GBModelli

Cannone 47/32 "Elefantino"

Kit # 72009 Construction review by Rob Haelterman

The Cannone 47/32 was one of the mainstays of the Italian Army. It first saw service in the Spanish civil war and went on to see service on almost all fronts. It was not only used as an anti-tank gun, but was also mounted on tanks (e.g. the M13/40), semoventi and on the AS37, AS42 and AS43. Its origins can be found in the Austrian Böhler gun and it was closely related to the Dutch K.n.36. The latter had a different carriage, allowing mechanized towing (which was forbidden with the 47/32) and a muzzle brake. After the fall of the Netherlands, many of these Dutch guns were pressed into Italian service. The Wehrmacht used some of these guns as the 4.7cm PaK-177(i).
I have no idea why it is called after a pachyderm, however.

The manual is very simple, but then again, so is the gun.

The parts are very crisply molded, and the lay-out allows for very easy removal of the casting blocks. An example is the way the gun cradle is attached. If you look closely you see that it is only attached to the "carrot" at the two ends. If you put your knife in the void in between, and apply some force, it easily snaps off at the right place.
The resin is soft enough to be easily cut with a sharp hobby knife without splintering or excessive effort.

In all, this is the ideal Sunday morning project (depending, obviously, on what you did on Saturday evening). I built mine in just over an hour and painted it in the afternoon.

Removing the parts, clean up of the flash and filling two pinholes took about 15 minutes. The gun barrel, which was slightly warped, was straightened after immersing in hot water. Afterwards I hollowed out the muzzle.
The gun carriage has leaf springs for suspension. The left one's detail was not there, so I carved it in, after the image of the right one.

Assembly goes as fast as your glue can dry, although it was not always clear how you need to attach the parts for firing mode or for transport mode, as both options are shown on the same drawing. What was confusing for me was that some parts are only shown in one of them. For instance, the two seats are not mentioned in transport mode, so I don't know what to do with them if I go for that option. Likewise, the wheels are only mentioned in transport mode. A quick look on the internet revealed that in firing mode the wheels were removed and just put on the ground next to the gun. This lowered the gun considerably and aided its concealment.
The only parts where I really needed to check with available pictures were the spades at the rear of the carriage. To avoid installing them upside down, I compared them with pictures on the net, and found that the longest blade need to go on the bottom.

The website of GBModelli has a page where pictures of the real gun are shown. It seems that this gun differs a fair amount from what the kit gives you. Examples are the wheels and the way the spades are attached. This need not be surprising, as pictures found of this gun found on the web show many small or large variations. The wheels being the most noticeable.
Given the family tree and the longevity of this gun, one can only expect that this gun went through a fair number of updates and other adaptations.

 

The model was primed in automotive primer...

... and then painted with Revell and Polly S acrylics.

The gun was put in a diorama with

Reference

http://www.italie1935-45.com/RE/photoscopes/artillerie/cannone47-32.html

 

Thanks to Georgio Briga (GB Modelli) for the review sample.

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Article Last Updated:
12 February 2012
13 April 2013

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