Plastic Soldier Company

German Pak38 Anti-tank Gun

Kit #: WW2G20003 Preview by Pat Bierter
Edited by Al Magnus

The Kit

Many manufacturers have given us 1/72 kits of German AT guns, but the 5cm Pak38 has been available in resin or metal only for a long time, so the kit from Ace and this one were very welcome.

The real thing had a double-shield consisting of two layers each 4mm thick with a 25mm space between them, so the model should show a groove around the shield edge, but it does not. The lower shield, onto which a shovel is moulded, is depicted folded down. It can be cut off if desired but the attaching the remaining part to the carriage will be a bit fiddly.

The kit comes with two pairs of wheels, one spoked, and the other much more common pressed steel rubber-tired wheels. Two wheels of each types are included, while the third, detachable wheel is lacking. This was often attached to the real gun's spars' end for towing to enable the crew to steer it easier. The wheels should have a thread consisting of two simple grooves. The kit's wheels may have a hint of these grooves, but I can neither positively see nor feel it, and even if it is there it is so shallow it will entirely disappear once the wheels are painted.

The gun muzzles are moulded solid, so you might want to drill them out. This will keep you busy for a long time in case of the Pak 97/38 as there are so many holes to drill. Ace does a 97/38 kit with a PE muzzle brake which seems the better option for a display model (Ace kit no. 72223). Another option for both guns would be aftermarket replacements like the brass barrels from RB Model.

No gun sight is included.

Total length of 50mm barrel was 300 centimeters. The kit's 50mm barrel including breech and muzzle brake is spot on. The 75mm barrel is about 1mm too long. There are four kits in the box, with all the parts to build either version. You also get six crew figures per gun (in late war uniform although the gaiters could almost pass for puttees), and 40 (!) full and spent rounds per gun.

Casting quality is OK but some pieces like the ammo boxes and the 50mm breech are marred by sink marks.

There are no assembly instructions included, only a diagram that shows you which parts belong to either gun type, and images of the assembled guns.

Review sample purchased by the author.


[4] Werner Haupt: German anti-tank guns, Schiffer Military History vol. 24, Schiffer Publishing 1990

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Article Last Updated: 10 June 2016