Anti-Tank Gun Pak-40
|Kit #: 6257
|Construction review by Rob Haelterman
The Pak 40 became operational in February 1941 and was produced up until the end of the war. Early versions had stamped dish wheels like the Pak 38 and a Lenkrad (literaly: steering wheel) for easier manoeuvring. Later wheels were of the open type and had 6 or 8 spokes of varying designs. In 1943 the pneumatic brakes of the gun were omitted from the design. Very late guns (called FK40) had a modified gun shield to allow for indirect fire. The standard towing vehicle was the Sd.Kfz.11, or later the RSO, but other vehicles (like an Sd.Kfz.6 or Sd.Kfz.10) were sometimes used .
The kit contains two rather big sprues in the (by now familiar) softish, but very gluable plastic. A large chunk of these sprues is taken up by a base and a wargaming flag. While the latter is of little use to the display modeler (except as a source of scrap plastic), I found the base to be very useful as a rig when assembling the model. You also get three figures. They have a very realistic anatomy and lively poses but as they come in multiple parts, there will be rather important seams to that need to be cleaned up and detail to be restored in its vicinity.
While Zvezda gives you the option of building the gun in firing or in transport mode, only the former can be chosen without any form of modification as the handles on the recoil spades need to be folded back and the lower shield (holding the shovel) needs to be folded up for the gun to be towed.
The kit doesn't contain anything related to the brakes (pressure cylinders or brake drums), has the convex eight spoke wheels, late style recuperator housing, and the most common type of muzzle brake. (See Al Magnus' review of the Dragon Pak 40 for more details.) This points to a gun produced in 1943, or later. Logically then, it also comes without a Lenkrad. When it comes to painting, this leaves you with no choice but to have the gun finished in dark yellow, with or without additional green or brown camouflage.
it comes to detail, I must say that this kit is way beyond what I
would expect from a wargaming kit, but at an extremely attractive
price. Not counting the figures, the kit consists of 41 pieces and
is quite well detailed, up to the connecting rod between the two trail
arms. Even the small brake light is there, although no wiring for
it is rendered.
the construction is straightforward with a tight fit (indeed most
parts can be pressed into place without jeopardizing the solidity),
the area around the breach is somewhat problematic. The way the kit
is engineered, there will be a seam running through the breach that
will require some very delicate filling. This area alone was responsible
for more than half of the total assembly time.
Measuring the kit against plans in , I found it to be very close to 1/72 with only the wheels perhaps a bit oversize (around 1/70).
last remark: if you want to use the display base for more than a jig,
note that the recoil spades are not nearly deep enough into the ground.
If you use it as a jig, then you should compensate for this as well,
otherwise your gun will be pointing up more than you planned when
you transfer the gun to a diorama.
A few years later, the figures were painted and the gun was put into a diorama, with an Extratech wall and Black Army rounds and crates. The round in the loader's hands that Zvezda provides was replaced.
 German 7,5cm Anti-Tank Gun Pak 40, Armor Photo Gallery 18, Jan Coen Wijnstok, Model Centrum Progres, Warsaw, Poland 2007 ISBN 978-83-60672-04-4
 "Marder III" Panzerjäger 38(T) für 7.5cm PaK 40/3 (Sd.Kfz.138) Part 2: Ausführung H & 7.5cm PAK 40 Mot. Zug. V. Andorfer, M. Block, J. Nelson, H.F. Duske, T. Greenland, F. Schulz & D. Terlisten. Nuts & Bolts 18.
Review sample purchased by the author.