WW II M35 Prime Mover with 8-Inch M1 Howitzer

The Models and Materials needed
As I'm writing this page, I wanted to build this subject for a long time. AFV Club had the (almost) right models. The M35 Prime Mover is the only one of this type I'm aware of and would be the right base model for this project. Although the original M35 was based on the M10A1 and the model of the M35 is based on the M10. So some remodelling is in place. The PMMS has a good article written by Terry Ashley on how to proceed with this. Also AFV Club had an 8-Inch Howitzer, although not completely the right one. Also Verlinden had an 8-Inch Howitzer in the program. But i got very surprised to see a new model of AFV Club that is coming from them. Also an 8-Inch Howitzer, but strictly WWII vintage. GREAT !!

"Although the M6 high speed tractor was intended as the prime mover for the 8 inch gun and the 240mm howitzer, production delays required the use of an interim vehicle. Beginning in December 1943, the Chester Tank Depot converted 133 M31 and M32B1 tank recovery vehicles into prime movers completing the job in March 1944. The turret was removed from the M31s as well as the booms, winches, and armament from both vehicles and they were designated as the prime movers M33 and M34 respectively. Starting in January 1944, the Lima Tank Depot performed a similar conversion on 209 MI0AI tank destroyers. The turret and much internal stowage was removed and they were redesignated as the prime mover M35. The job was complete in June. All three expedient prime movers were fitted with compressors to provide high pressure air for the gun and howitzer carriage braking systems." From the book SHERMAN by R.P. Hunnicutt. In the Catalogue of Standard Ordnance Items Volume 1 from 1944 the following page was dedicated to the three Prime Movers. Although the M35 is the subject of this project, the orther two M33 and M34 are nice items for a future project.


These pictures show the M35 in action. With other guns but they give a good impression of the vehicle itself. The following picture shows the assembly of the 240-mm Howitzer M1. But the interesting part is in the foreground, clearly visible is an M35 Prime Mover. Obviously used for the Howitzer as shown in the picture above,
Below another picture of an M35 in its role as a Prime Mover somewhere in Germany 1945. Some details of the top of the vehicle are visible.
What is obvious in the pictures shown on this page, is that the M35 Prime Mover was poorly documented in photographs, but most of the pictures show the M35 in the towing role for the 240mm Gun/Howitzer M1. Below some more examples showing a little detail of the vehicle itself.

Not a lot of pitures are available of the rear deck of the M35 Prime Mover. But based on the fact that this vehicle was a converted M10A1, I got some pictures from the manual of the M10A1 in which some detail can be found. I added these below.

And last but not least the drivers position.

Where to find information

Publications found
on the M35
Prime Mover

Concord 7052 - Armor at War Series - US Armored Funnies by Steven J. Zaloga
A few nice pictures of the M35.

Shows lots of details on the body of the Prime Mover

TM 9-1750L - Hull and Turret, Electrical Systems, Tracks and Suspension for 3-Inch Gun Motor Carriages M10 and M10A1
Shows lots of details on the body of the Prime Mover

The same Catalogue of Standard Ordnance Items from 1944 give us information on the 8-Inch Howitzer M1.


Publications found
on the 8-Inch Howitzer M1

Technical Manual TM

Tankograd No 6004 - U.S. WW II 155MM Gun M1/M2 Long Tom 155MM Gun M1917/1918 8-IN. Howitzer M1/M2 by Michael Franz


Building The Models

The 8-Inch Howitzer M1 by AFV Club is one of the best artillery models I've seen till now. Very crisp and detailed parts all over the sprues. And finally the correct tires and limber that belongs to this WW II icon. These guns were widely used in this period. As is evident, the M35 was based on the M10A1. There were some very distinctive differences between the M10 and M10A1. These differences are listed below. As the M10A1 itself was never used in Europe or outside the US not much pictures exsist of this vehicle. But what is known is, that the M10A1 was used as a Prime Mover under the designation M35. The M10A1 itself used the Engine and parts of the M4A3 Sherman. This gives us the information that the M35 Prime mover used the same Ford GAA gasoline engine as the M4A3. In the pictures of the M10A1 engine deck clearly can be seen that the engine deck was in fact that of the M4A3. So work is at hand to rebuild the engine deck of the AFV M35 kit.

The Ford GAA V8 Engine
Left Side Right Side
Front Rear

The Verlinden reproduction of the Ford GAA tngine in 1/35th scale.

The Final Result