After their initial appearance in the Great War tanks developed rapidly and there emerged a constant race to develop new more powerful guns that could destroy the new tanks and new better protected tanks that could withstand the new guns. While Germany went to war in 1939 with a good anti-tank gun they were aware that stronger tanks were on the way, and when Operation Barbarossa pitted the army against the Soviets they found their match and appealed for a gun that could destroy the stronger Soviet armour. As a result the newly developed 7.5cm PaK 40 anti-tank gun, which had been approved the previous year, was rushed into production, and the first examples reached the troops in late 1941. It proved to be an excellent gun, and more than a match for almost any Allied tank. It became the standard anti-tank gun for the rest of the war, with over 23,000 coming off the production lines.
This is a well known weapon and has been modelled many times in many scales. Several such models have already been covered on this site (see below), but the stated purpose of this model is to provide quick and easy assembly at the cost of loss of detail and refinement. The gun is made up of just eight parts and largely achieves the quick-build target, although some parts need gluing. Naturally there is much detail missing, but the basic shape is all fine and for those wanting to build and deploy several such weapons this is a quick way of achieving that. However it is less detailed than the corresponding Italeri model, and the softer plastic HaT have used is not ideal for such a kit.
Each gun comes with the pictured four-man crew which is a bit light on numbers but does at least provide some activity to bring the weapon to life. The crewmen, all kneeling, are in much the same poses as other HaT German gun sets released at the same time (see list below), with the main difference being the type of uniform, so crews for various theatres and climates can be easily obtained. For the PaK 40 the crew are in standard tunics with sleeves rolled up, and some appear to have some camouflage on their helmets. All have a waist belt but not the common 'Y' straps over the shoulders, and all have a gas mask case slung on a strap. Otherwise they are without kit, apart from the officer who has a pistol holster attached to his belt at the back where it would be difficult to reach in an emergency. Everyone wears the short boots and anklets that were common by the later war years.
The poses are a bit flat and sometimes rather awkward, and the standard of sculpting is not what many would wish either. These are not particularly attractive or realistic figures, although still better than no crew at all, and there is very little flash to trim. One man holds a shell, presumably ready to load the gun. Shells for the PaK 40 were over a metre in length (as shown in the Italeri set), so the shell this man carries is absolutely nothing like the real thing. All the other crews already mentioned also have a similarly short shell, so there is nothing in these sets that makes suitable ammunition for the PaK 40.
This set joins an already very competitive market and tries to be distinctive by offering quantity and quick build rather than detail. In that it largely succeeds, so if you need a large number of such weapons then this would seem a worthwhile purchase for an important weapon, but if it is fine detail you need then there are many alternatives available.