Great Wall Hobby 1/35 Krupp 12.8cm Pak 44

KIT #:

L3526C 

PRICE:

$95.00 SRP

DECALS:

None

REVIEWER:

Andrew Garcia

NOTES:

Premium kit with aluminum barrel and muzzle brake. Includes photo etch fret and brass tubes

 

HISTORY

 

There were four distinct weapons that the term "Pak 44" may have been applied.There were the two Kanone 81 (K 81/1, K 81/2) which shared the 12.8cm cannon from the Jagdtiger. The 81/1 mounted the weapon on the trails of the French 155mm GPFT gun and the 81/2 used the model 1937 Russian 152mm howitzer.

The 12.8cm also had the problem that its ammunition was two-piece, which gave a low ROF (rate of fire). The 12.8cm Pak 44/ K44 was designed as a dual purpose anti tank and field gun. Prototypes were built. A version, the K81, was intended for use in AFVís. Fifty (50) barrels were converted and fitted to a carriage from the French Canon de 155 GPF-T. These were issued as 12.8cm Kanone 81/1. A small number of barrels were fitted to the Soviet 152mm Gun howitzer carriage obr,. 1937 and used as the 12.8cm Kanone 81/2. Both of these were intended to be field and anti tank guns. Neither of these supposedly entered service before war's end.

The 12.8cm Pa.K. 44/80 was used on the Jagdtiger, which means that at least 85 were used, of which the majority saw action. The problem was, the gun mount production was affected by the Allied air raids, and so it was not possible to continue use of this weapon.

THE KIT

 

A 1/35 K 81/1 is kitted in resin by Azimut. I'm not aware of any K 81/2's. There were two other 12.8cm Kanone 44s which are the PaK44 guns. It utilized a different concept with complex carriages and cruciform mounts. It had a large muzzle brake as well. There were two prototypes by differing companies: Krupp and Rheinmetal.

Cromwell makes the 1/35 version of the Krupp PaK 44. Those who have built both kits say they are both rather complex.

On May 23, 2010, I noticed a news announcement in Armorama. It looked like the Rheinmetall version was going to get released by Great Wall Hobby. This version, Great Wall Hobby WWII German Rheinmetall 12.8cm K44 L/55 High Velocity Anti-tank Gun #L3523 is now available. Trumpeter also announced this kit in 1/35th, TSM2312 German 128mm PaK 44  list price $ 54.95, retail about $ 45.00 when discounted and has released it in February 2011.

 

As Scott noted in his kit preview of Great Wall Hobby Krupp 12.8cm Pak 44 Kit # L3526, there are quite a few bits and pieces that look like they are designed to move. The kit will move along the horizontal plane. If you build it per kit instructions you will not be able to elevate the gun tube. Page seven (7) of the instructions has part # B16 glued onto part B31. After this step you can no longer elevate the gun. Had a poly cap been used in this assembly sequence it would have permitted elevation of the gun. That means you will only be able to have the gun move in azimuth (not elevation).

The kit provides a few options, the main one being the ability to construct the kit in either the travelling or firing position. You must make a choice and you cannot change from the travelling mode to firing position.  This is because you chose in step two/page 2, one of the options Ė traveling mode or firing mode. The choice forces you to modify the part C1/C2 pads and later on page 5 the bogey/wheel axel assembly mounts must be chosen becoming un-reversible choices. Either choice though gives a final model which is pleasing to the eye.

Instructions are well done and there is little in the way of painting options. A full color painting guide is provided with Gunze, Tamiya and Vallejo paint information. Since this is late war, panzer yellow is the only color provided.

The instructions have a few errors. After I found this out I did a web search and found one modeling site noting there was an addendum addressing the errors. I found out the hard way that I did not get the addendum with my kit. As I built the kit, I was not sure if I was lacking experience building armor and artillery models or the problems were due to incorrect directions. Having found the comment in a review regarding the errors and provision for an assembly instructions addendum I donít feel too bad. I was disappointed they never made it into my kit packaging since I bought the upgraded version. There are three varieties of the Great Wall Hobby Krupp 12.8cm Pak 44 Kit # L3526 kit representing either an all plastic kit; the next upgraded version adds a very well done aluminum gun tube and muzzle brake. A final version includes the aluminum gun tube and adds an additional brass detail fret for a two part gun shield.

There is a nice build article in Military Miniatures in Review, Issue 42-43, 2007 on page 115 of the Cromwell resin kit.  

CONSTRUCTION

 

It is a very simple kit to build. Just follow the instructions except for the following areas. Page 4 and 5, bogey assemble, dry fit and you will find the diagram does not match what it should look like when finished. The wheel to axel attachment could be designed better. There is no locating pin or nub for alignment and this was a poor design choice because you can get incorrect wheel alignment.

Page five, parts C7 and C10 lack a good locating pin design so you are on your own regarding exactly where to put them. Page 7 parts B18 and B19 are reversed on the drawings. I think part A18 should actually be A11. It could be the way I was looking at the diagram but just be aware to look at it well before gluing. Before you glue these parts I suggest you compare part B33 to A18 versus using A11 with part B33 which was my choice.  Part B8, on page 9 is numbered B9 on the sprue.

COLORS & MARKINGS

 

Like most armor models this one has a simple one color scheme. One coat of   Tamiya XF-60 Dark Yellow Matte is all it takes.

FINAL CONSTRUCTION

 

I attached the gun shields and used some Tamiya weathering master drybrush effect. A bit of silver drybrushing on areas prone to wear and that was it.

CONCLUSIONS

 

I am a 1/48th scale aircraft modeler but I like to build armor for variety. When I saw the announcement of this kit it certainly captured my imagination. The 3D computer graphics images looked very interesting. I thought the 88mm gun was the only large caliber anti-tank gun used by the Germans in WWII but this 128mm gun was overlooked by me until now. The actual PaK44 looked impressive. A quick look at my reference book and there it was. Thatís all it took for me to get one of these.

The kit is very similar to the Cromwell resin but at a lower price. The version I built has an added cost upgrade for the complex metal barrel and muzzle brake. They are well done. As a standalone option the barrel alone costs about $38.00 list.

After building it I would say it was an enjoyable build. If GWM reissues the kit they should fix the mistakes in the instructions. It looks good when built and the subject matter is interesting and unique so it will stand out from the rest of your built kits. It is now time to get back to my Hasegawa F-22 in process.

REFERENCES

 

Vital Guide: Heavy Artillery of WWII by Terry Gander Ė Airlife Publications

 Andrew Garcia

March 2011

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