7.5cm PaK 40 w/Heer Gun Crew
Dragon Kit #6249
1:35 Scale

Review by Terry Ashley


Dragon continues their trend of releasing nicely detailed kits with many options and extras for the modeller with this latest kit of the 7.5cm PaK 40 Anti-Tank gun with crew having alternate plastic and metal parts as well as optional parts but also comes with some areas of concern.

The Kit:

The kit consists of 160 parts in light grey plastic with another 76 for the figures and four rubber tyres, metal barrel and ammo rounds plus a small etched fret as well as decal sheet and of course the instructions for a good box full.

Etched and Metal parts

The quality of the moulding is very good with many small and delicate parts while the larger parts having nice surface details and a minimum of pin marks. These are kept to a minimum by the use of many plastic ‘nodes’ on the parts to aid in the knockout process and while this requires a little more cleanup, it’s better than filling pin marks.

Care is needed when removing the smaller parts from the sprues but there shouldn’t be any problems except for one area where the gun shields attach to the sprues. The attachment points are quite large and being on the bottom only resulted in stress damage even before I attempted to remove the parts as the parts easily “flex” on the sprues during transit and you will need to repair any minor damage.

As you might expect with 160 parts in a relatively small gun that many of the sub assemblies are very detailed and this is the case with starting from the ground up the lower carriage has no less that 27 parts for the suspension and carriage with the axles able to be positioned in three positions, neutral, raised or lowered depending on the final setting for the gun.

The lower gun shield is in two parts and can be fitted in firing or travelling position as you wish and there is a choice of the three types of wheels seen on PaK 40s during the war with the early stamped steel and two types of steel spoked wheels with separate rubber tyres and again there are choices here with ‘clean’ or ‘damaged’ tyres for a bit of variety although there is no “Continental” embossing on the sidewalls.

The two trailing arms attached to the rear of the lower carriage have separate rear spades, grab handles and other fittings but comparing these to 1/35th scale plans in the Nuts & Bolts Vol.18 Marder III book and scaled up Bellona 1/48th plans plus the corresponding parts in the AFV Club and Tamiya PaK 40 kits sees the Dragon trails some 13mm (1/2in) longer, that’s 13mm in real size not a scale 13mm which is quite some discrepancy (see image).
The AFV Club trails incidentally were spot on to the Nuts & Bolts plans with the Tamiya only very slightly longer while both the AFV Club and Tamiya trails also have the weld seam that runs the length of the trail arm but this is not on the Dragon trails.
I am not aware of any differences in trail length during manufacture that would account for this large discrepancy but am open to additional info if it’s out there but it seems what Dragon have done is include the sleeve on the end of the trail as extra length instead of incorporating this sleeve in the overall length of the trail as it should be.

Moving on to the gun barrel, you get as mentioned the choice of aluminium or plastic barrel depending on your preference and a choice of the three different style of muzzle brake seen on the PaK 40s from early to late war guns. These have separate end fillets with internal flanges either from plastic or etched metal again depending on your preference. The rear breech block is very detailed with the breech made up of four main parts with a separate movable breech block of three parts plus breech opening handle, side piston and lower support for a very detailed barrel assembly.

The gun cradle is in the usual two halves for this type of gun but unfortunately this is a second area where the size doesn’t match the plans and again comparing to the Nuts & Bolts plans plus the AFV Club and Tamiya parts see the Dragon cradle some 4mm too short and also a little smaller in height (see image).

The rest of the gun cradle is very well detailed with many separate parts and alternate front cradle panel, separate side trunnion supports, two part recoil cylinders, traverse hand wheels and smaller fittings for a very busy assembly.

The two part main gun shields are in plastic and are the thinnest shields at the edges I have seen in this medium with nice detail on both sides for a good overall appearance and the central top sliding shield is in etched metal for good definition but are not quite as fine as the brass shields in the AFV Club gun.

Rubber tyres


Included in the kit is a nice selection of wood ammo boxes, steel ammo canisters and 7.5cm rounds and shell cases in plastic as well as four A/T rounds in brass to add a bit of finesse. The detail on the plastic parts is very good with nice wood grain effect on the boxes and embossing on the canisters with six of the canisters and three empty shell cases having hollowed out ends which is quite ingeniously done with pins extending through holes in the sprues and into the ends of the parts during the moulding process for a very realistic finish and there are separate end caps for the hollowed out canisters.

To finish off the ammo boxes and rounds the decal sheet has a good selection of stencil data in both black and white lettering to really give an authentic feel to the ammo boxes, canisters and ammo.

The eight figure gun crew comes from the set #6190 “Frozen Battleground (Moscow 1941)” and as the name suggest they wear full winter overcoats with the flaps separate for good definition with the rest of the figure being up the standard of recent Dragon figures.




The kit is certainly very well detailed and offers just about every option possible for the PaK 40 with many alternate parts such as the wheels/tyres, muzzle brakes, barrels and bonus parts plus figures (I’m sure I saw a set of steak knives in there somewhere?) but unfortunately the dimensional discrepancies in major components mar the overall finish and as the remainder of the kit checks out okay compared to the plans one wonders how things can go so wrong in these areas?

Sure this kit will sell well because of the many fine details and extras and it does offer good value for money being cheaper than the AFV Club gun without all the extras but if you want a dimensionally accurate Pak 40 then the AFV Club kit or even the older Tamiya kit at least have the basic dimensions right.

The Sprues:

Click on thumbnails for larger view
Close new window to return to review

Click HERE for a comparison review with the AFV Club kit #35071 PaK 40 7.5cm Anti-Tank Gun.

See the PaK40 Subjects page for additional reviews of PaK40 related kits/update sets.

With the latest PaK40 kit w/Fallschirmjäger (Kit #6250) Dragon have corrected the lengths of the gun cradle and trail arms to the correct proportions and I can only assume that this kit now has the corrected parts.

Marder III Ausf.H
Nuts & Bolts Vol.18
128 pages, Soft Cover

Page created October 27, 2004