German 3.7cm KwK A 7 L/42 Barrel
for Pz.Kpfw.38(t)

#35 L-53
Review by Terry Ashley


This is a simple update from ABER with a single piece aluminium barrel for the Tristar kits of the Pz.Kpfw.38(t) (kits #35020, #35022 and #35026).

The barrel is cleanly machined with the muzzle hollowed out and basic rifling included although the rifling is not really to scale but you need a good magnifying glass to see it and does give a nice visual effect on the barrel.

metal barrel

Determining the correct lengths of aftermarket barrels can sometimes be a challenge if you don’t have an original to run a tape measure over and this is no different with four sets of 1:35 plans in the MBIPraga” book, the Panzer Tracts No.21-1 Staende mit Pz.Kpfw.Tuermen, the Tank Power Vol.XXI PzKpfw 38 (t) book and Ground Power Magazine #064 with all showing the barrel at different lengths?

Elsewhere in the MBI book is a scape illustration (page 77, not to scale) but showing that the exposed length of the barrel along the top is a fraction less than 1 meter which in 1:35 scale is 28.5mm.

So where does this leave the three plans? Those in the MBI book show a barrel length of 27.0mm (short by 1.5mm) which also means the plans don’t match information elsewhere in the book and the barrel is not the only discrepancy here with the hull length in the plans being 2mm shorter than the stated length of 4560mm, but that’s another story.
The Panzer Tracts plan barrel length is 30.0mm, the Tank Power plan barrel length is 29.25mm being the closest of the three at just 0.75mm longer and those in the Ground Power show 31mm for 2.5mm too long.

Back to the ABER barrel, this measures at 31.75mm which given the information on page 77 of the MBI book is correct has the barrel 3.15mm too long but this can be rectified when fitting the barrel to the kit gun.

To fit the barrel to the Tristar kits firstly cut the plastic barrel from part B-16, then drill a 2.5mm (7/64inch) hole just over 3mm into the breech, this is almost the same diameter as the plastic part so take care to drill perfectly evenly, note the drill will force out the plastic but this isn't a problem. Then drill a small 1.5mm hole for the barrel pin and slip the barrel into place test fitting the mantlet to leave the required 28.5mm barrel length exposed. The mantlet (part B-17) then slips neatly into place over the barrel with a very snug fit and the remainder of the kit is assembled as per instructions.

Tristar part B-16 modified as per the text to leave the correct 25.8mm exposed.


The barrel can also be used with the recent Mig Productions PzKpfw 38(t) Ausf.G Conversion (set #MP 35-261) with again very simple fitting. Firstly glue the resin barrel into the mantlet and then cut it off level with the front of the mantlet. Drill a 7/64inch hole and insert the metal barrel leaving the require 28.5mm length exposed. This method is best as the resin barrel hole is slightly larger than the diameter of the metal barrel and gluing the resin barrel in place fills any gap around the metal barrel.

Barrel fitted to Tristar kit
Barrel fitted to Mig kit

A simple yet nicely detailed barrel to improve the look of the Tristar 38(t) kits as well as the Mig set and any other 38(t) kit for that matter with minimal work needed to rectify the length and to fit with no cleanup needed.


See the 38(t) Subject Page for reviews of additional update sets for available 38(t) kits.

LT vz.38 P zKpfw 38(t)

MBI Publishing
ISBN: 80-86524-01-9

PzKpfw 38(t)
Tank Power Vol.XXI
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.241
ISBN: 83-7219-241-3

PANZER 38(t)

Ian Allen Publishing
ISBN: 071103091X

Pz.Kpfw 38(t)Ausf.A-D
in detail

Special Museum Line No.38
Wings & Wheels Publications
ISBN 80-86416-58-5

PzKpfw 38(t) in action
Squadron/Signal books #2019
Charles K. Kliment and Hilary L. Doyle.
ISBN 0-89747-089-3

Ground Power Magazine
#064 - 9/1999

Published by Delta Publishing Co.Ltd. Japan
German Light Tank 38(t)
Panzer Tracts No.21-1
Staende mit Pz.Kpfw.Tuermen
Panzer Turrets on Concreteand Wood Stands

Thomas L Jentz and
Hilary Louis Doyle
ISBN 0-9744862-6-4


Thanks to ABER for the review sets.
Airconnection carry the full range of ABER update sets and barrels.

Page Created November 26, 2006

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