A quite impressive and big box, with the yellow round so you know it's not the typical Italeri kit. The artwork itself is a bit dull, and it almost shows the troops more than the vehicle itself. But the subject is too interesting to get distracted by the box.
THE KIT -7.5 >>
Being a fast assembly kit the score is a 7.5. I quite like fast assembly kits, as normally I don't see the reason to make a cab into 23 pieces when you can do it in one or two. Modellers that want further detail can add them buying a special resin set or improving with photoetched and plasticard.
One of the curiosities of this set is that inside the box there are two sorts of plastic; hard plastic for the truck and semi-soft for the crew and the barrel of the cannon (presumably to avoid breakage).
The kit itself is basic and of easy assembly, nearly not requiring any glue, but still with good detail. You really get a better result than with some old model kits still reissued today.
One of the bad points is the lights, which should be round and are blended with mudfaces, and don't even detail with them, which sticks out quite a lot because the other things, even if made in few pieces, still have very nice detail.
The other issue is the dimensions. It is made to fit nicely with the figures, but these are a very large Italeri type.
The resulting kit is very sturdy and ideal for wargaming. With some improvements and dedication, can also become a first class model too.
I would have liked, however, to be able to fold up the feet, to make the vehicle into a moving position. But I understand that would have required many extra pieces, so it will be left to the expert modeller with lots of free time, to cut, sand and create.
EXTRAS - 8.5 >>
8 crew is a good extra really. Maybe some ammunition boxes or something like that would be welcome, but it is something you will have to provide looking in your box of spares.
Now we'll speak about the crew;
Sculpting - 8.0;
Nicely done, with a lot of detail and absolutely no flash. The projectiles are blended with the bodies, but it's not too important.
These figures will not look too good along other 1/72 figures, like Caesar, and not very well either with Italeri's reissues of Esci sets.
Historical accuracy- 10.0;
Completely perfect, everything is right.
Funness - 5.0;
The other thing is the funness. These are absolutely official, completely and perfectly geared up as soldiers. I think it would have been nice to see some loaders bare chested, men without helmet , more casually dressed, or with the tropical one that was commonly used, like in here;
But I suppose it's not too important as Italeri does another artillery set where the crew are all wearing these helmets, the Italeri 149/40 artillery.
POSSIBILITIES - 4.0 >>
Green or sandy, that's the question here. This vehicle was used until the 1970s, but it wouldn't have changed nearly anything.
So the possibilities here are doing a tanker version,
PRICE/VALUE RATIO - 4.0 (eBay) 7.0 (Retail) >>
It is surprising that some Italeri models are nearly just not to be found on eBay. I found only one example, which at 12,00 € + 9 € shipping is very expensive in my opinion. In I bought it retail for 12 €, which is fair, considering is a big and bulky model of a lesser known vehicle with 8 crew.--> Help support this site by clicking on the ads. -->
HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE - 3.5 >>
"The historical importance score is determined by how many were built, and how much operational service they had, and how much influence they had on the conflicts they were involved in"
Just 150 were built, so it is not a Sherman in production terms. But nevertheless all of them did fight and were in the end destroyed, and there are plenty of wartime photographs. As with a lot of Italian vehicles, they were produced in small quantities but saw a lot of operational use.
You can find out more here; http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/90/53_su_Lancia_3Ro
WARGAMING - 10.0 >>
This is one of the few model kits made especially for wargaming, as stated in the box. Easy assembly, good results, sturdy build. A 10.
OVERALL - 8.8 >>
Italeri has made a great choice giving us a model never made before which still had it's share of operational importance, and is nice and powerfully looking such as this one. Thanks to Italeri we can at last represent the Italian Army decently, which without Italeri would be completely impossible, besides buying overpriced resin kits.
In one phrase; At last a new and interesting vehicle for this period.
IMAGES OF FINISHED JOBS (click on the pics to see them bigger)
Model kit made by myself.
Thanks to José Manuel Chasco, I can show you another great way of building this model (pics taken from this review; http://www.1-72depot.com/miniatures/1-72/scale-models/italeri-172-7508-autocannone-3-ro/);