LionMarc Model Designs
Czech ZB37 MG Barrels
LionMarc Model Designs Set No. LM10015
Passion Models Set P35-018
1:35th Scale

Review by Terry Ashley

The Set:
Lionmarc continue to release finely machined metal barrels with this new set giving you two ZB37 Machine guns used on the Czech LT vz.38 light tank series or Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) and derivatives in German Army service.

The set provides two cleanly machined barrels, two pre-formed brass MG cradles and fine etched for-sights that can be used on any of the current 38(t)/Marder series of kits from Dragon and Tristar as well as the earlier kits from Italeri and Tamiya or any others.

The barrels are very well done with the different diameter cooling fins as they should be and the flash suppressor nicely hollowed out with a small pin at the back for fitting to the appropriate kit.

Added to this are the two pre-formed brass gun cradles which have excellent details included and the decision to pre-form these is a real bonus as the intricate bending required such as the curved lip along the top of the cradle and the different angles on the main cradle would have been very difficult to accomplish if the parts were traditional flat etched parts that you bend to shape.

Brass barrel and cradles showing the join seam to be filled on the cradle
LionMarc Model Designs

There is only one thing to deal with on the pre-formed cradles and that is the join gap at the front of the cradle with the instructions indicating to use thick cyanoacrylate mixed with talcum power or soldering to fill the joins.

I chose to solder these for added strength and making filing the joins easier but be very sparing with the solder as only a small amount is needed to fill the gaps and again the trick to soldering etched parts is using a “hot” soldering iron, trying to solder with a “cold” tip will just bring disaster.

On the end of the barrel are extremely small etched sights and thankfully these too are pre-formed as the small size would again have made bending these very difficult, it is hard enough as it is to glue these on the right place with a dab of thick cyanoacrylate without having the bend them first. You also get three sights in case of disaster which is a nice touch from Lionmarc.

Fitting the new metal barrels to the current 38(t) kits will require a little work but nothing too taxing and for this exercise I have fitted the barrel to the Dragon 38(t) Ausf.G and the Tristar Marder III H driver’s plates to illustrate the work needed with other kits being basically the same.

On the Dragon kit the ZB37 MG is the full gun that fits through the MG mounting ball with the biggest problem with the kit gun being the cooling fins all the same size which is quite noticeable.

After gluing the kit MG through the mounting ball, cut off the outer barrel section and drill a small 1mm hole for the barrel pin and glue the barrel in place. Then carefully position the brass MG cradle and glue in place with a small application of cyanoacrylate. The gun mounting is then completed as per the kit instructions with the new brass barrel improving the kit gun considerably.

Fitting the new brass parts to the Dragon kit
LionMarc Model Designs

For the Tristar kit the outer barrel is separate with a plastic pin that fits into the hole in the mounting ball but unfortunately the plastic pin is not the same diameter as the pin on the barrel.

You then cut off the plastic pin and fill the hole in the mounting ball and then drill a new 1mm hole and glue the metal barrel in place.  Again you carefully position the brass MG cradle and glue in place with a small application of cyanoacrylate and complete the MG assembly as per the kit instructions with the new brass barrel again improving the kit gun considerably.

Fitting the new brass parts to the Tristar kit
LionMarc Model Designs

Adding the new barrel and cradle to the turret MG is the same as for the hull MG and having two guns per set allows you to use the set on one 38(t) gun tank or two Marders etc.

Images of the assembled MGs showing the excellent detail from the
metal barrel and pre-formed brass cradle

LionMarc Model Designs

This is a very detailed replacement barrel and cradle with the details on the barrel and especially on the pre-formed brass cradle being very well done.

Lionmarc are too be commended for providing the pre-formed brass cradle to ensure this is done right and the resulting seam to be filled a small price for the easy of assembly.

The work needed to fit the barrel to the target kit is fairly simply overall with the detail on the new MG barrel and cradle is a big improvement over the kit barrels and well worth the effort.

Highly recommended 8.5/10

The set is also marketed in Japan under the Passion Models label by M.S.Models as set #P35-018 and is the same barrel as included in the LionMarc set reviewed here.

Thanks Leo from LionMarc Model Designs for the review set.

Page created December 4, 2007

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