It is going to be a difficult week for me, as I intended to review till the end of month four sets.... So a lot of reading for those that visit these reviews. Unfortunatelly, there will be not so attractive sets.... Here it is another kit of HaT's series related to WWII German guns and crews. Nothing particular here, except the Stielgranate 41, which probably, with some modifications might be used with Esci/Italeri or MAC Distribution PaK35/36.
I painted these figures not as DAK soldiers, but as continental ones. In this regard, I had to scratch long trousers from putty for those two wearing short pants, but I did not put too much effort in that operation....
"German PaK 36"
Set Code: 8149
No. of Figures: 16
No. of Poses: 4
Additional Items: 4 PaK35/36Guns and 4 Stielgranate 41
Material: Soft Plastic
Flash Level: Intermediate
Glue-ability: Good (Super Glue Gel)
Optimal Period: 1941-1945
Inside the series of HaT's 1/72 WWII German guns and crews, mainly focusing on antitank artillery, could not miss one of the most used weapon, respectively the notorious PaK 35/36. Even if here entitled PaK36, the kit obviously refers to Pak35/36. Produced in over 15.000 pieces, the 3.7 cm Pak 35/36 represented the standard anti-tank weapon of Wehrmacht at the beginning of war and attaining great results during the Polish campaign, but soon after, against French and British tanks, with thicker armour, proved its limits. Starting with 1940 it became clear the need of larger calibre guns and the issue was further enhanced during Barbarossa when PaK35/36 showed its usefulness in front of T34 and its comrades, also receiving the nickname "door knocker". Despite its low performances, PaK35/36 saw combat on each front, remaining in service till the end of war. In order to improve its ability against thick armour, in 1943 was developed for PaK36 the Stielgranate 41 with a hollow shaped charge warhead, a rocket thanks to which PaK35/36 could penetrate any armour, from less than 300 meters. Stielgranate 41 was loaded in the muzzle of the gun and fired with a special propellant cartridge. HaT's PaK 35/36 was endowed with a Stielgranate 41, a plus point of the set, especially taking into account that kits of PaK 35/36 and crews such as Esci/Italeri and MAC Distribution do not include this special weapon. Several details of the garment of the crews clearly attest HaT's intention to employ this gun in Africa, but perhaps it would have been better to switch the crews of PaK 40 or 7.62cm PaK 36(r) with the present one, while the Stielgranate 41 did not see too much combat with Afrika Korps.
Addressed in principal to wargamers, HaT's PaK35/36 is extremely easy to be put together, being composed by only eight parts to whose muzzle may be glued or not the Stielgranate 41. Superglue will work fine on this green rubberized soft plastic common to all guns of the series as well as to bicycle and mounted sets released by the same company. The necessary parts of the gun come on the same sprue with the figures, each set incorporating four similar spures. The front artwork shows the gun and on the back the customer will find not only the assembly instruction guide, but also drawings of the four poses encountered inside.
While all the rest of crews of HaT's series proposing WWII German guns are dressed in the same way, the present set distinguishes through featuring more diversity in terms of cloths. Here we get a crew suitable for Afrika Korps, the best clue in this regard representing the short pants worn by two gunners. Based on the attire, the crew might be divided in two groups formed by a couple of figures, one dressed in tropical field blouses and regular trousers and the other group wearing shirts, short pants and specific socks. All of them have their heads covered by tropical caps and shoe ankle boots. Likewise, another difference registered between this crew and the rest consists in the complete lack of equipment, ammunition pouches or pistol holster for gun commander, except two belts worn by the soldiers in shirts, no WWII German gear is seen. Due to similarities between M36 tunics and tropical field blouses issued for DAK, the two crewmen dressed in this way should be used without hesitation on any front, of course starting from 1943 according to their tropical caps that can pass really easy as M43 caps. Not the same situation records for the other two gunners with short pants, if these are not put to work at a bridge in water or something like that, then they cannot be deployed on other front than Africa except converting the short pants into regular trousers. Either those wearing shirts or tunics are appropriate for being used not only by gunners, but also as maintenance soldiers.
Exactly like the rest of HaT's 1/72 German guns crews, this one interacts with the weapon quite nasty and the projectile held by a soldier looks huge for the 3.7 cm calibre of PaK35/36, almost no difference being made between this projectile and the other delivered for a PaK40 or for 7.62cm PaK 36(r). All figures are crouched and taking into account the lack of pistol holster or binoculars, the role of gun commander might be played at least by two figures, either the soldier in shirt pointing to something with the right hand or the one with M36 tunic holding nothing being appropriate for such a task.
Uniforms appear as a little better done thanks to noticeable buttons and shoulder boards, but still not eye-catching at all. However, the rolled sleeves of the soldiers in shirts enhance the poor anatomy, with arms as thick as legs. The ugly faces are highlighted by the caps, the helmets doing a superior job in hiding undesired things. Furthermore, the flatness of figures is even increased here due to the stances decided by the sculptor to depict the troopers. Enclosed in the small part of 1/72 scale, they fit well with their mates from the other HaT sets with guns as well as with Armourfast's Mortar and MG teams, Pegasus Hobbies Waffen SS Set 2 or MAC Distribution's PaK 36 and PaK38 sets. The lack of excess of plastic is welcome, but flash, although low, will give headaches to someone who decides to remove it. This soft plastic is predisposed to produce fluffs that need eradication over and over again. In addition, paint will take a longer time to dry, but is satisfactory accepted by the material while superglue is greatly welcome. The figures are based and without them some of will keep the balance. If a modeller wishes to upgrade this crew, then he should consider Preiser or Dragon weapons and gear, superglue gel making a good bond between these parts and the bodies.
Perhaps within HaT's Pak36 box we get some of the most unattractive figures of the series, but also an interesting item, the Stielgranate 41, that with some modifications and thinning manoeuvres might be useful for diorama builders in connection with a PaK35/36 produced by other manufacturers. Of course, who wants getting and assembling four PaK35/36 in few minutes, and does not care too much about size or details, will find in the just reviewed set his choice.
Historical Accuracy: 7
Poses Quality: 6
Details Quality: 6
Mould Quality: 7