Italeri, Heller, and more recently Roden and Dragon have released PAK-40 in 1/72. There have also been wargaming models in the scale.
Italeri’s crew are softer plastic than I like, Dragon’s “bundle” with the PAK-36 and 5 crewfigures is excellent, but hard to find and expensive. Preiser’s 5-member gun crew is similarly elusive, but tops all of them.
The cons above – along with aggressive pricing of about $3 – puts Zvezda’s new set at a very competitive position, despite the crew consisting of just 3 figures. The two sprues are molded in grey and reasonably well-detailed.
It’s still marketed as a part of Zvezda’s “Art of tactics” game system, but this time around there is no wargame card – you can download and print the card off the company’s website.
Let’s have a look at the gun and figures.
Our gun crew’s faces certainly bear the marks of war fatigue with seriously pronounced cheek bones and hard stare. They appear to be dressed and equipped in pre-1943 gear. Figures are suitably busy, and despite details on pockets and webbing being a tiny bit softer than I’d like them to be – they are still impressively well done for their market niche. The part breakdown has allowed for the poses to be nicely animated as opposed to one-piece figures we’re used to in the scale. You can see the field shovel and the Kar98 are also pretty nicely molded for parts that are under 1 cm.
The gun is not bad either.
The shield is relatively thin, with bolt and other details represented on either side. There is no attempt at simulating it being two-layer affair as on the real one, but it sill looks rather good. Some of you might want to replace the molded-on storage boxes with pieces of thin sprue to represent them as the cylinders that they were on the actual gun. The locating holes on the inside might be a bit big – we’ll see if the cradle and barrel assembly hides them when assembled. Note a part of the elevation mechanism is also represented.
The lower gun shield is deployed, which suggests the gun is only intended to be displayed in the firing position. Again there are hinge and bolt detail on either side, and a full-sized shovel is molded on its outer face. One of the main letdowns of the kit is the gun barrel, which becomes too thin before the muzzle brake. As another modeller put it this must be the 75/37mm squeeze-bore model…
Admittedly it will be very easy to replace the barrel with either a turned RB metal barrel, or one of the two spare barrels from your Dragon PAK-40 kit. This will also save you the required drilling out of the muzzle brake.
Same applies for the wheels – they look a bit cartoonish to me. The spokes appear fine, but the hub detail is non-existant, and the rubber bandage doesn’t seem to match the wheel type.
Anyway it still appears to be a great kit, and a recommended one.