37mm Skoda A7

armorscale 1:35 Set #B35-054
Review by Terry Ashley

armorscale have joined the queue offering a replacement 37mm Skoda A7 barrel for the Tristar kits of the Pz.Kpfw.38(t) (kits #35020, #35022 and #35026) with this set having a single turned aluminium barrel and resin mantlet.

Metal and resin parts

The aluminium barrel includes a drilled out muzzle but without any rifling which would be almost invisible in such a small calibre and the resin quality of the mantlet is very good with just a small casting block to be removed. The metal barrel simply fits into the resin mantlet for a minimum of assembly of the set parts.

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 armorscale barrel, this measures exactly to the MBI plans at 27mm which given the information on page 77 of the MBI book is correct has the barrel 1.5mm too short. This can easily be rectified by simply exposing an extra 1.5mm of the barrel outside of the resin mantlet but you will have the file down the small ridge where the barrel originally goes into the mantlet, all fairly simple.

A couple of other points is the muzzle lip is about half the thickness it should be compared to photos and all three plans and the diameter of the muzzle is also a little too narrow again compared to all three plans and the photos but there is little you can do about this.

As the resin mantlet is a simple block you have to modify the kit gun and glue the breech to the back of the resin part and actually modify the resin part if you want to include the kit trunnions correctly so the barrel will elevate after assembly. The instructions don't give any indication of the work involved if modifying the kit gun leaving this for you to work out.


The barrel length is easy to remedy but the lip and diameter is another thing and the work needed to fit the resin mantlet to the Tristar kit is a little excessive for such as simple update compared to other barrel sets and it’s hard to recommend this over the other barrel sets available.

Recommended with reservations.

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 my Credit Card and Armour Models for the review set.

Page Created January 8, 2007

Click Browsers BACK button to return to list
Home / Reviews / Vehicle Reviews / armorscale