--ACE ------vs --NRC


ACE 47-mm SA Model 1937


NRC 4.7-cm Pak 183(F)

Kit :
ACE # 72529
NRC # 7244

Preview by Stephen 'Tank Whisperer' Brezinski - sbrez1(at)comcast(dot)net
Edited by Marc MERCIER

This in the box review covers two small scale models of the French 47 mm Model 1937 anti tank gun; a recent release by ACE Models and an older release by NRC Models.

About 1200 of the 47-mm SA Model 1937 towed anti tank guns were in service with the French Army in 1940 when the German Army invaded and proved to be the most effective antitank gun of the time, after the 8.8-cm Flak gun. The gun was easily handled and could destroy any German panzer then in service. The Germans captured over 800 guns and put them in service as the 4.7cm Pak 181(f) and Pak 182(f) according to one reference I found online. The Pak 182 designation seems to actually apply to the Czech 47-mm anti tank gun though. Most references list the German designation as Pak 141(f) and Pak 143(f), but so far I have not found out why this captured weapon has two designations. I have no information that this gun served with nations other than France and Germany.

The Box Art, What is Supposed To Be Inside

ACE always gives us great box art. Here we have a painting of the 47-mm gun set amid a smoky area of rubble. The color is olive green indicating a gun serving in the French Army or a recently captured German weapon.
The weapon comes with a large shield that appears to swivel with the gun traverse. On the shield are brackets for holding the trail spades, hammer in flat spades to secure the ends of the trail arms into the ground. There is a lower shield that folds up when the gun is being moved. Around the gun barrel is the recoil mechanism.
The tires appear to be the solid rubber type. I have seen this towed gun come with three different types of wheels. Behind the wheel and leaning against trail is a long 47-mm round of ammunition; this will help in painting the ammunition that comes in the model kit.

The NRC kit 7244 does not have instructions but there is a photo of the built model on the box and in a product sheet in the box. I find it interesting in that NRC (Martola) lists this as a "German antitank gun" with no mention of its French origin.

The photos show a gun similar to that shown in the ACE box art but in dark yellow and green color typical of German post-1942 equipment. The wheels are a different style than that shown on the ACE box art, and the trail spades are mounted on the face of the gun shield. These photos are not as helpful as a good diagram of the parts and exploded-view diagram showing assembly, but it is better than no instructions at all which is not uncommon with some resin kits.

The Kit Parts

The ACE Models kit 72529 comes with 34 pale gray, injection molded, hard styrene plastic parts on two sprues, which includes 5 rounds of ammunition and two sets of extra wheels. There are no resin, etched brass, or crew figures included. Some ammunition crates would have been nice to include. ACE kits are short run injection moldings so as the molds get used they can develop flash and other softened detail.

The NRC Model kit 7244 has 8 cast resin parts in dark amber color. Casting quality I found to be mediocre and not up to present standards of AlBy, Modelkrak and others. There are no etched brass, or crew figures included. I have a half dozen NRC model kits and they impress me as being designed more for wargaming models rather than for display models. We must keep in mind that I bought this model in about the year 2000 when technology and demand for quality was not as far advanced as today in 2014.

Here we have the NRC gun barrel with breech at far left, cast in a dark yellow resin. Next to it appears to be the same part in pale yellow from AlBy models. Knowing the quality of AlBy kits I suspect that NRC has copied AlBy's kit parts. A minor difference is that on the NRC part, the gunner's recoil guard is miss-cast and missing.

On the ACE sprue is the ACE kit gun barrel (part-13) which appears several millimeters shorter than the NRC and the AlBy parts, even though all are supposed to be 1/72 scale. Just to right are five rounds of 47-mm ammunition (parts14); there are pretty small so be careful cutting them off the sprue. The rest of the parts on this sprue are for the gun and gunsight. At far right it’s the gun shield (part-2); the lower, smaller gun shield is on the second sprue.

AlBy offers a full 1/72-scale kit of this model (kit 718).
You can find good photos of the AlBy 4.7cm PAK 181(f) Anti-tank Gun kit at: http://www.onthewaymodels.com/kitlists/albykits.htm#Germany.

ACE's second sprue holds the lower carriage parts. At center left is the gun carriage (part 2) that the weapon traverses on. Above and below are the two trail spades (parts-24) for securing the trails into soft earth. At far right are the trails (parts-15 & 19) and the lower gun shield (part-16).

Left and right of center are the choices of three different wheels. The wheels at right top and bottom (parts-18) are the cast wheels with solid rubber tires portrayed on the box art and a reference calls it an RAF kola. At left top and bottom are cast spoked wheels (parts 21) of the type offered in the NRC kit. An online reference I found called this a UF kolo. So far I have not found a translation for RAF kola or UF kolo. In the center left and right (parts 20) are a third alternate for wheels. Unfortunately my references do not explain when and where these different wheel types were produced and used. I have historical photos of all three wheel types in use with both the German and the French armies. All the wheels have solid rubber tires. Despite having very good detail on the outer surface, they unfortunately have no detail in the inner side.

Left is a scan of the NRC 47-mm gun parts in a dark amber color, I have also included at far left the weapon parts from AlBy Lorraine Schlepper with 4.7cm PaK kit no. 816, for visual comparison sake.

Based on the gun barrel, the gun shield and carriage, and the elevation and traverse wheel parts, one model maker appears to have copied the others model. The NRC kit quality is not as clean and good as the AlBy kit, there is more flash, and miss-cast parts with the NRC model. The NRC wheels appear to be the same style as ACE parts 21 but do not appear as accurate to me.

The NRC model comes with no ammunition. Many of the separate small parts in the ACE kit are molded together in the NRC kit which is an advantage of resin casting with soft molds.

I do not have good scale drawings or measurements for this weapon so cannot say how accurate the scale is for either the NRC or the ACE model.

The Kit Instructions
Like other ACE model kits the instructions come with a parts diagram showing all the part numbers which is important since the sprues do not have any part numbers on them. The painting diagram shows colors for a French green, a pre-1943 dark gray German gun or a Dunkel Gelb (Panzer Yellow) gun of 1944.
No decal markings are included.

Assembly instructions is the standard exploded view style common to other ACE kits and other manufacturers. Remember to drill out the muzzle.

In the last assembly photo notice the optional positions for the trail spade: Transport or Battle position. Be careful with assembling the gun and carriage parts (4, 6, 8 & 13), parts 4 & 6 must be lined up straight and in the correct positions to ensure the gun in straight.


Captured Weapons and Equipment of the German Wehrmacht, 1938-1945, by Wolfgang Fleischer, Schiffer Military (1998). ISBN 0-7643-0526-3

Panzerabwehr Artillerie, Tank Power Vol. XXXIV 258

NRC product website at http://www.martola.com.pl/

A web search will also turn up a good supply of photos and historical information. My reference books have a few photos but not much detailed information.

Preview sample purchased by the author.

This model can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 30 September 2014