by: Russ Amott [ ]
The Art of Tactic is a war game series Zvezda has created based on combat and equipment from the Eastern Front in WWII. The series consists of German and Soviet figures and artillery in 172 scale, armor and vehicles in 1/100 and aircraft in 1/144 and 1/200 scale. The kits are simplified for ease of assembly and include a game card that shows movement and engagement details. The figure kits include a base and a marker post for game playing.
This review covers the 1/72 scale release of the German PaK-36 3.7cm anti tank gun, with two crew members.
The 3.7cm PaK 35/36 anti tank gun was the primary infantry use anti tank gun developed by Germany in the years just before the start of WWII. The gun was light weight, easily moved and deployed, and if necessary could be moved by hand over short distances. The downside was that the gun was not particularly powerful, and by the beginning of WWII it was already obsolete. Nevertheless, it continued on in service, both from exigency and the ability to engage light targets.
The latest Zvezda release comes in a small, side opening box. The artwork on the front is attractive, showing the gun in action with two crew members in winter gear. The rear of the box shows the assembled kit from three views, painted.
The kit itself comes on two sprues. The parts are simply molded, although there are fair details on the two figures and the gun. My sample did have some minor sink marks on the gun shield front and one figure. There was no flash, but the mold seams were prominent. The plastic is soft to allow for the snap fit assembly, and will trim easily with a hobby knife. It does take model cement. It is not the soft, somewhat flexible plastic that is seen with some toy soldier sets, but is comparable to some other plastic model kits I have built. It has a shiny surface.
The first sprue consists of the two crew figures, one with a separately molded arm, the diorama base and the marker post for war gaming. The figures include all gear molded in place. Detail is simple and soft, but still workable. The one arm that is molded separately comes with the hand for the other arm, with both hands holding a 3.7cm round. The base includes two molded in ammunition boxes, one open, and also some spent shell casings. It has textured surface. Each figure has a locating pin to mount it to to the diorama base.
The second sprue has all the gun parts. The trail arms come in a single piece, with two options for either deployed or towing mode. The gun does not elevate, but can rotate slightly left and right. The tires have two locating pins to set them in the diorama base. There are also two notches in the base for the spades on the trail arms. Details on the gun are simplified and soft.
The instructions are provided on a single sheet of paper and are presented in line drawings. Andrew was able to follow the instructions easily due to the simplicity of the kit, and spent less than five minutes on assembly. He states the parts fit well and go together without problem. He likes the base as it is small but still has the basic details present. It will dress up quickly with some debris or foliage. He actually started to paint the figures but was not able to continue as the paint irritates his allergies and asthma. His opinion is that the kit is fun to assemble and conveniently includes everything he wants.
My assessment of the kit is that, while simple, the figures can be carefully detailed and will look very nice with care. The gun isn't on the same level as the Dragon version I recently assembled, but there is a significant difference in the number of parts, ease of assembly and price.
For a snap fit kit, I think this is a pretty good little model. It will work up nicely and can be matched with a number of other models. It can serve as a nice intro for new modelers and a break from more complicated kits. I shopped around on line and the list price of $5.39 was generally discounted at most places. This did not include shipping.