The 155mm M1 Gun is one of the most impressive US Artillery pieces of the Second World War. The gun was fitted on the Carriage M1. An easy conversion is to fit the model with a shorter and thicker barrel, so creating the 8in howitzer M1.
We have now two models of this gun with its tractor in 1/72 scale, in plastic the old kits by Hasegawa and a new model in resin by Alby.
The M4 High Speed Tractor towing the 155mm M1.
The Alby model comes with the Limber Heavy Carriage M5. This is a later type limber the original was the Limber Heavy Carriage M2 this was redesigned as it was awkward to use. Later it was discovered that Guns could also be towed by MACK 7½ ton trucks without the use of a limber at all. The gun can be made in firing or in travelling position, make up your mind before you start building. Because I had also the M 4 High Speed Tractor the choice was easy for me and I made the gun in travelling position with a pulled back gun barrel.
The 155mm Long Tom in travelling position.
The gun tractor is easy to assemble, the model has separate lengths of track and separate wheels. It has the whole "look and feel" of an ESCI Sherman. Those who know Alby models know that the quality of the castings and detail is the best there is. However I have one wish, I would like to have etchings for the mesh side doors of the engine compartment with a engine inside. This would make this an even better model.
Comparing the Hasegawa and the Alby models.
Comparing the Hasegawa and the Alby gun we find that the Alby model is ca 1cm longer and 0,5cm wider than the Hasegawa model. As I do not have any accurate dimensions of the gun I can not say which model is correct. On details the Alby Long Tom clearly beats the Hasegawa model.
As Hasegawa and Alby have different vehicles to use as a gun tractor, we can not compare them directly. Hasegawa has the M5 and Alby the heavier M4 High Speed Tractor. The main dimensions of both these kits are according the information I have correct.