by: Iain S Hamilton [ ]
At the beginning of WWII, the Wermacht was equipped with 11,200 Pak35/36. These could effectively fight Polish and Soviet light tanks, however they couldn't penetrate medium tanks such as the Matilda, T-35, and KV series. This resulted in the Germans nick-name for the Pak36, "Door Knocker". The Pak36 was used on all fronts during WWII. In March 1945, the Wermacht still had 216 units in combat and another 670 guns stored in arsenals.
The first impression this kit from Zvezda gives from the packaging is that of an older figure set. With a small and simple box, the kit may not jump right out at you. The box opens carton style to reveal 3 unwrapped sprues of light grey styrene including 4 crew figures with weapons.
A closer look at the sprues shows clean and well detailed components. There are no ejector pin marks to be seen on the outer face of the parts. This kit has no real flash to speak of, and parts do not appear to need extensive clean up before assembly. The kit's tires & wheels are molded in one piece, however, they do have a seam that will need to be sanded out. The rim detail is reasonable but would benefit from minor scribing of the panel lines.
The gun barrel itself is molded in two pieces with the seam on the sides of the barrel. Next, the gun shield. Here we find a double layer armor plate with hinge detail for the sides. Surface detail is good and free of ejector pin marks. However the over-all scale thickness of the shield is a bit chunky. Sanding back the inside edge to give the illusion of a thinner piece will go a long way toward the over-all appearance of the kit.
Zvezda has very generously included 4 crew figures with the Pak-36. The inclusion of these figures makes this kit a vignette in a box! All 4 figures are molded in grey styrene. These figures include separately molded packs, entrenchment tools, and weapons. The figures helmets are also molded separately and I must say that Zvezda has done a really nice job with these. Each of the 4 helmets have been molded with interior details like a nice thin rim and helmet liner. If not used for this kit, they will make a very useful addition to the spares box for sure.
The instruction sheet is printed in black and white as a folded page with assembly and painting instructions on the back. The step-by-step instructions are very straight forward and all parts are clearly pictured and numbered.
The kit is straight forward enough that an inexperienced modeler should have no problems with assembly of this kit. If a modeler is looking for a flawless build, this kit will require some minor filling and sanding.