by: Darren Baker [ ]
The ubiquitous 7.5cm Pak 40 is like the Tiger, Panther, and 88mm gun in that everyone has heard of this powerful and efficient anti tank gun. While efficient in its task as an anti tank gun most were lost in the war in the East due to its weight making it difficult to retreat with before the Russian forces overran positions, and resulted in most being disabled and destroyed by its crew.
When DML released this model of the 7.5cm Pak 40 with Heer gun crew was roundly and rightfully criticised due to some major inaccuracies. That was then this is now, is the model that was still as inaccurate or has it been improved.
The model is packed in a top opening box which I much prefer over the end opening boxes. All of the sprues are individually packaged in polythene bags with all of the other pieces individually wrapped and mounted on a card in the box. Inside of the box you will find;
• 6 light grey plastic sprues.
• A small photo etch fret
• 4 rubber tyres.
• A turned aluminium barrel.
• 4 turned brass rounds of ammunition.
• A set of water slide decals.
• A 3 page double sided set of instructions.
A general overview of the kits contents display the usual high standard of moulding you expect from DML, with minor seams to remove, good crisp detail, and no sink or ejector marks. I have criticised DML in the past for poor instructions both in terms of incorrectly numbered parts and part placement being poorly shown, happily that is not the case with this model. So first impressions are encouraging with a lot of plastic in the box with what I consider excellent support elements in terms of crew and ammunition.
Stage 1 and 2
These two stages cover assembly of the guns platform, carriage, and lower portion of the gun shield, and consists of 32 parts. Unlike some DML kits placement of parts is fairly well explained despite the sometimes very small and complex assemblies. It is during stage 1 that you will need to decide at which height you would like the finished gun platform to be as there are 3 options. The parts are all well moulded and detailed with no issues to worry about. Having started assembly of this model I must say that due to the high part count, small parts, and minimal connection points assembly is not without its frustrations, I do accept that this could also be down to large hands and less than perfect eyesight.
Covers assembly of the split trails and consists of 22 parts. All of the parts are again cleanly moulded and well detailed, with the location of the parts also clearly explained. It should be mentioned here that the length of each split trail was rightfully criticised as being inaccurate when the kit was released with one respected reviewer stating they are 13mm too long, however DML have taken another look at the model and corrected this fault for which they should be praised. Assembly of this stage should not cause to many issues, but is does suggest not gluing a number of the parts in order for the gun to be displayed as being towed or in a firing position. While that option is there I would recommend that you decide how you want the model displayed and then secure all of the parts.
Stage 4 and 5
Covers assembly of the gun barrel, muzzle brake, breach, and wheels. DML have presented you with a number of choices at this stage of production, firstly you have the option of 3 wheel designs (2 spoked options and 1 pressed wheel design) and the option of new or worn tyres. You also need to decide which one of 3 styles of muzzle brake you wish to use (I make no claims to knowing which is right for which time period). Lastly is purely a matter of choice as to whether you prefer a turned aluminium barrel or a plastic one.
I have seen a review that stats that the barrel is the wrong length, but I have found in this sample that the barrel is correct as regards length regardless of if you prefer the plastic or metal option. All parts are again well detailed with no obvious faults. Regardless of which muzzle brake you opt for and the breach will require some filler to hide the joints, in the case of the muzzle brake filler will be needed top and bottom where the muzzle brake joins together, and the breach being made of four pieces will need careful filling to make it look like a single piece as is the real item. I specify careful application of filler due to the number of raised details on the breach that could be easily removed or damaged by sanding.
Stage 6 and 7
Covers assembly of the gun cradle and attachment of the gun. The gun cradle slide is another area I have seen criticised by a respected reviewer and DML again have corrected the fault in its length which again they deserve praise for. These 2 stages consist of 37 parts not counting the gun barrel assembled previously. All parts are again well moulded and nicely detailed and with the exception of the number and finesse of parts should not cause you any issues. At the end of this stage you will have a very well detailed assembly that will really add to the look of the finished model
Covers assembly of the gun shield which despite having to be thicker than the shield of the real gun due to the limitations of injection moulded plastic. In order to partially overcome this problem to some degree DML have chamfered the edges of the front and rear portion of the shield which greatly improves its appearance.
Covers attaching the gun shield to the gun cradle and then attaching it to the gun platform, which results in the finished build. I see no reason for this causing any issues, and should result in a very well detailed model of the 7.5cm Pak 40.
Provided with this model you get a 4 man gun crew in winter clothing, which despite not having been originally designed as a gun crew they will help to make a good winter diorama should that be your choice. Each of the figures is nicely detailed and moulded with good crease definition in the clothing and is provided with a good selection of equipment. I do have one concern reference the figures which is due to being originally made for a different purpose they are loaded up with equipment that no gunner with any concern for their own well being would be carrying. Because of this I recommend you think carefully about how you wish to display these figures.
In addition to the four turned brass rounds you also get a sprue containing;
• 8 rounds of ammunition.
• 3 spent rounds of ammunition.
• 2 three round wooden ammunition boxes.
• 10 ammunition tubes.
It is for these items that the decals are included, and with everything in the box you have all you need to make a small winter diorama.
It is a pity that DML made mistakes when this kit was originally released, and while I praise them for addressing these issues there is no way of knowing until you open the box if you have the corrected kit or the original inaccurate kit as there is no way to tell from the outside. All in all I really like and appreciate the Artillery models that DML are releasing and highly recommend this model to you, but be aware I have no idea of how many of the original releases are out there.