Geschützwagen Tiger für 17cm Kanone Barrel
RB Model Set 35B91
1:35th Scale

Review by Terry Ashley

The set:
TrumpeterRB Models continue to churn out their range of metal replacement barrels at a fast rate with this new set designed for the large Trumpeter kit of the German Geschützwagen Tiger für 17cm Kanone 72(Sf) (kit #00378).

The set has the huge barrel tube in two aluminium parts joining in the middle with an aluminium base cap used to mount the barrel to the Trumpeter kit gun breech. The large perforated muzzle brake is in three machined brass parts with a further brass collar and two small etched retaining bolts for the muzzle brake neck.

The size of the barrel tube is impressive at almost 230mm in length and the parts come packed in a large zip lock plastic bag with a smaller zip lock bag inside for the muzzle brake parts. As with previous RB Model sets there are no instructions or fancy packaging, just a simple B&W label which does mean on a barrel of this nature using a some of your hidden analytical skills to work out how to fit the barrel parts together and then to fit the barrel to the Trumpeter kit breech.

Brass and aluminium barrel and muzzle brake parts
RB Model

The barrel tube is hollowed out slightly without any rifling which isn't really noticeable once the large muzzle brake is attached so is not a problem, the end of the barrel tube is threaded with corresponding thread inside the neck of the brass muzzle brake for easy fitting.

The large muzzle brake is quite impressive with all holes pre-drilled with the only cleanup needed on the whole set being some excess brass burs on the inside the muzzle brake holes which are easily removed by running an old #11 blade around the insides of the muzzle brake. The separate end cap on the muzzle brake has an additional notched ring around the bore hole to add further detail to the muzzle brake.

Close ups of the muzzle brake parts and the thread on the barrel and inside the muzzle brake
RB ModelRB Model
The brass collar that fits over the end of the barrel,
The fit is quite loose initially but held in place when the muzzle brake is screwed on.

RB Model

Assembly of the muzzle brake is quite straightforward with the brass collar added to the barrel. The end cap on the muzzle brake is a very snug fit and holds in place without glue but soldering the cap in place will allow you to eliminate the join seam between the cap and muzzle brake for a better appearance. The notched ring is a good fit to the end cap and there isn't really any need to glue the muzzle brake and collar to the barrel as they hold in place once the muzzle brake has been screwed into place, no need to over tighten this either.

There are small size differences between the RB Models barrel and muzzle brake parts compared to the Trumpeter kit parts but as I don't have plans or accurate data on the correct sizes I can't comment further but the length of both is the same just the small variations in barrel diameter and muzzle brake dimensions which given the overall size is probably not worth losing sleep over anyway.

Close up of assembled muzzle brake, note the missing notched ring
RB Model
Comparison with Trumpeter kit muzzle brake
note slight differences in the size of the muzzle brakes and diameter of the barrel tubes

RB Model

The aluminium barrel is in two sections joined in the middle which makes things a little easier to handle and it's a good idea not to join the two barrel sections together until last as this will allow you to line up the rear section with the kit breech attached and the front section with the muzzle brake much easier.

There is a small aluminium base cap that fits over the base of the barrel and used to attach the barrel to the kit gun breech which requires a little cutting of the kit parts but this is quite basic really and shouldn't be a problem. The use of this base cap to fit to the kit gun breech results in a very precise and robust assembly and is very well thought out considering the size and weight of the metal barrel compared to the plastic kit parts.

Cap that fits on the rear end of the barrel for fitting to the Trumpeter gun Breech
RB Model

To fit the metal barrel to the Trumpeter kit you first should glue the two rear barrel halves (parts N1/N11) together and let dry completely as this makes the cutting process much easier. You then cut the plastic barrel and collar from the rear section using a fine razor saw leaving just the larger circular barrel section into which you fit the aluminium base cap. The fit here is very snug thankfully and the cap will hold inside the plastic ring without glue such is the good fit, the rear aluminium barrel section then just fits inside the base cap with the fit again being very precise without any excess movement.

Fitting to the Trumpeter kit requires the barrel be cut from the rear section
RB Model
Then the RB Model base cap is fitted into the base of the Trumpeter barrel (2) and
the aluminium barrel slipped into the RB Model base cap (3) as above for a very snug fit.

RB Model
The remainder of the kit breech is assembled as per instructions.
RB Model

There are two small barrel support sub-assemblies that have to be added to the barrel and using the kit barrel as a guide mark the position of these on the metal barrel with a soft pencil. You can then glue the sub-assemblies to the aluminium barrel ensuring the are aligned correct with each other. This is another reason for leaving the two barrel tube sections separate as mentioned above as it makes it easier to align all these additions to the barrel during final assembly, the fit of the two main barrel halves is also very snug to there are no problems there either.

Marking the position of the kit barrel supports on the metal barrel
RB Model
Final assembly of the barrel ready to fit to the kit.
RB Model

The rest of the gun assembly and the kit is assembled as per kit instructions and you can leave the outer barrel section separate until after final assembly for easier handling if you wish.

This is a very impressive barrel set indeed with the size adding to the final effect, there is virtually no cleanup other than the fine burs inside the muzzle brake holes and the very precise and snug fit of the larger barrel parts to themselves and to the kit parts makes for quite straightforward assemble. The minor alterations required to mount the barrel to the kit breech is well within the capabilities of most modellers.

This set will add considerable detail to the big Trumpeter kit barrel with the muzzle brake being most impressive.

Highly recommended

Thanks to Leo at LionMarc Model Designs who now carry the full range of RB Models barrels for the review set.

Page created February 26, 2009