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In-Box Review
135
7.5cm Pak 40
7.5 cm Pak 40 with Heer gun crew
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

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.

Contents

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.

Review

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.

Stage 3
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

Stage 8
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.

Stage 9
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.

Figures

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.

Extras

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.

Conclusion

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.
SUMMARY
Highs: This is a very complete model which has everything included to make a very complete diorama.
Lows: My biggest concern is that when making your purchase you don’t know if you are going to get the corrected product or the earlier inaccurate one.
Verdict: A great product which I highly recommend, but be aware of the problems with the original release.
Percentage Rating
91%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6249
  Suggested Retail: £17.50
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 25, 2011
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2017 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Hi Darren. A good review, but I somehow feel its wrong/unfair to rate a model lower because the previous release had faults. The review should be based only with what "you have in your hands". It should be enough to mention that the previous release has problems. In fact there are several kits by Dragon with problems in the earlier release, which have also been updated. IMO a company should be praised for taking this step ... although they could do more to inform and/or make it clearer from the box identification. It might have been a good idea to describe the basic changes with this update kit, so modelers know by looking at the kit, if they have the updated set or not. Does anybody know or have a list of what changes have been made? One thing that stands out for me is the price of this set. DML figure sets alone are fast approaching this price in Sweden, with Gen II sets already hitting or going over £20. At £17.50, this is a steal!!!!!
JUN 25, 2011 - 06:36 AM
Hi Thanks for the review. It is indeed worth praising Dragon for going back and correcting the mistakes in the kit, but again as Frank mentioned this is totally let down by the fact there is no way of knowing upon purchase if you are getting the "corrected " kit if you buy this boxing, which I did !! and found them incorrect. The only real way to be certain of getting the corrected version is to buy either 6250 kit - 7.5cm PaK 40 Late Type w/Fallschirmjäger Anzio 1944 or the "updated" 6433 Premium kit - 7.5cm PaK 40 with Heer Gun crew. Or the AFV Club version But be aware the 6433 Premium version does not include the metal barrel as per the original release, which is kind of weird for a premium labelled release. I brought the infamous Dragon Panzer IV E kit number 6264 on impulse off of ebay only to read about all its faults afterwards, but struck lucky this time in that when it arrived mine contained all the corrected parts. But again nothing on the box tells you it the "corrected" kit, which is a shame, as Dragon did a cracking job on correction. Alan
JUN 25, 2011 - 07:51 AM
Frank I wanted to give the model a good percentage score while erring on caution. One of the most respected reviewers on another site points out accuracy issues with the trail legs and the slide portion of the gun cradle. I have also seen a review where the overall length of the gun barrel and breach is said to be wrong. I checked these parts as best I could and only find one possible problem with the trail legs where they seem to be less than 1mm too long. What I didn't want to do was give the model 90+ percent and then when someone gets one of the original releases I come in for abuse as I said this that or the other. Thank you both for taking the time to add your comments it is appreciated.
JUN 25, 2011 - 08:28 AM
Hi Darren As a footnote to my previous post I'd like to point out that the Premium edition kit whilst not including the turned barrel as I mentioned, it does however contain a brass gun shield not included in the original release. So its a case of buying a turned barrel if the modeller finds the kit part inappropriate. The crew are as you can see from the Dragon poster depicted differently from your original release, in uniforms without Greatcoats. The ones you have in the first issue are in fact a minor adaptation of their infantry set 6190 if anybody wanted to retain those to depict a colder scene. Hope the information is of some use for fellow modellers in choosing which one to buy. Alan
JUN 25, 2011 - 09:52 AM
Thank you Alan I do question if the addition of a brass gun shield, an extra PE fret, and a change of crew from a four man cold weather to a five man (in theory any weather) plus the loss of the turned barrel makes the Premium edition worth an extra £10. Your thoughts? In addition kit DN6250 7.5cm Pak40 with Fallschirmjager Crew is the exact same gun but with none of the possible issues suffered in the initial DN6249 and is available for £14.99. According to the review I have seen it also contains the added extras that are included in DN6249. If I am honest DN6250 is possibly the best kit of the gun as you are guaranteed that the model will be accurate and used in conjunction with DML German Field Howitzer Gun Crew - Premium Edition reviewed here, it will give you a host of crew positions for a two or three gun diorama.
JUN 25, 2011 - 11:22 AM
Hi Darren I agree with you 100% as regards the boxing and selling of 6433 as a Premium kit. It doesn't appear to have the usual value for money that most of Dragon's Premium kits have, and I purchased it........but I must add at a greatly reduced price on ebay. I also have purchased the figure set you mentioned, German Field Howitzer Gun Crew - Premium Edition . In fact it was your review of that set, pointing out the additional parts that spurred me on to buy it. That and the fact it was on offer at my local model show for £10. I think it was also on offer recently at Modelzone but if that's still the case I don't know. I believe the figures used for the 6433 kit come from part of that howitzer set as well. It's a shame Dragon didn't pop a "new tooling" logo on the corrected kits box for the kit you reviewed, like they have done on others then I'd say buy that one without hesitation. As it is I happy to have purchased 6433 at a good price and only the metal barrel to buy if the need takes me. Cheers. Alan
JUN 25, 2011 - 07:56 PM
I just ran a price check on the German Field Howitzer Gun Crew - Premium Edition and everywhere I checked in the UK that I purchase from was in the £9 to £10 range still.
JUN 26, 2011 - 12:58 AM
My take on the turned barrel controversy is that the barrel is in some ways the easier problem to solve: the muzzle brake is a thornier issue. Not only do plastic MBs lack the detailing of brass ones, they are vulnerable to making mistakes (too much glue, smearing, etc.). I never use a styrene brake unless I'm showing the piece in travel mode with its barrel covered. Even with the Premium Kit, I've seen it at very reasonable prices, as it's no longer a "hot commodity." Were I to buy another PaK 40, I would go that route and get a brass/aluminum muzzle brake/turned barrel combo. They're pretty cheap from JB Model.eu or this one, for example (8 Euros, $10.50). With the PE brass splinter shield in the kit, that makes for a reasonable combo IMO.
JUN 27, 2011 - 09:38 AM
The turned barrel looks ok as regards cut marks where it has been turned, the plastic barrel is two pieces on the thicker end of the barrel and then becomes one piece at the thinnest end. I agree with Bill regarding the muzzle brakes as I have not used one multi part plastic muzzle brake yet that was what I would call a good fit and filling and sanding of this part is a pain. I am sure you are correct about the gun shield being overly thick but the tapered edge on the moulding makes this look the part. I am starting a build review of the kit and the only issue I have encountered thus far is that a lot of the parts do not have a positive location on the model which will allow for errors to creep in. Thank you for the feed back.
JUN 27, 2011 - 12:05 PM
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