NEW Academy 1/35 Finnish Army K9FIN “Moukari” Kit 13519
The K9 Thunder is a South Korean self-propelled 155 mm howitzer developed by Samsung Techwin for the Republic of Korea Armed Forces. It was developed to supplement and then replace the K55 self-propelled howitzers in South Korean service. K9 howitzers operate in groups with the K10 automatic ammunition resupply vehicle variant. The development program of this 155 mm/52-caliber self-propelled howitzer has been underway since 1989. In 1996, the first prototype of this new artillery system was tested. The contract for the new K9 artillery system was awarded to Samsung Aerospace Industries (SSA) by the Korean Government on 22 December 1998. The Republic of Korea Army received its first batch of K9 in 1999.
The K9 Thunder saw the first combat during the Bombardment of Yeonpyeong on November 23, 2010. Six ROKMC howitzers engaged against the surprise attack from the North Korean artillery. Prior to the battle, the howitzers returned from a scheduled firing exercise, using most of the shells stored within the howitzer. In addition, one howitzer experienced a problem during the exercise that a shell became stuck in the barrel, disabling it. Two units received slight damage to their firing control systems during the initial North Korean attack, meaning only three out of the six units were able to counterattack.
K9 is an indigenous system of an all-welded steel armour construction which is rated to withstand 14.5 mm armour piercing rounds, 152 mm shell fragments, and anti-personnel mines. The main armament consists of a 155 mm/52 caliber ordnance with a maximum firing range of 40 km; the K307 BB-HE projectile propelled by the K676 top charge has a muzzle velocity of 928 m/s (3,040 ft/s). State-of-the-art mobility subsystems include a 1,000 horsepower (750 kW) engine with potential for growth and hydropneumatic suspension unit, a requirement for Korea’s rugged mountainous terrain.
The K9 has the ability to fire its shells in MRSI mode (Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact). In the MRSI mode, the K9 is able to fire three shells in under 15 seconds—1 shell every 5 seconds—each in different trajectories so that all of the shells will arrive on their target at the same time.
It was designed to give the artillery arm of the Republic of Korea Army a significant improvement in capability. With a claimed range of 75 km, it offers greater mobility, longer range, higher rate of fire, and increased battlefield survivability, as it can quickly be brought into action, open fire, and come out of action.
Finally I’m calling this one done. This is the latest iteration of the K9 Howitzer from the Finnish army from Academy Models kit # 13519. The model kit has very few leftover parts going to the spare box. A few figures are included and although none of them are called during the building, I decided to use one to populate the top turret while a more appropriate figure is found. For my personal taste, it has a well appointed suspension details without being overly engineered. Everything fits where it should go without a hassle.
Top and lower hull is a breeze mate together to the point that they were painted separately and the extra camouflage pattern was added when the model was finished. It took a little bit of more time, but I didn’t have to deal with delicate parts like latches for example falling apart.
The cannon structure is comprised of 2 halves as most cannons on kits are, but the muzzle and the fume extractor are molded as one piece. Awesome consideration from Academy!
The turret has plenty of access doors and none of them are molded shut. Instead, they are all molded separately which adds more realism to the model even if you chose to build them close. BTW, there is on the backside an access door a-la Merkava IV-LIC that can be model slightly opened. The problem is that there is nothing to show inside. Now going back to the turret, this kit is actually screaming for an interior version or that some 3rd party takes the bull by the horns and give us an option of their own. The tracks included with this model kit are rubber band like ones.
For a build straight OOB, these tracks are a very good representation details and all.
There are many tanks w/interiors but given the nature of this particular subject, with so many access panels it would be terrific to add details even as modules (hint hint) behind them. The decal sheet is of good quality and the model itself was painted using all colors from Mission Models US.
Colors Used for this kit:
-MMW-006 Transparent Dust
Weathering with Ammo by Mig Products.