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Howitzer Kit

Trumpeter 1/35 German 12,8cm Kanone 43 bzw.44(rh) Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2010 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject German 12,8cm Kanone 43 bzw.44(rh) Scale 1/35
Kit Number 2312 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Nicely detailed kit! Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $54.95

First Look

Howitzer Kit
Howitzer Kit
Howitzer Kit
Howitzer Kit
Howitzer Kit
Howitzer Kit

When the Wehrmacht encountered superior anti-tank firepower on the Eastern Front, they initiated development of heavier firepower of their own. While the infamous 88mm gun was devastating to British and US forces, the Russians were rolling in heavier armor into battle. While the Germans had some good firepower under development, the appearance of the IS-2 on the battlefield quickly revealed that larger calibers were going to be needed.

Rheinmetall had a 128mm design that was being produced for naval applications. The Wehrmacht issued a contract to adapt this gun as an anti-tank weapon with new projectiles capable of defeating these newer Soviet tanks at range. The resulting development succeeded in a weapon that could penetrate 200mm of armor at 1000 meters and 148mm at 2000 meters. While these ranges were similar to the 88, the penetration was superior.

To get this weapon into the field sooner, existing carriages were used to mount the weapon that would be classified as PaK 44. While some units were developed, towing an 11 ton anti-tank weapon was deemed impractical and the weapon was adapted for self-propelled mounts like the Jagdtiger.

Trumpeter has released another artillery piece into their impressive and growing product line. This release represents one of the carriages that was adapted for moving this monster gun. The kit has all of the detail and features found in their previous releases including the ability to move the gun in azimuth as well as elevation.

Molded in tan styrene, this kit is presented on ten parts trees plus two separately packaged carriage parts and two frets of photo-etched parts. According to the specs, there are 322 parts in this kit and the assembled gun will measure over 12 inches long.

Among the features in this kit:

  • Highly detailed gun mount
  • Very detailed photo-etched armor gun shield
  • Carriage and limber wheels have separately molded hubs and tires for easy painting
  • Carriage can be posed in transport or firing position
  • In transport position, trail can be mounted to limber for towing
  • Gun has separately molded one-piece muzzle brake to capture the unique vent holes

A small sheet of decals are provided for some distinctive marks on one of the two painting options.

This is another nice offering from Trumpeter and at the moment is the only one of this variant of the PaK 44. If you're a cannon cocker or like to model the variety of artillery pieces that have been produced, this will be another really detailed example for the contest table or your display shelf.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!