Russian F-22 76.2mm gun kit comparison
by Stephen Brezinski
Edited by Rob Haelterman
late 2021, ACE Models from the noble and independent nation of Ukraine
opted to replace their F-22/Pak 36(r) artillery kit 72233 with separate
kits 72571 and 72572. With kit 72233 we have the parts and option
of building the kit as either a Soviet 76.2-mm field gun or as a German
captured gun converted to a substantial antitank (Pak) gun. The conversion
to a Pak 36(r) involved: converting from an indirect artillery sight
to a direct gunsight with an opening in the gunshield, moving both
the elevation and traverse handwheels to the left side under the direct
gunsight, cutting the shield lower and adding the plate to the shield
to double the shield thickness. The below artwork from the older ACE
kit 72233 illustrates the Pak 36(r) features well, including a German
post-1942 Ostfront or 1942-1943 Tunisia campaign camouflage scheme;
I understand the unmarked M3 Medium tanks portrayed in the background
were used in both Ukraine and in Tunisia in that time period.
F-22/ Pak 36(r) kit 72233 includes parts to build either version of
this artillery, with Pak 36(r) kit 72571 and F-22 kit 72572 this option
is removed. With the newer F-22 model kit 72572 we can only build
a 1/72-scale F-22 model. According to the kit instructions, the boxart
for the F-22 model portrays a Red Army gun in the Kursk region in
summer of 1943. The shield for the F-22 is higher than that for the
Pak 36(r) and this gun features the solid rubber tires and no muzzle
brake. In German use this unmodified F-22 field gun was designated
The next photo shows the 2nd sprue of ACE’s F-22/ Pak 36(r) combination kit 72233 on the left holding 7.5-cm and 76.2-mm rounds and parts for the gun carriage. To the right are the sprues for the ACE F-22 kit 72572. It appears that to make the Pak 36(r) kit or the F-22 kit, ACE removed one of three sprues. For all three kits the sprue parts are clearly numbered and match the sprue diagram. The small sprue for kit 72572 contains the gun shield for the F-22 and seven 76.2-mm rounds and a gun barrel without muzzle brake. The muzzles on all three kits should be drilled open except when building the Pak 36(r) in kit 72233 with the 2-part muzzle brake (parts-1 and 5).
The instructions in the MW Pak 36(r) kit 7270 are very similar to the instructions for the F-22 kit 7269 and shows that it includes an additional sprue holding parts for the Pak 36(r): lower shield, 2-part muzzle brake (like ACE’s kit 72233), and recoil guard (part-46). Looking at the instructions we can see the different approach and design of the parts and assembly. The unused parts are shaded in gray.
ACE kit 72233 has a total of 76 pale gray injection-molded parts, 58 parts used to build an F-22, and 54 parts for a Pak 36(r) model. The MW kit 7269 uses 42 medium-gray styrene plastic parts to assemble a F-22 and MW kit 7270 uses 41 parts to build MW’s Pak 36(r). In contrast, the newer ACE kits 72571 and 72572 supply 73 and 75 injection-molded parts respectively. These parts counts do not include the five or six rounds of ammunition included with each model. The increased number of parts in these newer ACE models reflects more accurate detail in addition to better molding, but I cannot comment on how well it builds at this time. None of these kits offer any resin parts, etched brass parts, decal markings nor crew figures.
The gun on right has the muzzle brake of the Pak 36(r), but has no gun shield, no recoil guard, and has a handwheel that is still on the right side. Both guns have pneumatic tires. In period photos I have not yet seen any Pak 36(r) with the solid rubber tires (kit 72233 parts-41 and kit 72572 parts-14 & 61). In German use these guns would be towed by the Sd.Kfz.11, Sd.Kfz.6 and Sd.Kfz. 251 halftracks, a Sd.Kfz.3 Maultier halftrack-truck, or 3-ton trucks (preferably 4x4 trucks). In Soviet use the F-22 would be towed by Zis-6 4x2 trucks, Studebaker 6x6 trucks and the Dodge ¾-ton.4x4 truck, etc.
In a diorama or vignette the F-22 may be modeled in Soviet use in, for example, the Khalkhin Gol battle with the Japanese, in the Russian-Soviet 1939 unprovoked invasion of Poland with ally Germany, the 1939-1940 Soviet Winter War Soviet invasion of Finland, the 1940 invasion of Romania and Russian takeover of Bessarabia, and the 1941 and 1942 Eastern Front battles. By the time of the 1956 Soviet subjugation of Hungary and the 2022 Russian aggression against independent Ukraine these guns would be museum pieces. During WW2 captured Soviet F-22 guns were used by the armies of Finland, of Romania (towed and on the Romanian Tacam T-60 tank destroyer), Germany, and possibly used by Slovakian and Hungarian forces on the Russian Front.
As a captured gun used by the Germans, the towed Pak 36(r), could be seen on all fronts from France to North Africa, to Italy and especially the Eastern Front. The Pak 36(r), was also used on the German Marder II and Marder III tank destroyers.
circumstances of the 2022 visit to Ukraine by Russia, ACE Model kits
may be difficult to obtain.
German Artillery of World War Two, by Ian V. Hogg, Greenhill Books (1997)