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First To Fight

Set PL1939-022

Pak 36 German Antitank Gun

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2015
Contents 6 figures and 2 guns.
Poses 3 poses
Material Plastic (Fairly Soft)
Colours Grey
Average Height 25 mm (= 1.8 m)

Review

When the German Army invaded Poland in September 1939 the standard infantry anti-tank weapon was the Pak 35/36, as modelled here. It had first shown its worth in the Spanish Civil War, and performed well enough in the brief Polish campaign, although it would soon meet tanks with thicker armour able to withstand it. In 1939 however it was still a good weapon and had several advantages, and was deployed in large numbers during the fighting.

The Pak 35/36 has been modelled several times before in 1/72 plastic, as can be seen from the list below, with varying degrees of success, but the model in this set is pretty good. Being more detailed than some, including quite a nice sight piece, the gun has sensibly been made in a nice hard plastic that makes the pieces crisp and easy to assemble as well as making a very firm bond with ordinary poly cement. Assembly is pretty straightforward, and everything fits very well and precisely, making a good little model that has a good level of detail and has all the right proportions.

The three figures are made in a much softer plastic, and are not of the same high quality as the gun. The sculpting is not too bad but a bit vague in places, and the faces in particular are somewhat strange. This is much the same as the previous sets of Germans from this company, which also means they have a small amount of flash and some very large bases for no apparent reason.

This gun had a crew of six, but here we only get three. By the shape of his body we can see that the first figure pictured above is kneeling to the right of the gun’s breech and the second is to the left. The man to the left of the breech was the gun layer, but here that figure is holding a shell. The man to the right should be the loader, but this man holds nothing, so really these two should be swapped in terms of position, so have not been well thought out. The third man is the gun commander, and looks good, and the box lacks the fuse setter and the two ammunition men that would make up a full complement.

The clothing and equipment of the figures is all perfectly authentic for 1939. The breast pockets of the commander are oddly positioned, and again proportions and layout are a bit off, but nothing in the uniform is actually incorrect. The kit consists of the very basic items like bread bag and gasmask case, and two of the crew also have the drag straps round their bodies which were used to help move the gun over short distances. The commander has a map case, pistol holster and binocular case, so is also properly equipped.

This is a nice model of a gun but the crew leave something to be desired in pose and general sculpting quality. Although the Pak 35/36 has been a popular weapon in the past, its presence in this particular range is understandable, yet rather better figures to crew the weapon can be found elsewhere.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 7
Pose Number 6
Sculpting 8
Mould 9

Further Reading
Books
"German Artillery at War 1939-45 Vol.1" - Concord (Armor at War Series No.7059) - Frank De Sisto - 9789623611435
"German Combat Equipments 1939-45" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.234) - Gordon Rottman - 9780850459524
"German Infantryman (1) 1933-40" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.59) - David Westwood - 9781841764627
"The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II" - Amber - Chris Bishop - 9781905704460
"The German Army 1939-45 (1) Blitzkrieg" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.311) - Nigel Thomas - 9781855326392

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