Cyber-Hobby 1/35 s.IG.33 Infantry Gun with simplified shield

KIT #: 6473
PRICE: $39.50 SRP
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Smart Kit


The 15 cm sIG 33 (schweres Infanterie Geschütz 33) was the standard German heavy infantry gun used in the Second World War. It was the largest weapon ever classified as an infantry gun by any nation. Sources differ on the the development history, but the gun itself was of conventional design. Early production models were horse-drawn, with wooden wheels. Later production models had pressed steel wheels, with solid rubber tires and air brakes for motor towing. The sIG 33 was rather heavy for its mission and it was redesigned in the late 1930s to incorporate light alloys in an effort to save weight. This saved about 150 kilograms (330 lb), but the outbreak of war forced the reversion back to the original design as the Luftwaffe had a higher priority for light alloys before more than a few hundred were made. A new carriage, made entirely of light alloys, was tested around 1939, but was not accepted for service.

Most of the shells used by the sIG 33 were unexceptional in design, but the Stielgranate 42 was different in fundamental ways from ordinary shells. The driving rod was loaded into the muzzle so that the finned projectile remained in front of, and outside, the barrel entirely. A special charge was loaded and would propel the projectile about a 1,000 metres (1,100 yd) downrange. At about 150 metres (160 yd) distance the driving rod would separate from the projectile. Unlike other Stielgranaten, this version was not intended for anti-tank use, but rather for the demolition of strongpoints and clearing barbed-wire obstacles and minefields by blast effect.


This is not the first release of this gun as a stand alone, but with Cyber-Hobby, one can count on a variant that is a bit different from the norm. In this case it is the simplified gun shield used on this venerable piece. The kit also includes some of those interesting Stielgranate 42 rounds that are mentioned in the history section. Also part of the kit is a five man crew and a bunch of extra shells. Other items of note are:

- Gun recoils like the real one
- Two-directional slide-molded wooden road wheels
- Aluminum gun barrel designed for s.IG.33
- Rifling inside gun barrel realistically rendered
- Recoil system realistically rendered
- Newly designed gun shield made to scale thickness
- New shield with delicate detail on both sides
- Axle reproduced in great detail
- Gun carriage molded with authentic detail
- Realistic elevation mechanism allows gun to be elevated
- Spades are slide molded
- Detailed breech with two options
- Detailed hydraulic system for gun elevation
- Complex brake and axle assembly finely reproduced
- Protective wicker cases for rounds wicker ground mats included
- Periscope can be assembled in different ways
- Periscope made from clear plastic
- Newly tooled taillights
- OVM specific to s.IG.33 included
- Bonus ammunition

Instructions are well done with nicely drawn construction illustrations. The aluminum barrel and vinyl 'wicker' bits are a nice touch as is the limited amount of photo etch included. You basically paint this either panzer grey or panzer yellow. There is a separate painting and assembly guide for the figures on the last page of the instructions. I've not a clue where the decals are to be attached as I seem to have missed that while looking over the instructions.


It has actually been quite a while since I built a 1/35 artillery piece. As many of you know, I like armor, but just don't build all that much of it and when I do, it is usually either small scale or non-tracked subjects. This is one of those kits that I've looked at a few times and finally decided to take the plunge.

First thing I did was to put all the figures and DS bits under the bottom of the box as I knew I'd probably not be using them. I'm just not good at small scale figures. Then I opened the instructions and started building. The first two steps have you assemble the gun and breach as well as the recoil mount. The kit offers two different breeches and if Dragon instructions were like others, I'd probably have used the slightly more complex one. However, it takes me a while to realize that often, the initial construction of a sub-assembly seems to start in the smaller detail blocks. I found the recoil bar section to be rather difficult to get properly aligned as it consists of long thin pieces that are basically butt joined.

Moving on, were the wheels and brake assemblies. These are handed and it was here I ran into my first instruction glitch. They have parts A13 and A14 transposed. If you use the diagram as your major guide, it will become obvious. These also have some friggin' teensy plastic parts that I'd have been quite happy to have molded as one piece rather than assembling a tiny subassembly.

Next is the main frame of the gun. I found that the location of parts A26 and A27 are rather vague. In fact, several parts locations are somewhat vague. These bits should be mounted so the handles are facing down.  Part D12 fits somewhat atop the piece molded on the frame rather than into it. Both of the azimuth and elevation wheels have a teeny little mounting area and I found it difficult to keep them in place. In the fifth step, it shows the spade mount being glued to the underside of one half of the frame, but does not indicate that a portion of it needs to stick out on either side of the framework. The location of part A60 is just wrong and it fits just to the upper left of the place it shows being mounted in the instructions. Be sure not to glue A1 too far in to part A60 or it will not reach across to the other side. Be sure to clamp this assembly and one would be wise to leave off installing the outer bits on the second frame until after the two halves are together.

Once all the additional bits were glued on and step six was complete, it was time to move on to the shield. The shield is the only part that seems to be different between this kit and the 'standard' version. It is on the second C sprue along with the shells. Two of the three photo etch bits fit on the back of this with the larger piece having a key to help align it. Part A 45 is not well shown in how it is mounted. It is half of a C clamp that will go over the outer part of a pick that is mounted on the shield. Mount the pick first and ten apply part A45.

The gun shield mounts look to be rather flimsy, but once you get them together they prove to be quite sturdy.  Be sure to mount part A43 right side up or you'll have the clasp on the underside.

When it comes time to join together pars A6 and A66 to the spade in step 8, it would be wise to first glue part A66 to the underside of the spade and then attach piece A6 when it is dry, otherwise you may run into alignment issues. I then attached each of the wheel assemblies. There are bits to fit between them, but they are on a rather flexible shaft so I left those off until the assemblies were firmly attached. Note that if you mount part A25 too high in step 5, you'll not be able to get the right assembly to fit into its slots. Once dry, I attached the gun mount. This snaps into place and if you did not glue part A1 back in step 3, you'll be able to rather easily elevate the gun. Even if you did, it can be moved with a small amount of effort. The actual barrel and breech assembly simply sits in place and can be moved back and forth if one wishes. The last part to be glued on was the muzzle cap and its photo etch strap. I found it MUCH easier to attach by putting a small bend in the strap piece where it attaches to the cap and to the gun.

I was initially undecided as to what color to paint this one. So what I did was to give it an overall coat of panzer grey using Tamiya's German grey thinned with lacquer thinner. I liked how it looked so decided to keep it this shade. I then brush painted all the other bits such as the tires, tools and the guide posts. The last step was to drybrush the entire model. For this purposed, I used Vallejo sky grey. It took a while, but was well worth the effort.

The end result is a very nice looking piece of artillery. I know that some of you will take me to task for not using any of the figures or accessories that came with the kit, but that just isn't how I like to do artillery. BTW, it isn't that the muzzle cap strap is bent, but it is windy out there on the steppes! It will look great on my very slowly growing shelf of 'queen of battle' subjects and encourages me to do another. Not only that, but it was a fairly quick build (for me), taking a bit under two weeks to finish.


January 2014

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