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1/72 ITALERI - PAK 40 AT Gun with servants (Review and Img)

January 11 2008 at 7:15 PM
Cristian Florescu  (Login Panzer_Grenadire)
Missing-Lynx members
from IP address 194.42.103.198

At the begining of 2008 I have the pleasure to present you the new Italeri's gun set, launched on the market in the last months of 2007. The review aims the crew, but several remarks on the gun can be found inside. Except the 6 standard poses of the set, I enjoyed doing two conversions of each pose. Conversions were facilitated by the material and I tried several types of soft plastic from various manufacturers as well as Preiser hard plastic (all gear is Preiser). Nevertheless, conversions are not so easy like those in hard plastic, but those that I did here, I think that are quite acceptable. From conversions, the most I like the officer which according to his sollar tabs is a Waffen SS Major. I also tried to depict various camouflage patterns of Waffen SS , but I let you guess those. In this set my favourite is oak leaf.

Due to the number of conversions as well as because I decided to group in the same picture only the conversiosn on the same body, there are a lot of photos, but I hope these will not be too boring.

Hope you will like the review and the figures, as well as the conversions and any comment on these is very welcome.

Cristian Florescu


ITALERI 1/72

PAK 40 AT Gun with servants



Manufacturer: Italeri

Scale: 1/72

Set Code: 6096

Year: 2007

No. of Figures: 12 / 2 Guns

No. of Poses: 6 / 1 Gun

Aspect: Tall

Material: Soft Plastic

Optimal Period: 1943 - 1945



Review

The standard German anti-tank gun has been a genuine point of attraction for many representative Braille Scale manufacturers that tried to depict the famous Pak 40, sometimes alone, but still exist several happy cases when it comes together with its crew. Under the Italeri label this is the second kit including such a gun, the company reissued several years ago the Esci "German Anti-tank Guns", where it could be found along with other two guns a Pak 40, with the barrel in firing position as well as eight poor sculptured servants, a far not enough number for covering all the guns. Nevertheless, the present set is the first including a gun and crew exclusively created by Italeri, and this is easily seen, especially the figures situating in the high standard of sculpting of the first years of the XXI century.

Developed at the beginning of WWII, Pak 40 entered in service in late 1941 and saw the first major combat in May 1942 at Kharkov. The gun was manufactured in more than 23,500 pieces, almost 6.000 variants of this gun being emplaced on different vehicles such as Panzer IV F to J, Panzer V (Panther), Sdkfz 251/22, Sdkfz 234/4 etc. The gun which was capable to destroy almost all Allied vehicles, went with the German troops on all the fronts, representing one of the most trusted and reliable artillery pieces while its qualities and large numbers explain its quite numerous presence in the scale comparing with other guns. More or less successful representations of Pak 40 gun and its servants are coming from Esci/Italeri "German Anti-tank Guns" and Airfix "Opel Blitz and Pak40", a set with the gun at 1/76, but crew at 1/72. In addition, Preiser dedicated for Pak 40 an excellent set of five figures, "German Pak 40 Crew", which greatly match with the best interpretation of this gun, made by Roden in a kit without servants.

The box incorporates two identical sprues each containing one gun, an ammo box and six figures. The artwork of the box features a Pak 40 in action and on the back of the box there is provided both the assembly and painting instructions. In spite of not consisting the objective of the present review, few words must be said regarding the gun, a fast-build version coming in nine pieces requiring gluing and manufactured in Italeri's soft plastic, Superspecial material - Let's Glue It". The soft plastic discovered by the company is mostly like a combination among soft and hard plastic that for achieving a strong bond accepts pretty well only super glue, though Italeri has claimed that any standard model glue can be used. Accurate in size, after assembly, the gun looks quite nice for a fast built, but still there is an undesired inadvertence at the wheels that are positioned in the wrong place. It is pity that such a mistake interfered and is hard to correct the fault. However, the kit will definitely please the real target groups of the set, the wargamers, which may not be disturbed by the error, but it is quite annoying for a diorama builder or modeler while the company could easily avoid the mistake. As a bonus, there is a fair detailed ammo box, and due to the fact that the lid is lifted, we could see inside three projectiles looking more adequate for a Pak 40 than those held by the soldiers. The ammo box may be utilized in connection with the crouched soldier wearing great coat because he holds nothing in his hands and his pose appears appropriate for such a task.

Fortunately, the set includes and something that will please the diorama builders and collectors, specifically the attractive figures accompanying the gun. In general, in sets related to Pak 40 we get five soldiers, but here there are six of them. Even if the reference materials of the period features the crew of an anti-tank gun dressed almost the same, Italeri took the decision to put on the servants a mix of various styles of uniforms, more addressed to the cold periods than to the warm ones. In the view of garment category, the figures may be grouped in pairs, two soldiers wearing M42 great coats, two in camouflage smocks and two having parkas with hoods. All figures wear regular trousers and two of them shoe ankle boots with gaiters while the rest of them have marching boots. Most of them cover their heads with steel helmets with camouflage cloth, but two of them kept the M43 caps. A not so often seen at 1/72 and real nice garment piece is the toque which is found on five soldiers. Toques often appear in reference pictures, wrapping the neck and almost all the head of the soldiers, living uncovered just the face. Another set including figures with toques was brought also by Italeri, "German Elite Troops". The soldiers from both sets looks like being sculptured by the same person, an excellent thing bearing in mind the fact that the figures perfectly match by size and outstanding complete each other. In order to underline the idea, even on the artwork of the set there are illustrated several poses looking close to some encountered in the "Elite" set.

All cloths are authentic and nicely represented, but extra points should be granted for great coats and even more for the camouflage smocks, probably the best realized in the scale as well as for camouflage cloths of the helmets on which can be seen the two tags common for some types of the item. The smocks are loose and small details like the strings from the placket and waist are visible at the first glance. Furthermore, the collars of the tunics are also more than evident as well as the collar boards on which may be added Wehrmacht or Waffen SS symbols. The uniforms are also suitable for painting in either Wehrmacht or Waffen SS camouflage patterns, other color choices being white for smocks and parkas or mouse grey for parkas. It is obvious that the figures wear several items specific for cold seasons, but in some extent, all of them may be used and in warmer times, especially inside the 1943-1945 period. Taking into account their role as gunners, the lack of gear is acceptable and in most of the cases these figures have only the belts. For one of them the sculptor allocated a canteen, for another one accurate Kar98K ammo pouches and the last important item is a pair of binoculars given to the gun commander. Not only the gear is scarce, but also the weaponry, just the soldier with binoculars having a pistol holster and probably the pistol inside. Nevertheless, the lack is counterbalanced by the large number of projectiles compared with the number of figures from the set, three soldiers holding rounds and showing their role as gun servants, all three wearing different kinds of uniforms. Regarding the projectiles, it must be emphasized that there is a scale problem, most of them being closer to 88 mm than 75 mm that was the Pak 40 calibre. It is primarily the case of the kneeling figure, but all of them are suitable to serve a 88 mm gun such as Pak 43/41, Pak43 or allocated to vehicles endowed with 88 mm guns, Tigers or Nashorns being good examples in the field. The figures may play a large array of roles, for example, maintenance units for tanks or emplaced in vehicles with open fighting compartments, the qualities of the plastic permitting fine fixing on the vehicles through superglue.

With reference to the poses, these are enough dynamic, realistic and great fulfill their task, as servants for an anti-tank gun. They match nice with the provided gun, but as it was mentioned before, they may conform with some other duties according to various needs of the modeler. Two soldiers stand, three are crouched and one sits, all poses depicting the agitation around a gun during the combat. Three figures hold projectiles, two rushing to bring them closer and a crouched figure preparing to insert it. The projectiles are held in various positions, most of them quite uncommon, but possible and realistic. The nicest loader is the soldier dressed in camouflage smock and he is the one having a closer to the 75 mm projectile representation in the scale, while his colleagues have in their hands bigger projectiles, more suitable for an 88 mm gun.The crouched soldier dressed in M42 great coat has empty hands and for this reason he is ready to receive different roles such as preparing to extract a projectile from the extra ammo box or pressing the split leg of the gun.A sat figure was specially created for maneuvering the aiming devices of the gun and has a wheel in the left hand. In fact, the device totally covers his hand and the other palm is poor detailed too, without distinct fingers and contrasting with other similar body parts in the set from which several are really awesome. This figure match acceptable but not impressive with the gun and he is the one to whom the sculptor gave a canteen. On the other hand, the best figure of the set is the gun commander, also crouched and in a quite common pose for soldiers with the same responsibility, but still remarkable through particulars and attitude. Dressed in camouflage smock and helmet he is prepared, like an authentic gun commander, to order the opening of fire, with the right hand in the air and the left pressing the binoculars on the chest. In addition, he is the only warrior of the set armed with a personal weapon, a pistol kept inside a very properly detailed holster. Not only his uniform, equipment and stance, but also the high level of sculpture, makes him one of the best first line officers encountered in mass production 1/72 sets.

As it was pointed out along the review, the niceties on uniforms are marvelous, accurate the garment items featuring plenty of fine points like buttons, strings, creases and other small things that may enchant an exigent viewer. Questionable elements are the back strap of the great coats that appears a little too short and the M43 caps that look over-scaled. Several palms may appear also over-scaled, but still respect possible human proportions while the rest of anatomy is gorgeous as well as the facial details which may be assessed as some of the best in the scale. Discrepancy between the sizes of soldiers does not exist, but a tinny difference among the projectiles held in hands and from the ammo box is noticed. Flash is kept very low and easy to be taken away. In addition, excess of plastic subsist on several figures, especially in the contact zone linking the projectiles and the bodies. In most of the cases, either is easy to be removed or due to the pose, the excess is hard to be observed. The biggest amount registers at the crouched figure preparing to load the gun, thickening the projectile and is impossible to get rid of it. A multi-part approach would have avoided such issues, but Italeri chose to manufacture all the figures as single pieces, and even the most performing mould shows its limits in such cases. With the exception of the sat soldier, all the figures come with bases and are more difficult than usual to be detached due to the toughness of the plastic, the most intricate being the crouched servant dressed in greatcoat. On the other side, the ""Superspecial material - Let's Glue It" has several advantages such as marvelously accepting the paint, assuring to it a proper base and qualities for resisting to intense handling as well as genuine aptitudes for conversions. The last propriety is of major importance, because in this way it is given a quite good solution to the intricate problem of converting soft plastic figures. In spite of accepting various kinds of soft plastic used by different manufacturers, the strongest bond realizes with the same material that can be found inside several sets of the same producer as well as with the soft plastic used by Pegasus Hobbies in their sets, also special created for admitting super glue. Moreover, another solid liaison is established with hard plastic, a foremost importance issue due to the fact that in this way figures may be endowed with various accessories like Preiser's.

The fighters incorporated inside the present set provide an ideal base for conversions due to the lack of gear and weapons, so the number of poses may be easily increased mixing either parts from the same set or from other soft and hard plastic sets, good choices in the area existing inside the sister set, "German Elite Troops". Great companions for these soldiers, not only from the point of size, but also uniforms should be looked for inside sets like Italeri "German Elite Troops", Pegasus Hobbies "WWII German IG18 Gun and Crews", "Waffen SS - set 1", Preiser "German Pak 40 Crew", Caesar "German Infantry with Winter Gear", Revell "German Infantry", as well as some from Pegasus Hobbies "Germans in Berlin 1945" and Revell "German Engineers". Put together in the same place, almost all the figures from these sets match perfectly, the size differences of gear, body or weapons being insignificant.

Leaving aside the gun, the crew contained by "Pak 40 AT Gun with servants" is a very useful and nice addition to the 1/72 WWII German soldiers, a very attractive set both for wargamers and diorama builders. The crew may be functional for a large range of guns and vehicles, while the multiple conversions possibilities increase the utility and value of the present set. Historically accurate, for sure the figures will also impress the customers through either their facial expressions or other minor details that raise the charisma of a small figure. Furthermore, with little money can be purchased several soldiers from which some overcomes through qualitative niceties many much more expensive hard plastic, white metal or resin figures. In this regard, it should be brought up again, the awesome figures dressed in camouflage smocks.

Historical Accuracy: 10

Anatomy: 9

Poses Quality: 9

Details Quality: 9

Mould Quality: 9

Sculpture: 9

Recommendation/Utility: 10

TOTAL: 9


STANDARD POSES OF THE SET

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CONVERSIONS

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MY FAVOURITE FIGURE OF THE SET

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This message has been edited by Panzer_Grenadire from IP address 194.42.103.198 on Jan 11, 2008 7:33 PM


 
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Responses

  1. Thanks for the time you are putting in to this - Rob Haelterman on Jan 12, 2008, 4:56 AM
    1. Re: Thanks for the time you are putting in to this - Cristian Florescu on Jan 13, 2008, 5:45 AM
     
  2. Re: 1/72 ITALERI - PAK 40 AT Gun with servants (Review and Img) - Alanmccoubrey on Jan 12, 2008, 6:31 AM
    1. Re: 1/72 ITALERI - PAK 40 AT Gun with servants (Review and Img) - Cristian Florescu on Jan 13, 2008, 6:28 AM
     


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