7.5cm/5.5cm Pak 41 Anti-Tank Gun

Kit # 72280

Preview by Stephen Brezinski - sbrez(at)suscom-maine(dot)net
Edited by Rob Haelterman

I find this a very welcome new kit for those small scale modelers who appreciate artillery! To my knowledge this is the first time this rare anti-tank gun has been offered in 1/72 scale and in plastic. The gun represents an innovative system to attain a very high velocity armor piercing projectile from a light weapon using the Gerlich squeeze bore principle, which takes a 7.5cm solid tungsten-cored projectile and squeezes it down the forward length of the 4.3-meter barrel so it leaves the muzzle as a 5.5cm solid-shot projectile, propelled at 1200m/s (over 3600 fps). Only 150 were made from about 1942 and used to about 1943 or 1944; then the shortage of tungsten metal forced the end of production. I have read that after the tungsten ammunition was used up the guns were scrapped or the carriages modified to mount Pak 40 barrels and breeches.

The great box art above shows a Pak with a simple flat shield of two spaced layers of steel; the gun swivels on a ball mount in the shield. The roadwheels appear similar to that for the Pak 40. The muzzle brake appears different from other German anti-tank guns. Notice that there is no perforation in the shield for a gun sight; the sight is a telescopic sight that looks over the shield, similar to the type found in a Sturmgeschütz.

The art shows us recommended colors of Dunkelgelb with blotches of green and brown; in the background is a smoking T-34 model 1943. If this gun came out in 1942 then a dark gray color could also be possible. There are no markings on the gun as was quite common, and no decal markings are included by ACE. Kill rings on the gun barrel are not uncommon on German AT guns though. This gun would have been towed by an SdKfz 11 tractor, an SdKfz 251 or perhaps an all wheel drive 3-ton truck.

Here in a WW2 era photo of a Pak 41 with a crew and what appears to be a towing or ammunition vehicle behind it. There is a dust cover over the muzzle. Photos of this AT gun are rare. I see no discernable camouflage scheme on this gun.

ACE’s kit instructions are the standard exploded-view type and look accurate. There are about 50 injection-molded, light gray styrene parts, including five ammunition rounds and five ammunition storage tubes. No crew figures are included.

The only major modification I recommend is to drill out the muzzle and cut the muzzle brake slots a little deeper; another option is to add a dust cover over the muzzle made from tissue or plastic bag material.

This sprue contains the main parts for the gun, wheels and trails. The gun barrel is at far left; the breach is in two parts, at center top and bottom, for better detail. ACE uses short run molding which do not last as long as standard steel molds so I am not surprised that the shovels are molded into the trails. Molding quality is good, an example being the fine rivet detail on the gun shield; though not equal to the molding quality of Revell AG, Hasegawa and Trumpeter for examples.

At the far left of this sprue are five rounds of 7.5cm projectiles. At far right are tubes for transporting the rounds; just left of the tubes are traverse and elevation handwheels. Above and left of the handwheels is the gun sight.

ACE faithfully represents another German artillery piece of World War 2 that should assemble into a very good display or wargaming model. I honestly did not expect this model to come out in resin, let alone plastic. I recommend this model.


[1] German Artillery of World War Two, by Ian V Hogg (1997), Stackpole Books, Pennsylvania, USA; and Greenhill Books, London, UK. This is best book on German artillery of WW2 I have found.

[2] http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/ttt/75mm-tapered-bore-antitank-pak-41.html

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.5_cm_Pak_41

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Article Last Updated: 18 February 2009