by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
Brief BackgroundDeveloped by Skoda, the 37mm KPUV vz.37 anti-tank gun ranked among the most effective weapons of its type in the world at the time of the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1938. Almost 1,000 had been built in three main types, and these fell into German hands to serve in the Wehrmacht as the PAK 37(t). The gun saw widespread use in all the early campaigns of WW2, before heavier armoured tanks eventually rendered it ineffective as the war progressed.
The KitSpecial Armourís KPUV vz.37 / 3,7 cm PAK 37(t) arrives in a compact end-opening box with colour illustrations of featured schemes on the reverse. The two sprues are bagged together, with a small decal sheet in its own zip-lock bag. The kit comprises:
43 x grey styrene parts (2 not needed)
The decal sheet contains a nickname to apply for one of the colour schemes. There are no other identification marks.
The moulding is generally very good. Special Hobby have left their short-run beginnings behind and this kit is CAD produced with steel moulds. There's no sign of flash on the sample kit and there are no ejector pin marks to worry about, however I did spot some slight sinkage on a couple of thicker areas, such as where the cleaning rods are moulded integrally with the shield. Itís a shame, because theyíd have been better as a separate part, and purists will probably want to replace them anyway, because they are a little bit softly detailed.
There are some light mould lines to clean up before assembly, but preparation is quick and easy.
The instructions are printed in colour as a glossy A5 7-page booklet, with construction broken down into seven stages. The diagrams are clearly drawn and easy to follow, and colour matches are provided for Gunze Sangyo paints.
Three colour schemes are depicted:
1. KPUV vz.37 Type P, Czechoslovak Army, 1938, sporting 3-tone sand,dark earth and bright green camouflage.
2. PAK 37(t) of an unknown Wehrmacht unit, still painted in Czechoslovak colours in the September 1939 Polish campaign.
3. PAK 37(t) named ďBertaĒ of an unknown Wehrmacht unit, Spring 1939.
I found construction very straightforward, and it offered a relaxing few hoursí departure from my usual aircraft builds. The only option is to build the gun in firing or towing configurations. The only small departure I made from building strictly OOB was to use a couple of short lengths of HSP instead of cleaning up the moulded items.
Iíve found the colourful Czechoslovak schemes irresistible, so Iíve kept the model as four sub-assemblies at this stage to make painting easier - the gun, trail legs, the shield and the wheels Ė and just clipped them together for the accompanying photos.
It would have been nice if the kit had included some ammunition cases along with a few rounds, but thatís really nitpicking.
ConclusionSpecial Armourís KPUV vz.37 / 3,7 cm PAK 37(t) is a great little kit. Its applications for early WW2 Wehrmacht modelling make it a very useful item and its pocket money price should ensure that itís a popular first kit in the new range. Itís simple enough for modellers of all abilities to build, while offering armour experts a sound basis for further detailing and refinement.
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