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11Sep/180

Rubicon Models PaK 38 – PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew

Today we're looking at the successor of the PaK 36, the PaK 38 by Rubicon Models. This kit covers the variants 38 and 97/38 of the anti-tank gun including a crew.

Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew

Rheinmetall-Borsig, who produced the earlier PaK 36 as well, were ordered to develop a new, heavier anti-tank gun after the Spanish Civil War. After an initial sketch of a new pattern named 37, which was not approved by the German authorities, they had to come up with an improved version, the PaK 38. This more powerful anti-tank gun was one of the few guns being able to penetrate the sloped armour of the T-34 in 1941.

Similar to the Char B1 Bis, the Germans captured a lot of equipment during the invasion of Poland and the battle of France. These French Canon de 75 modèle 1897 were combined with a Swiss muzzle break and put on the PaK 38 carriage as well, named PaK 97/38.

Both guns were used by allied nations of the German Reich, like Romania, Italy or Finland. A total of around 9.500 units of the PaK 38 and 3.700 units of the PaK 97/38 were build. They both were used until the end of the war, even though a newer and heavier variant, the PaK 40 was introduced and put into service.

Rubicon Models offers this kit at a price of 16 GBP, and covers the PaK 38 carriage with both guns and a crew. The kit is casted in ABS plastic and in 28mm / 1:56 scale. Along with the large frame for the anti-tank gun itself, it covers three smaller sprues for the crew and an A5 instruction sheet.

Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew

The casting is on the similar high level as the PaK 36. The used plastic is a lighter grey, a new colour mixture compared to the older, darker grey that makes it easier to spot details. It looks more glossier on organic parts like the crew. If you find the material to be greasy, give it a brief rinse in warm soap water to remove any remains of release agent. Mould lines were minimal and the sprue properly filled. Rubicon Models uses ABS plastic for their kits. Therefore you should use the appropriate glue to handle the material, I use Tamiya Cement ABS. Uhu Plast Special would be an alternative, depending what you can buy in your area.

Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew
Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew

As this kit gives you the option to build either a PaK 38 or a PaK 97/38, both barrels / guns are included with this kit.

Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew

Like the PaK 36, the PaK 38 comes with a split rail gun carriage. This one can be build in set up or transport mode, so you can move the rails. The lower gun shield plate is included in two variants, with a single piece for the set up anti-tank gun and made from two pieces, for the transported at gun. If you go with the towed gun, there are two smaller bits that connect the rails to each other, which are otherwise just glued to one of the rails each.

As you can see, there are two different gun shields for the PaK 38 and PaK 97/38, but only one gun mount for the carriage. So you have to choose which one you want to field / build. It would have been great if they had added the small part twice in here as well, as you could swap between the guns. There are two different sets of wheels in there as well.

Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew

In the picture above is the bit A16 missing, that I forgot to take a picture of. It is a small ring that goes beneath the carriage to fix the gun mount. I decided to build the PaK 38 in set up stance. The sprues cover ammunition crates for the two guns as well, as you can see below. A few spare rounds, and two crates, one open and one closed, each.

Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew

This anti-tank gun kit comes with a total of 5 different crew miniatures. There is an alternative gunner, intended for gaming use with base. They are multi part miniatures with no options. The crew is dressed in mid-war uniform / gear. The miniatures come without bases.

Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew

The loader and ammunition handler have different hands / ammunition options. In sprue #6 are hands for PaK 38 and PaK 97/98 ammunition included, along with a not specified third option that is not used with this kit. I assume that this could be used with the upcoming FlaK kit by Rubicon.

Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew

The assembled PaK 38 including a 4 men strong crew.

Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew

The comparison with crews by Perry Miniatures (left on each picture) and Warlord Games (right on each picture) shows the 28mm true scale of the Rubicon Models.

Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew

Here is the plastic PaK 38 next to the Perry Miniatures PaK 38 from their North Africa WW2 range. As you can see, the crew fits the plastic AT-gun quite well. And the third picture shows a size comparison between PaK 36, PaK 38 and PaK 40.

Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models - PaK 36 AT Gun with Crew

The assembled PaK 38 from different angles.

Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew Rubicon Models PaK 38 - PaK 97/38 AT Gun with Crew

Conclusion
Another well done kit, you get two different options for the gun, you get a whole lot of crew as well and there are a couple of bits like the ammunition crates, that can be used to upgrade the base or put on the towing vehicle. At a price of 16 GBP it is roughly 20% more expensive, compared to other kits on the market (13,50 for the Perry variant, around 12-13 GBP for the Bolt Action kits). But building the plastic kit is much more fun and less hassle than the sets made from metal, as the abs glue settles much faster than super glue.

I'll use this PaK 38 with my Perry Afrikakorps, as I went with miniatures by the Perry's but vehicles by Rubicon with that army project and I prefer this plastic kits anti-tank gun to the metal one, but will use the Perry crew.

The instructions could be bit more detailed, for example on step 4, like a mid-step picture, as some of the assembly points are difficult to see in the isometric view. I really like the fact, that you can build it in deployed and towed position, and that they cared about the little details like the transport lock. If would have been great if they included parts A33 etc. twice, so you could swap between the PaK 38 and PaK 97/38. So you have a couple of bits for an interesting field conversion.

That there isn't a vehicle mount included in this kit is for a reason, the German army primarily did this with the PaK 36 and Pak 40. There are a couple of field modifications based on the PaK 38 in combination with the Sd.Kfz. 10, but their numbers were rather low. Still, you could kit bash them if you want to.

Link: Rubicon Models

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

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