|KIT:||Roden 1/72 Pak-40 anti-tank gun|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Development of the PaK 40 began in 1939 with development contracts being placed with Krupp and Rheinmetall to develop a 7.5 cm anti-tank gun. Priority of the project was initially low, but Operation Barbarossa in 1941 and the appearance of heavily armoured Russian tanks like the KV-1, increased the priority. The first guns were delivered in November 1941. By 1943 PaK 40 formed the bulk of the German anti-tank artillery.
The PaK 40 was the standard German anti-tank gun until the end of the war, and was supplied by Germany to its allies. Some captured pieces were used by the Red Army. After the end of the war the PaK 40 remained in service in several European armies, including Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Hungary and Romania.
About 23,500 pieces were produced, and about 6,000 more were used to arm tank destroyers.
The weapon was effective against almost every Allied tank until the end of the war, with the exception of the Soviet IS-2 and the American M26 Pershing. However it was much heavier than the PaK 38, decreasing its mobility to the point where it was difficult or impossible to move without an artillery tractor on boggy ground.
This is one of those cases where the kit could easily be put in a box half the size, but since it is easier to have one size fits all, the two sprues of the Pak-40 come in an oversize box. Molding of the parts is quite good, though there are sink areas on the breech of the gun barrel and some parts have a few ejector pin marks/towers that will need to be attended to by the builder.
There are quite a few small parts to this kit, as you might imagine so one does need to pay special attention to what goes where when building the kit. The detail level is pretty high. It would be a good idea to clean as many of the parts on the sprue as one can. I would also recommend using a micro-saw to remove many of them to prevent breakage of some of the more delicate bits. I do like that the tires are separate from the wheels, making painting so much easier.
You know, an idea for removing fragile parts would be a fine blade hot knife or small hot wire to melt through the sprues. Suerly some enterprising company could develop something battery powered that would work.
Getting back to the kit, the builder will also have to drill out the gun barrel as it is molded solid. It also appears that the trails are designed to be constructed in the 'in use' position so those wanting to model this behind an Opel Blitz or other truck will have to do a bit of modification.
Instructions are very well done and include 12 construction steps (of which the last two are backwards). There are no decals and color information is in Model Master references. Apparently you can paint these either Panzer Grey, Panzer Tan or a green shade.
Artillery is so much a part of the weaponry of armies that I'm quite pleased to see companies producing kits of it. This will add a great number of diorama possibilities and is perfect for those who are concentrating on 1/72-1/76 for their military model collection.
Thanks to www.rodenplant.com for the review kit. Ask for it at your favorite hobby shop.
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