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Pak 40

Tamiya 1/35 Pak 40/L46 7.5cm Anti-Tank Gun Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review November 2009 Manufacturer Tamiya
Subject Pak 40/L46 7.5cm Anti-Tank Gun Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35047 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Neat German anti-tank gun Cons Nothing noticeable
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) 7.99

First Look

Pak 40
Pak 40
Pak 40

Rheinmetall was developing a long barreled 7.5cm tank gun to be mounted on the German PzKpfw. IV tank in place of the original short barreled (28 calibers long) 7.5cm gun. This was because the Germans had to reinforce the tank to cope with tank-to-tank fighting which they considered inevitable in the coming war. Developed at the same time was the 7.5cm anti-tank gun, which later became the main and typical anti-tank weapon of the German Army. On 22nd June 1941, the Germans started “Operation Barbarossa” against the Soviet Union. To cope with the invading force, the Russians sent their new and powerful T-34 and KV-1 tanks to all the fronts and therefore all German anti-tank guns became relatively outdated. It was the 7.5cm anti-tank gun that moved into the limelight under these circumstances.

As a means to cope with Russian heavy tanks, the Germans began to send the 7.5cm anti-tank gun model 39 (48 calibers long) to the front in the autumn of 1941 and delivered the 7.5cm anti-tank gun model 40 (46 calibers long), production type to troops in the summer of 1942.

The 7.5cm anti-tank gun model 40 inherited most strong points in mechanism from the 5cm gun. The long barrel of 46 length caliber equipped with double-action muzzle brake was of one-piece construction with no joints. Horizontal sliding block breech was designed for semi-automatic loading. The recoil mechanism was improved and fitted with an additional hydraulic buffer. Two rear trail legs, in the German style were added. The gun carriage was equipped with torsion bars and German unique wheels, consisting of cast steel discs and rubber tires. The shield for protecting the gunners was also similar in construction to that of the 5cm gun and had two 4mm armor plates fixed 25mm apart.

Tamiya is a prolific model company based in Japan. This kit comes in an end opening type box. The boxart is in Tamiya’s usual style of depicting the kit subject against an all white background. In this case it shows the 7.5cm anti-tank gun being manned by a 3 man crew (although the history says 8 men). The weapon is in overall panzer gray. An ammo case and two spent rounds are shown on the ground around the gun.

One side panel shows the box arts for 4 other artillery weapons that Tamiya manufactures kits of : a German 3.7cm anti-tank gun with 4 man crew, a British 25 pounder with crew, a British 6 pounder with crew and a German 88mm Flack 36/37 with crew. No kit numbers are mentioned for these. Also on this side panel is the copyright date of 1985. On the other side panel are illustrations of shoulder and lapel insignia for German uniforms. Unfortunately, their descriptions are all in Japanese. It is said here that the kit was made in the Philippines.

Printed on one of the end flaps are color illustrations of a Luger pistol holster and a map case. On the other end flap is color illustrations of a German canteen, bayonette and gas mask canister. The back of the box has a profile of a 7.5cm in overall earth yellow, a top view and profile of one in overall panzer gray and a front view of one in earth yellow with dark green camouflage spots. An ammo case is also illustrated in overall earth yellow and panzer gray, along with a live and spent ammo round, that have brass shells and black war head. Below these are illustrated the 3 crew figures. Each is wearing the field blouse and trousers in field gray, with the trousers tucked into black jack boots. All three wear steel helmets. Below the figure illustrations is a side profile of a Sd.Kfz. 251/1C towing a 7.5cm gun, all in panzer gray. The rest of this side of the box is several paragraphs in Japanese, as is all the text by the illustrations.

Inside the box are 2 large and 1 medium sized panzer gray trees of parts. These are in a stapled shut cello bag. Two instructions sheets, one all in English and the other in Japanese, and a small sheet of  “Important Information Concerning this Kit”, printed on both sides and in 13 languages – including English – completes the kits contents. There are no decals in the kit.

The 2 instruction sheets consist of a single sheet that 23” long and 8 ¼” wide. These are both accordion folded along their lengths to fit the box. The little “Information” sheet is 4 ½” x 7 ¼” format.

The face side of the instruction sheet begins with a black and white repeat of the box art, followed by the history of the 7.5cm gun. This history is punctuated with line drawings of the 3.7cm anti-tank gun, the Pz.Kpfw. IV, the Soviet T-34, the Sd.Kfz. 11 halftrack and a Marder II. Below this is an illustration of the formation of a German infantry Anti-tank Gun Company (as of November 1941). This is shown as black silhouettes of the vehicles and guns involved, plus an illustration of the tactical marking for this type company. The page continues with a paint color description for the gun and German uniforms. A black and white repeat of the color illustrations of the gun on the back of the box is shown. Finally a black and white photo of the model made up with the crew as viewed from the rear completes the page.

The other side of the instruction sheet has 9 assembly step drawings. Down the left edge of the sheet is an illustration of the model made up and shown from above. Below that is assembly drawings for each of the three crew men. One figure is the commander, the second is the gunner or aimer, and the third is the loader with a live round in his arms. This is followed by a single assembly step for the ammo case. The end of this case can be posed open or shut. At the bottom of the page we are asked to look for Tamiya’s color catalog at our local hobby shops.

There are no parts tree illustrations on the instruction sheet. However, part numbers are on the assembly drawings and on the trees of parts.

Large panzer gray letter A parts tree holds: the gun barrel, the inner and outer shield plates, 4 spent ammo rounds and 6 live ones, and numerous small fittings for the gun. (46 parts)

Large panzer gray letter B parts tree holds: the rectangular lower shield plate, wheels and tires, a shovel, gun trail legs, axle cradle part and other assorted fitting for the gun. (43 parts)

Medium panzer gray letter C part tree holds: the parts of the 4 crew figures, one 7.5cm steel ammo case, 3 steel helmets, 3 canteens, 3 gas mask canisters, 2 bayonets in scabbards, 1 luger holster and 3 bread bags. The commander figure is divided into full body with separate arms, the two other figures are divided into separate lower body and upper torso with separate arms. Sculpting on them is quite nice. (30 parts)

I am fairly sure that the model will traverse and elevate after assembly and the trails will pivot. However, it’ll remain to be seen once I build it.

I cannot help but wonder if the history that I quoted from the instruction sheet is correct in saying that the gun had an 8 man crew? I really don’t know what jobs the other 5 men, vs the 3 that are in the kit, jobs would have been? Three looks more correct to me.

This is an older kit, but despite it’s age will build up into a nice diorama out of the box are will look good being towed behind various German half-tracks etc.