Ref 308 (331) 155mm Long Tom  boxart illustrated : 1970
The gun can be displayed in either road or firing configuration . While all parts are movable it is better to choose a configuration and stick to it. 4 figures .
The model is nicely detailed but you have to choose your configuration to glue the A-frame (which holds the barrel in road configuration). A good trick is that the vinyle tyres can be fixed after painting the whole model. The figures are poor.
No real conversion potential except perhaps the French WW1 155 GPF which had the same barrel. All the rest would have to be scratch-built.
Ref 309 (332,065) M8 Ammunition Carrier  Opening hatches, bulldozer blade, side panel movable and rear elevating system workable. 3 figures
The documentation on this vehicle is very limited . The kit appears correct in dimensions and overall look when compared with « US military tracked vehicles » by Fred Crimson (Crestline) . It is on the detailing that is a bit short : for exemple there is no window for the twin cabins and the windshield protections are over-thick.
This kit is seriously lacking in loads. Difficult indeed to find 155 mm shell containers in 1/48 scale. No conversion potential.
Sorry but as we hadn't any howitzer around we took the Long Tom to illustrate this kit.
311 M8E2 and ground support warhead  As far as we know a completely fictionnal model as there was no attempt to set a Lacrosse missile ramp on this chassis.
But strangely the new parts appear perfectly correct in their depiction of the Lacrosse launch ramp … you just need to find a Reo M44 truck to put them on.
Ref 314 (326) M109 tank  (boxart of 1970 vintage)
Curiously named « tank » it is really the M109A1 howitzer in its first (short barrel) version. Rotating turret, elevating gun and opening hatches 3 figures.
While the model is perfectly sized when compared with the Hunnicutt (Presidio) plan, the attempt by Aurora to supply rotatable wheels resulted in oversized axle caps. On this model they have simply been left over but it is not a satysfying solution. The rear panel is seriously lacking in details with the rear spades simply forgotten by the manufacturer !
The lack of rear detailing is most surprising because the front view show that otherwise the model is not lacking in details.
The conversion potential is huge as the vehicle is still in service with the widely-modified Paladin version.
Ref 063 M109 SP Howitzer  The long gun version was actually produced by Aurora themselves but here at Modelstories, we never saw it.
Ref ??? Terracruiser with missile Mace [not issued] The Mace missile itself was issued alone on a clear stand in the aircraft line . Illustration : KCC
Ref ??? M16 Half-track [not issued]
The version with the twin Maxon turret M12 was issued by Bandai but no M16 kit has been ever made available in this scale although it is possible to create one by mating the Gasoline turret to the Bandai hull.
Ref ??? 155mm on M26 chassis [not issued]
Another fictional design obviously based on the real M40 . Why would Aurora create a fictional design instead of converting their Sherman M4A3E8 ? As I don't know when this design was put forward maybe it is hust because it was an earlier work than the Sherman which, after all, only appeared in 1968. [illustration : A. Yanchus /StarRunn]
Ref ??? Honest John missile launcher [not issued]
Only 1/87 and 1/40 injection models were ever produced (not by Aurora) of the Honest John on its truck launcher. This one would have had a lot of conversion potential because of the truck on which it is based. [illustration : A. Yanchus / StarRunn]
Ref ??? Honest John missile lramp on M8 chassis [not issued]
Another fictionnal design using the M8 chassis. This looks more like a Russian « Frog » missile than anything the US Army ever used.[illustration : A. Yanchus / StarRunn]
Ref ??? Aurora Military Trio [not issued] While selling the M8 tractor with the 155 mm gun made sense, the logic behind this unproduced set is odd.[illustration : A. Yanchus / StarRunn]