The barrel is similar in design to the larger 1:35 barrels from armorscale with the barrel in a single turned aluminium piece with a separate brass midway collar and muzzle brake with four brass and four etched parts.
The barrel has the muzzle hollowed out with fine rifling included which is quite hard to see in this smaller scale especially with the muzzle brake in place but adds to the overall detail effect.
There is no thread for the muzzle brake as with the 1:35 barrels but the fit of the etched collars and muzzle brake halves was excellent fitting in place without any trimming or filing required. The only exception here was the small etched ring on the inner muzzle brake grommet that had to be filed slightly to fit over the raised inside lip on the grommet and it is best to do this with a fine needle point file while the parts are still attached to their fret. The join seam between the two muzzle brake halves will have to be filled by soldering or by using thick cyanoacrylate as the join should be smooth.
Comparing the barrel dimensions to scaled down 1:35 plans in the Achtung Panzer No.6 Tiger and Tank Power 13 Tiger Vol.1 books shows the Tamiya kit barrel to be 2mm too short with the Skybow and armorscale barrels both within 0.05mm of the length shown in the plans and so is really inconsequential.
Fitting the metal barrel to the Skybow kit requires no alterations and it
simply replaces the kit barrel but to fit to the Tamiya kit you have to increase
the depth of the opening in the mantlet gun collar but about 1mm to take the
As this is quite difficult due the design of the kit barrel locating stub I found it easier to actually file off about 1mm from the base of the metal barrel and then fit into place ensuring you leave the exposed barrel length of 59.6mm in 1:48 scale (give or take a fraction of a millimetre).
The small instruction sheet shows the muzzle brake assembly and the alterations indicated for the Tamiya kit and should be easy enough to follow.
This is an extremely well detailed barrel especially for 1:48 scale with the detail equally that of its larger 1:35 cousins and fitting to the target kits requires little or no trimming for a relatively quick update that adds considerably to the kit detail.
Thanks to armorscale for the review set.
Page created May 20, 2006