by: Federico Collada [ ]
The 3Ro was a heavy 4x2 truck produced by the Italian company Lancia Veicoli Industriali for both civilian and military use. With nearly 11.000 units produced between 1938 and 1947 it was a reliable all terrain truck capable of dealing with the toughest conditions and proved a versatile platform for special duties versions like the water tank, mobile workshop, command post, ammunition carrier, tank transporters, etc.
The Lancia 3Ro was powered by a Lancia type 102 diesel engine that provided 96hp and a maximum 45km/h speed on roads with a 450km range. One of the most interesting versions of the Lancia 3Ro was the one that carried the Skoda houfnice vz 14, known in Italy as the OBICE DA 100/17 MODELLO 14 after requiring hundreds of this gun after the WWI to equip their infantry divisions. A few of this “portees” were used by the Italian army in North Africa to provide anti-tank fire support. The combination required that the truck cabin roof had to be cut off to let the gun traverse 360ª
IBG is a company that is constantly releasing interesting kits with a high quality level and not too complicated for the average modeller. This time they have chosen a very interesting subject from the Italian army during the WWII, the Lancia 3Ro carrying a OBICE DA 100/17 MODELLO 14 for which they have used a couple of previously released kits. In one and we got the new Lancia 3ro and on the other hand the older Skoda 100mm vz 14 Howitzer.
When you open the box you find 17 plastic sprues, one of them transparent containing the lights crystals, a decals sheet, a turned metal gun, a photoetched fret, the separate plastic tires and the instructions.
The quality difference of both kits is something evident; while the truck detail is high, the Skoda kit is not that good showing depressed marks and simplified details.
The instructions are not as clear as I would like and sometimes the placing of some of the parts involved in the building are not clearly depicted so you have to test different positions until you get the right one.
Building the kit
Tacking the kit begins building the wheels, probably one of the most beautifully detailed parts of the kit showing the tire producer marks clearly. Then we go to the engine, made of not too many parts and easy building. The next elements to be built are the rear axle and transmission and then we get to the frame, and here is where some of the elements involved positioning is not very clearly shown so much care is advisable. Once the frame is ready is time to place the axles and engine.
Once we reach step 19 the things begin to get a bit messy, the thin wires that connect the mobile parts of the steering, transmission, etc are provided photoetched which is certainly not a good choice as the parts are so thin that can hardly stay stiff while we manipulate them and the instructions don’t show clearly enough how we must fix them so I advice using stretched sprue instead.
The open cabin is built easily in a short time and the few little parts involved can be handled and fixed with no mayor problem. One odd detail at this stage is that the cabin side lamps are made in a single grey plastic part not including the transparent crystal while the front lamps do. Of course this can be easily mended by hollowing the lamp and adding a transparent piece at the front.
At step 26 we add the cabin to the frame and then the connections with the engine, etc. The bonnet is to be fixed to the front grille without the aid of any guides so some patience will be advisable here. After placing these parts onto the frame we can now add the mudguards with its details and proceed to the rear part of the chassis to add the exhaust with the correspondent photoetched linkages.
The rear part of the truck is covered with the cargo bay that is made of large plastic parts and building it it’s a few minutes job.
At step 37 we begin building the Skoda vz howitzer and soon we will notice the detail quality difference. The kit is easy building but will require some putty filling at some zones and the most demanding modellers will surely like to replace some details.
The building process finish at step 42 after placing the howitzer on the truck and adding the jerrycans rack under the cargo bed.
The decals included in the box allows us to build a couple of vehicles from the Italian army used in North Africa in 1941 and 1942, one of them plain “Saharian khaki” and the other one with green stripes, both camouflage schemes can be easily found on the internet photographs of the Lancia 3ro during the African campaign.
Even if some parts of the kit are not up to the general high quality and the instructions may be a bit confusing sometimes, the model is very interesting and as it was previously unreleased it’s highly welcome. Any average modeller will surely manage to improve the simpler parts and place all of them correctly.