, painting, or finishing. I made my own bumper numbers as the kit didn't include any. The decals went on without issue and laid down nicely over a glosscoat. They blended in just fine with a couple coats of flat as well. I really enjoyed building it and highly recommend it if you like modern artillery pieces.

Here it is.







The metal tracks went together fine and fit the sprocket perfectly. They look really nice and add some extra heft to the model. It weighs a ton.


The barrel name, "Absolute Death" (A for Alpha Battery), came from a left over decal sheet from an Abrams.


More here.
laikneth
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Singapore / 新加坡
Joined: September 24, 2013
KitMaker: 75 posts
AeroScale: 1 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2020 - 11:54 PM UTC
Hi Gino.

How many links you used on both sides of the kit?
HeavyArty
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: May 16, 2002
KitMaker: 17,690 posts
AeroScale: 1,728 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 06, 2020 - 01:06 AM UTC
The directions says 85 per side (170 total) and that is what I used. I left the rear idler mount loose so I could adjust the tension once the tracks were on. It worked perfectly.
GulfWarrior
Staff MemberCampaigns Administrator
ARMORAMA
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Texas, United States
Joined: January 05, 2010
KitMaker: 1,051 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 06, 2020 - 02:26 AM UTC
Looks awesome, Gino!!



HeavyArty
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: May 16, 2002
KitMaker: 17,690 posts
AeroScale: 1,728 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 06, 2020 - 06:42 AM UTC
Thanks Richard. I am happy w/it.
GulfWarrior
Staff MemberCampaigns Administrator
ARMORAMA
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Texas, United States
Joined: January 05, 2010
KitMaker: 1,051 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 06, 2020 - 07:00 AM UTC
Has Panda improved their instructions any? I worked on their Tunguska kit but the instructions were so bad that someone from the Tunguska factory would've had a hard time building that thing!




HeavyArty
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: May 16, 2002
KitMaker: 17,690 posts
AeroScale: 1,728 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 06, 2020 - 07:03 AM UTC
Not really. If you read through the review, you will see that I mentioned quite a few issues w/the instructions.
GulfWarrior
Staff MemberCampaigns Administrator
ARMORAMA
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Texas, United States
Joined: January 05, 2010
KitMaker: 1,051 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 06, 2020 - 07:54 AM UTC
I haven't read the review yet. I was just admiring the pretty pictures!



Jedge3
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Michigan, United States
Joined: July 17, 2010
KitMaker: 258 posts
AeroScale: 7 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 05:54 AM UTC
Gino, Any particular reason the CROWS 2 is not used in the field?
HeavyArty
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: May 16, 2002
KitMaker: 17,690 posts
AeroScale: 1,728 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 06:13 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Gino, Any particular reason the CROWS 2 is not used in the field?



Only reason I can think of is purpose. The M109A7 is not a patrol vehicle where riding around under armor and returning fire is a necessity. Usually, the vehicle is all opened up when firing anyways, with the ammo crew on the ground behind the gun. The .50 cal/Mk 19 are used as defensive weapons. I just don't see the need for the CROWS on a howitzer.
Removed by original poster on 02/12/20 - 18:51:56 (GMT).
18Bravo
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Colorado, United States
Joined: January 20, 2005
KitMaker: 7,219 posts
AeroScale: 101 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 06:52 AM UTC
I think the reason that projo doesn't look right to you is that it's not a standard boat tail projo that most people think of. I've seen and fired the Excaliber and the overall shape and length is more reminiscent of that or other long range projos. I did not see it with the obturating band covers on it, but my bet would be that the projo with the figure still has the protective cover on, out of scale though it may be.
HeavyArty
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: May 16, 2002
KitMaker: 17,690 posts
AeroScale: 1,728 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 07:17 AM UTC
Its not so much the shape/length that looks off to me. It is more the diameter. I think it is closer to a 120mm shell. Look at it compared to the brass one from AFV Club, which does scale out to 155mm. It looks anemic next to it.

Trisaw
_VISITCOMMUNITY
California, United States
Joined: December 24, 2002
KitMaker: 4,105 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 12:19 PM UTC
Looks great, Gino!

The Paladin has sure come a long way since the M109 days. It has the upgraded Bradley chassis, correct?

What tan color brand did you use, how (spray can or airbrush), and why that brand?
HeavyArty
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: May 16, 2002
KitMaker: 17,690 posts
AeroScale: 1,728 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 12:33 PM UTC
It isn't really an upgraded Bradley chassis, but an all-new chassis using Bradley parts; engine, transmission, road wheels, track, etc.

For modern US sand vehicles, I always use Testors Model Master Sand, FS 33531 enamel, sprayed through my trusty Paasche H-model airbrush. I find this color to be a dead-on match for modern CARC Tan. I then did a pin wash of a dark brown around engine grates, exhaust, etc. Lastly, I did an overall wash of a darker chocolaty-brown and a sandy-brown color.
Trisaw
_VISITCOMMUNITY
California, United States
Joined: December 24, 2002
KitMaker: 4,105 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 03:12 PM UTC
Thanks, Gino.

Is it also TESTORS - 291002 Model Master Spray Sand Beige 3 oz. Enamel Paint?
HeavyArty
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: May 16, 2002
KitMaker: 17,690 posts
AeroScale: 1,728 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 01:16 AM UTC
No, that is a different color, but it looks close to it, maybe a little more of a brown hue to it. I believe the FS 33531 only comes in the 1 oz bottle, not as a spray.

The closest in a spray can I have found is Testors Master Modern Desert Sand (FS33722). It is a little more yellow than the Sand (FS33531), but represents modern CARC Tan/Sand pretty well once weathered. That is what I used on my M60 AVLB build.

Trisaw
_VISITCOMMUNITY
California, United States
Joined: December 24, 2002
KitMaker: 4,105 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 04:31 AM UTC
Thanks, Gino. I have Desert Sand spray can so I know what you're writing about.