IDF 155mm L-33 SPG

Yes. Anything you’ve ever heard about AEF Designs is true. In fact, probably worse than you can imagine, so I’ll skip bashing that company and save a lot of bandwidth.

I ordered their kit many years ago - kit no. KI-131 if any of you gluttons for punishment care to look for one - and was immediately bewildered, disappointed, downright PO’ed at what I received. I started into it only to be sidetracked by deployments, contracting jobs, and being a dad. Now that I have a little more time on my hands I thought I’d punish myself for my past transgressions and try to finish this abomination.

There were two major variants of the L-33, with minor additions later on. The first variant had a very plain rectangular back that looked somewhat like this, even though the proportions are off:

I chose to make a later variant. Other modelers have mistakenly assumed there was an extension added to the rear hull, but in actuality it’s not an extension - portions were cut away leaving you with a step on the rear hull. Preliminary cutting gets you to this point:

After closely examining available references, it appears that the entire upper hull shell is a scale 3-4 inches too short. It’s especially noticeable at the front and rear.

Starting at the front, the most noticeable error is this hatch and surrounding detail:

Note how the hatch has angled sides, and sits atop a very thin plate, which should also be angled.
The kit gives you a far too thin hatch, with perpendicular sides, and the thin plate is depicted with heavy engraved lines. The lower edge of the hatch is not high enough, and the hinges lack any sort of detail. Five errors in just that one small spot. But it gets even better - since the kit hatch area is too wide at the top, the gun crutch (if you were “lucky” enough to receive one in your kit) is too wide at its base, making the angles of the whole crutch too steep.

Kit front:

The etched lines don’t even stop at the corners. I’d have been embarrassed to sell this thing.
More later when I have the energy…


Time to replace the rear plate. There’s just too much wrong with it to try to fix everything.
What I have: incorrect shape, needs to be lower and angled at bottom; hatches wrong shape, and horribly outlined; and what’s the two holes? No version has anything there - lights go up on top corners.

Here’s where I need to get: