|Catalogue No.:||39/45 Series Kit No. 35021|
|Review Type:||In Box|
S u m m a r y
|Contents:||75 parts in olive drab styrene|
|Advantages:||First kit of this gun by any manufacturer; accurate and wide variety of possibilities|
|Recommendation:||For all artillery fans and dioramists preferring the Eastern Front|
B a c k g r o u n d
When the Russians decided to upgrade their 45mm antitank guns from the early Model 1932 gun which was the standard tank gun as well they made minor improvements to the gun, and continued their use of the Rheinmetall carriage which was used by the Germans with their own 3.7mm PaK 36 guns. The gun had reasonably good performance, but even in 1941 the Soviets found to their dismay that the 45 could not adequately handle the Pzkw. III and Pzkw. IV tanks. As a result, a new barrel and "subcaliber" ammunition were quickly created, which improved its penetration capabilities greatly. This weapon went into service as the Model 1942, but was quickly replaced in production by the much superior ZIS-2 gun in 1943.
F i r s t l o o k
Now coming into general availability in the West, the ICM kit is a very nice effort and includes all of the major options found on the original weapons. The kit includes the short barrel for the Model 1938 and the much longer Model 1942 barrel. It also offers a choice between the early wire wheels and the later ZIS automotive factory ones which were standardized by the Red Army in an effort to speed production and enhance mobility. The kit also includes two wooden ammunition cases and a total of 24 rounds six HE-FRAG, six AP, six AP ("arrowhead") and six empty casings.
Construction is very straightforward. The carriage appears heavily influenced by the kit of the Tamiya 3.7 cm "doorknocker", but so was the original gun's carriage. The shield is relatively petite, but note that it has no hinge line on one side and a deep one on the other! The wire spokes are among the best that I have seen in plastic, and do not really need to be replaced. The ZIS wheels appear to be copies of the Italeri ones from the ZIS-3 gun, but lack the fine detailing with the manufacturing data on them.
Overall, this is a good little kit and provides modelers with what was one of the arguably most produced weapons of the early war years.
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