Dragon 7.5 cm PaK 40 w/Heer Gun
by Cookie Sewell
254 parts (239 in grey styrene, 6 etched brass, 4 in rubber, 4 turned
brass, 1 turned aluminum barrel); price not known at this time
Advantages: state-of-the-art kit of this popular AT gun, many build
Disadvantages: gun shields not in brass (see text); no crew weapons included
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: to all artillery fans and German WWII fans
F I R S T L O O K
Reading over WWII memoirs from US, Commonwealth and even Soviet soldiers
all presents a similar picture: "...a Kraut 88 knocked out the lead
tank...", "...Jerry potted us with an 88 from the woods...",
"...the Hitlerists dragged up an 8.8 cm gun but we crushed it under
our tracks and kept going..." One would think 99% of all German artillery
consisted of 88mm guns! In point of fact, most Allied tanks were knocked
out by either the 5 cm PaK 38 or its bigger brother, the 7.5 cm PaK 40.
The latter was probably the best overall antitank gun of the war, when
one compares its size, weight, weight of shell, penetration, and overall
capabilities to other weapons of a similar nature. It was surely the equal
of the Soviet 76.2 mm ZIS-3 in most respects, and while not as capable
as the British 17-lber it was a smaller, lighter and handier weapon to
use on the battlefield. The PaK 40 was capable of dealing with all Allied
tanks at combat ranges with the exception of the Soviet IS-2 at longer
ranges (1000-1500 meters).
There are several older kits of this popular weapon around, but the two
main ones – the Italeri and Tamiya ones – are both well over
25 years old and while great kits in their day now somewhat dated. DML
has now provided a new kit, with a wealth of optional parts and a very
nicely done set of detail parts. This is included in the same manner as
all other recent DML "prize" parts, namely fastened to a separate
cardboard mask inside the box.
The PaK40 kit comes with plenty of options, including optional etched
brass detail parts, four turned brass rounds, a turned aluminum or plastic
barrel, and four soft rubber tires. The kit provides for options in regard
to three different styles of wheels and three different styles of muzzle
brakes (each formed of a casting and a face, with the casting being hollow
molded.) Also, the modeler has optional positions for shields, trails,
suspension arms, breech block, and gun servicing panels. The gun is fixed,
however, so traverse must be set during assembly.
The gun shield is interesting, because unlike recent AFV Club efforts
the shield is composed of two injection molded styrene sections with a
brass gun mask (MA1) between them. The edges are "feathered"
to a knife edge, so the modeler winds up with a shield that looks think
but is actually quite sturdy and easy to attach.
The kit provides the four German 1941 pattern figures from Kit No. 6190
("Frozen Battleground 1941") which fit well with the model,
but come with no personal weapons. Still, most modelers who build German
figures should have a good "parts box" if needed and provide
them as they see fit.
There are a number of additional items, such as four turned brass AP
rounds, four styrene HE rounds, two ammo crates and a number of shipping
tubes and three expended cases. The decals are primarily for these parts
and provide the necessary stencils in both black and white. Since guns
rarely bear any markings other than stray "serviced on" decals,
there are none included. Two finishes are shown, either grey or "Panzer
Overall this is a beauty of a kit and should prove popular with anyone
having an idea for a diorama or an AFV Club Sd.Kfz. 11 or Italeri Opel
Blitz looking for a "job."
Thanks to Freddie Leung of DML for the review sample.