by: Darren Baker [ ]
The following introduction is as supplied by ICM
The main part of the German Wehrmacht Auto Park during WWII took the form 3t cargo trucks. One of the most numerous of them was V3000S, which was produced from 1941 in German Ford plants in Cologne. These trucks were equipped with a V8 engine and had rear wheel drive only. V3000S trucks were widely used in all German arms of service up to the end of war everywhere, in the Soviet/German front, in North Africa, Italy, France. In off road conditions not all drive vehicles showed low cross country capability, so 13,952 of V3000S were produced as Maultier half track vehicles.
The 76.2mm Divisional gun F22 was designed in KB-92 under V.G. Grabin’s control and adopted by the Red Army in 1936. It was created as a semi universal gun with the possibility of anti-aircraft fire. In 1939 production was discontinued for the reason of its complexity and dead weight. There were 2,932 F-22 Guns produced. In 1941-1942 a large number of F-22 guns were captured by German Forces. These captured guns were modified, they were given a rebored chamber, the charge increased in 2.4 times, a muzzle brake added, decreased elevation and also switched off the mechanism cut off gear. The gun was renamed 7.62cm Pak (r). 560 guns were altered to Pak 36(r) and it was the most powerful anti-tank gun in Wehrmacht service until 1943.
The product is packed in a cardboard tray with a card lid. Inside the box you will find;
- 5 tan sprues
- 1 clear sprue
- 1 decal sheet
- 2 instruction booklets
Maultier Instruction Booklet
The instruction booklet starts with a short introduction in English and Russian, this is followed by a paint guide on which the colours are identified by name and Model Master paints. This is followed by some cautionary advice and a sprue guide for the Maultier only. Construction is covered in 24 stages and uses the black and white line drawings approach. There are four finishing options provided in the instructions which are;
- V3000S/SS M (Kfz.3b) maultier, Germany, Summer 1943
- V3000S/SS M (Kfz.3b) maultier, Russia, Spring 1943
- V3000S/SS M (Kfz.3b) maultier, Poland, Summer 1944
- V3000S/SS M (Kfz.3b) maultier, Italy, Summer 1944
7.62cm Pak 36(r) Instructions
This instruction sheet is less than the size of an A4 sheet of paper and starts with a sprue guide and then runs straight into the construction guide; with the gun being complete in 16 stages. There is a separate sheet supplied for the gun which covers the model introduction and paint colours. The reverse side of this sheet provides 3 finishing options which are;
- Standard camouflage scheme of Pak 36 (r) (1942)
- DAK camouflage scheme of Pak 36 (r) (1942 – 1943)
- Standard camouflage scheme of Pak 36 (r) (1943 – 1945)
The mouldings for this kit are nicely done, with small gates and reasonable space for access during removal from the sprue. There are a number of small ejection pin marks, some of which may need to be remedied before construction. There are also a lot of flow lines showing up in the plastic however none of these seem to have caused distortions in the plastic parts. One concern I do have is the packaging as all four sprues for the Maultier are packaged in the same bag which could cause damage and breakages, by damage I mean distortions in the plastic parts.
Engine, Gear Box, and Chassis
ICM has with every one of their products I have looked at put a lot of work into the hidden area of their models. The engine in this model has a lot of detail, that with the addition of some home added wiring should make for a very realistic look. The chassis is a multi-part affair which means it has a lot of detail, but this does mean the modeller will need to take care to ensure the chassis is square or problems will be encountered later during construction.
Half Track and Front Wheels
The front wheels of this model are steerable with fair tyre tread detail. The fact that the wheels are steerable does I suspect mean that some liberties have been taken with the accuracy, but then again it is a hidden area. The frame for the half track is again made from several components, which again means take care to ensure everything is square or problems will likely be encountered. The tracks are supplied as link and length which is an improvement over rubber band style tracks. The detail provided in these link and length tracks is very good apart from the lack of track sag, which has not been moulded into the tracks.
The interior of the cab is very thread bare, but ICM has added some nice detail in the form of door cards. There are some ejector pin marks that will need to be remedied as regards the cab interior on the roof and back wall at the very least. The exterior of the cab is very nicely done; the lines flow nicely and mimic very well the lines that always draw me to vehicles of this period due to how they draw the eye. The front grill is especially note worthy having very fine grills, which are all free from their neighbour. I do not believe that ICM has designed the doors and bonnet to be shown in an open position and this means a lot of the very nice detail is hidden, however with a little work and some research should mean that modification will be within reach.
The bed of the truck is a fairly simplistic affair with nice plank detail, however no wood grain effect is present. This is appropriate I believe scale wise but I also know many like to see it replicated. There are ejector pin marks present again which will need to be cleaned up, which is a shame. There are a couple of loops supplied for a canvas on the truck, however I would use these as formers for metal wire loops and provides you with the option of the truck bed covered with a canvas either fully or partially. The truck bed does have some shrinkage issues on the underside, but again should not be seen.
7.62cm Pak 36(r)
The small size of the instructions covering the 7.62cm Pak 36(r) construction makes life difficult as my eyes are not the best the older I get I found it very hard to identify the numbers on the instruction sheet; I do not understand why ICM has done this. The parts are cleanly moulded and there are also some very small and fine pieces; so be careful during construction to avoid lost parts. The barrel and muzzle brake are 2 part mouldings meaning some careful clean up will be needed.
The wheels on this gun are surprisingly large, but this means there is some great detail present on the mouldings. The gun shield does have some ejector pin marks but I believe these will be hidden when assembly is complete. The split trail legs are nicely detailed, with some very fine rivet detail present along their length. I believe that once assembled the gun can be depicted either closed up for towing or in a firing position. A nice addition to the kit is the inclusion of four rounds ready for use and three rounds packed in reed holders for transport.
This is a nice offering from ICM as having the artillery gun and its tractor in a single offer makes for a number of display options. It would have been good to see a driver included, but MiniArt has taken care of that issue with their various driver figure sets. My only real concerns are the flow marks which can be an issue on some occasions. I would have liked to see less ejector pin marks especially where the truck bed is concerned, but they are not the end of the world. I will say the track detail is good with the lack of sag being the only downside of them.