When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 her forces came up against heavier tanks than they had faced in the west, requiring better anti-tank guns than were currently available. The German solution, the PaK 40, was rushed into production, but until this could be delivered in sufficient numbers some interim solution had to be found. That solution turned out to be a Soviet gun the Germans had captured in large numbers during the initial invasion – the 76.2mm Divisional Gun M1936 (F-22). German engineers modified this and issued it under the name PaK 36(r), in which guise it gave good service as an anti-tank gun both on the Eastern Front and in North Africa.
The gun in this set is considerably simplified but is intended to be quick to assemble rather than a highly detailed kit, and as a result is made up of just seven pieces. The overall look of the gun has been captured well however, and those that require numbers for their wargame will find this set provides a quick and inexpensive route to getting the necessary numbers of an acceptable model. The few parts go together very easily but the soft plastic is less than ideal for such a kit and some gluing is necessary.
The four crewmen provided for each gun form a basic but usable selection, although technically the gun required a crew of six. One man has arms as if he is interacting with the gun although exactly how is unclear, and indeed all are fairly generic. The same poses appear in several HaT German gun sets (listed at the bottom of this page) which offer a variety of different uniform options and some slight variety of pose. The second man holds a shell approximately 7mm (504mm) in length, whereas in German hands this gun used shells 715mm in length.
Those figures in this set are all wearing greatcoats and all bar the officer have the standard belt and 'Y' straps supporting the rifle ammunition pouches. The officer has no pouches but a pistol holster on the left hip. Although lacking most kit crewmen were generally forced to be quite static and many photographs show them having laid aside most of their kit so these figures are reasonable, particularly for the cold climate many examples of this gun served in.
The sculpting of these figures is not particularly attractive, with fairly poor proportions and some overly-flat areas as well as unconvincing folds in the clothes. Faces too are quite basic, although this may be partly because they seem to wear a balaclava under the helmet. However neither figures nor gun have any significant amounts of flash.
Several hundred of these guns were used by the Germans in the Soviet Union, so this set is a useful way to obtain numbers without having to go through the long task of assembling highly-detailed kits. It is good to see a crew provided as any crew is better than none, but these leave much to be desired in terms of quality.