PMMS
AFV Club
Pak 43/41 8.8cm anti-tank gun
Kit No. AF 35059
First Look Review by Terry Ashley

Following on from their excellent leFH18 10.5cm Howitzer AFV Club has now released this follow up kit of the 8.8cm Pak 43/41.
The Pak 43/41 combined the 8.8cm L/71 gun with the carriage and steel wheels from the sFH 18 15cm Howitzer with the split trails from the leFH18 to produce a gun with good performance but it’s weight made it a job to manoeuvre and was given the nickname “Scheumtor” (Barndoor) by it’s crews.

The kit consists of 228 parts in olive drab plastic, eleven parts in etched brass, an aluminium 8.8cm barrel plus two short lengths of brass rod and two vinyl tyres for more of a multi-media kit than your average plastic kit.

Metal 8.8cm barrel
AFV Club

The quality of the mouldings is excellent and on a par with the leFH18 and other recent AFV Club kits with a minimum of pin ejector marks and nice details included.

The centre piece of the kit is the aluminium barrel and the spaced gun shield in the form of four pre-bent etched plates that are fitted together with 43 small plastic ‘studs’ that fit into holes in the shields. The centre shield gives you a choice of plastic or etched brass part and there are additional small etched parts with bolt heads for the front of the shield as well as numerous fittings added to the inside of the shield to form a very impressive assembly.

The studs are very small and will require care when removing for the sprue and fitting to the shields but AFV Club are to release a set of brass studs (Kit No. AF 35073) to use in place of the plastic items, it’s a pity these aren’t included with the kit as it would make things easier.

The barrel has notches on either end to attach the two part breech and muzzle brake and the centre section of the barrel is in two outer plastic parts that fit over the metal barrel allowing for the holes around the collar to be included, but watch the orientation of the plastic parts in relation to the two small notches in the barrel that fit to the cradle to ensure the detail lines up correctly. The fit of the plastic parts to the metal barrel is excellent and you shouldn't need any filler and only light sanding to eliminate the join seams.

The rest of the gun mount is very detailed with multi-part cradle and gun mount with separate parts such as the elevation hand wheels, recoil cylinders and detailed gun sight (from the leFH18 kit). If you have the leFH18 kit the level of detail will already be known.

The lower carriage is very well detailed with alternate parts for the firing or travelling configuration with the lower shield in two halves with additional small fittings and shovels for both sides of the lower section.

The main wheels have inner and outer halves for each wheel with vinyl tyres with the longitudinal tread pattern and “Continental” embossed on the outer faces. The centre of the outer hub is separate for good definition as well as separate inner brake drums and levers.

The trails are from the earlier leFH18 kit and have excellent bolt head and other details as anyone with this kit will already know, the trails can be assembled in the firing or towed configuration with only minor modifications.

The instructions show three different paint schemes in overall Dark Yellow as well as an interesting German Gray, Dark Yellow and Red Brown scheme but no stencilling or markings are provided.

Etched and other bits
AFV Club AFV Club

Overall another excellent and very well detailed kit from AFV Club that will only add to their reputation for producing top shelf artillery pieces.

Verlinden released a 1/35th resin kit of the Pak 43/41 some years ago and after dragging this out for comparison I can say that this new kit is superior in most respects, especially the superb etched gun shield and metal barrel which are solid resin in the Verlinden kit. The trails and gun mount are also better detailed in the AFV Club kit which goes to show how good this kit is.
The only advantage of the Verlinden gun is a selection of 8.8cm ammo rounds and shell tubes which will come in handy with this kit; that is until the release of the 8.8cm ammo set coming from AFV Club in the future.

Highly recommended.

The Sprues:

Click on thumbnails for larger view
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References:
Pz.J├Ąger Nashorn & 8,8 Pak 43/41 - Sd.Kfz. 164
Nuts & Bolts Vol.14
108 pages, Soft Cover
book


Page Created 2 December 2003

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