The FV 433 Abbot 105mm Self Propelled Gun was almost unique to the British Army, a few are also deployed by the Indians. It was a common feature of the exercise scene in the 1980s although the Army were also using the US M109 155mm at the time. A mix of M109 and Abbot Regiments were included in each of the BAOR divisions, as outlined in 1980s British Battle Groups Part 1 and Part 5. Each brigade was supported by a single artillery regiment equipped with one of the guns both systems started to be replaced in 1993 by AS90.
The vehicle was based on FV432 components, it was designed in the 60's to replace towed 25 pounders and the US M44 SPG. It entered production in 1964 and production completed in 1967. An SPAAG falcon was conceptualised but did not enter service following initial trials. For its day Abbott was an impressive system but was starting to look tired by the 1980s.
The model is a 1/72 white metal and resin kit consisting of five parts and suitable for use with 20mm figures. The gun is cast in white metal and the remainder of the vehicle consisting of turret, hull and left and right tracks are resin. The quality of the Casting on all three vehicles I have received has been good, the white metal parts being well formed and flash free whilst the resin parts are very good with no significant surface bubbles. The road wheels have the most issues and some attention to these with some filler will pay dividends. The kit is simple to assemble.
Images of artillery vehicles at this time show extensive use of cam nets draped over the turret and guns. The side panniers also seem to have been used to stow netting and there are plenty of shots of vehicles with rolled hessien on the sides and front. A tripod can be identified on the front decks in a number of photos and I have assumed cam poles would be carried in the panniers. Occasionally deck and turret stowage can also be identified in the form of boxes and tarpaulins. The vehicles mounted the LMG as a close defence weapon and this is a distinctive addition to make, numerous sources for Brens exist which pass muster for the LMGs in this scale.
The conversion opportunity to create a what if version of the Falcon is interesting although I have not been able to uncover any data on how it would have fitted within the Orbat.
The vehicles are finished in my usual British Army camouflage scheme covered in the Britannia FV432 post.References:
AFV weapons 51, FV 433 Self Propelled Gun
Warpaint: vol. 2: Colours and Markings of British Army Vehicles 1903-2003
Warpaint: vol. 3: Colours and Markings of British Army Vehicles 1903-2003
1980s British Battle Groups Part 1 and Part 5
Aeroscale Abbot Walk around