DML 6522 1/35 PaK 43/3 L/71 mit Behelfslafette
1/35 injection plastic kit with decals and photo etch
The Pak 43 was the most effective mass produced anti-tank gun fielded by the Germans in WWII. Designed by Krupp and featuring a long L/71 88mm barrel it was fitted to several self-propelled tank destroyers including the Nashorn and Elefant. The Pak 43 was also used as a towed anti-tank gun with several variants produced.
One late war variant gun was the PaK 43/3 mit Behelfslafette. The Pak43/3 was the version of the gun designed to be fitted to the Jagdpanther. The Behelfslafette was a simplified gun mount also used on the 88mm Flak 37 that was designed to reduce production costs.
This combination of the Jadgpanther’s Pak 43/3 and a cruciform mount, offered a 360 degree traverse and due to the lower saddle (from not being designed to engage aircraft) a lower profile than the Flak 36/37. The PaK 43/3 mit Behelfslafette did not have a shield to protect the gun crew but rather retained the Jagdpanther’s mantlet.
This kit includes a pair of limbers giving the option of modeling the PaK in draught. This new release would be a good match to Dragon’s recent late production Sd.Kfz 7 half-track.
This model is in the Smart Kit format and includes both new parts and parts from the 88mm Flaks and the Jagdpanther. The box contains in excess of 400 parts including some PE detail, metal chain, clear plastic optics and nylon cable.
The gatefold instructions run to 22 steps of line drawings that are well laid out and identify where you have a choice in how the kit can be built. The kit does not include any ammunition.
PaK 43/3 & MOUNTING
The PaK 43/3 has the later barrel with two sections (easier to manufacturer) and is a one-piece injection plastic tube. It requires minimal cleanup to remove the seam line and has a separate three-part slide molded muzzle break with the later smaller profile. The gun sleeve is slide molded and small separate parts are included for the rings on the end of the sleeve to capture the small machined detail.
The PaK’s mantlet is new tooling and has an integrated lifting boss typical of a later production Jagdpanther. The instructions show the options for fitting it upside down to match one of the guns profiled in the painting guide.
The gun cradle which has plenty of detail and the gun sight are both new tooling and the Pak includes a workable breech, gunners seat, some PE detail and a number of smaller fittings.
The Behelfslafette is a simplified cruciform mount (Kreuzlafette) which has a more squared off frames which eliminate many cast parts. It is based around a slide molded base with separate parts for the detailed underside and side legs where slide molding has nicely captured the use of girders and cross plates that typify the Behelfslafette. The side legs are functional and can be slide off to depict the Pak in travel (the simplified design eliminated the hinges). The centre mount is sharply detailed and includes new parts for the saddle and pedestal (which traverses 360 degrees) that allowed the Pak 43/3 to be fitted to the Behelfslafette. The leveling pads and anchoring stakes are separate parts, as are some side bars used to connect the mount to the bogies.
The PaK’s limber consisted of a pair of bogies, with pneumatic tyres. The limber is based on those used for the Flak 36/37. The two bogies differ in that the rear unit has a crew seat and hand wheel, while the front one has the tow bar.
Each tyre is made from 5 discs sandwiched together to achieve the tread pattern is realistic (no sidewall markings). The wheel hub is a crisply detailed separate part, which sits inside the tyre.
The basic structure for each bogie is a single molding, which incorporates both wheel arches and the chassis frame. This integrated approach eliminates the risk of the key shape being misaligned during assembly.
Other features of the limbers include complete suspension, workable towing beam, cable reels with cable (black cable is included), barrel cleaning rod, small hand tools, PE for some small detail, metal chain for hitching the limber to the gun and varying tools.
The instruction sheet profiles three guns from the Western Front in 1945 each of which is solid dark yellow. One of the guns is mounted on the limber for transport. The decal sheet includes identifying letters (three sets of A, B,C), and tyre pressure markings for the limber’s wheel arches.
Dragon’s new PaK 43/3 L/71 mit Behelfslafette offers a distinctive and new choice of the well known 88mm gun. The model benefits from the crisp Smart Kit tooling and the inclusion of the well detailed limbers which expand the potential for dioramas. Definitely recommended.