Trumpeter 1/35 8.8cm PaK 43 Waffenträger

KIT #: 05550
PRICE: $56.99 SRP
DECALS: Two Options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Pak 43 (Panzerabwehrkanone 43) was a German 88 mm anti-tank gun developed by Krupp in competition with the Rheinmetall 8.8 cm Flak 41 anti-aircraft gun and used during the Second World War. The Pak 43 was the most powerful anti-tank gun of the Wehrmacht to see service in significant numbers. The Pak 43 was an excellent weapon, able to penetrate the heaviest Allied tanks at combat ranges, including the Soviet IS-2 and the American M26 Pershing.

Like many large guns, the 88 was attached to various mobile chassis for use as either artillery or most often, as an anti-tank weapon. In this case, the panzer 38(d) chassis was used to hold the gun, its crew, a shield and a number of rounds. The 38(d) tank was not a very successful tank and so its chassis was used for a variety of other purposes.


This SPG adds to a growing inventory of military vehicles that have been produced by Trumpeter. I have to say that it very much seems we are in the golden age for all of the interesting kits that are being released. This one is very much a multi-media production with six sheets of photo etch brass, an aluminum barrel and an additional brass sleeve. The brass sleeve is for the lower part of the aluminum barrel.

Photo etch is widely used on this kit with the majority of pieces being used for the gun shield and the deck plates on the upper hull. It would not be too far from wrong to state that about 75 per cent of the upper surface of this one is covered by photo etch parts.

This is not a full curbside as there is a driver's compartment as well as the transmission and cooling fan/radiator housing for the forward section. In the aft section is ammo storage with a full load of 88mm shells. These shells have brass rear plates. The shell storage area will be pretty much hidden from view unless the builder decides to leave the storage access hatches open.

The kit also includes individual track links. These are very nicely molded in plastic and really add to the detail level of the finished model. It is not surprising that about half of the 18 construction steps are dedicated to the gun as it is a very detailed construct. It is also able to move in both azimuth and elevation. For those who might not want to use the aluminum barrel (and I cannot imagine why not), an injected one is also provided.

Instructions are well done and typically, offer no painting information. Some minor modifications will need to be done to properly portray this vehicle, something one expects with high end armor kits. There are two drawings of the completed vehicle to help you if you have difficulty figuring out where a part might go, though judging from the detail provided in the build sequences, I cannot see this being an issue. The painting and markings guide shows a single vehicle as shown on the box art. It is in tan with brown squiggles. Aside from the barrel kill markings, I see no use of any of the decals in the overall scheme, so you are on your own in that regard. The sheet does include an instrument panel decal in case you do not wish to paint this item. Be advised that the instructions do not show it being used.


So we now have another very nicely done kit of an interesting SPG. I am not sure how successful it was as the 38(d) was not the most reliable chassis. But it will definitely make an impression on your display shelf.


September 2012

Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. You can get yours at your local hobby shop or other retailer.

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