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Built Review
135
7.62-cm FK 39(r)
7.62-cm FK 39(r) German Field Gun
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by: John [ VETTEJACK ]

Introduction

With Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, it is well documented that the Germans captured over 6000 field guns in 1941 alone, with 3 million rounds of ammo. A high percentage of those captured field guns were the Russian F-22USV gun, which was bored out and re-rifled to take the German 7.62 round. This conversion resulted in the assigned designation of 7.62-cm FK 39(r), of which this kit models.

Contents

11 plastic sprues
1 fret of photo-etched parts
1 10 page instruction book

Review

MiniArt’s newly tooled release of this particular gun is the first of its kind in 1/35th scale. The kit uses slide mold technology and is molded in typical grey plastic. There is no flash and no ejector marks, however, there are mold seams that will have to be dealt with and may show after assembly. Although the box art never indicates this kit can be a 2 in 1 kit, there are 2 distinct barrels options what would indicate that this kit can certainly be built 2 ways...original Russian with no muzzle brake, or captured by Germany that features the brake.

The positive feature of this kit is that a look at the sprues indicates a high level of detail and that in itself is certainly something to appreciate along with the uniqueness of the subject matter itself. The kit does present something of a fit/breakage problem in quite a few of the assembly steps. Placement of parts gates while in the engineering phase lead to a lot of unfortunate part breakage and instead of having to clean/sand only one edge off, the attachment point’s sometime overhang off the part which necessitates more cutting or sanding to an additional two or three surfaces.

Assembly steps 1 and 2, part B16, the handholds will not correctly line up with holes in the trailing arms. Additionally, these parts are notoriously thin plastic parts which are impossible to be cut off the sprue without breaking, and these handholds for the trailing arms were already broken in my sample. I normally replace them with wire anyhow, but I did manage to repair the kits’ handles. Assembly 1 and 2, PE18. Will not correctly fit to the outboard sides of the trailing arms, as shown. It seems that the photo etch is way larger than the area it was designed for.

Also, in assembly steps 1 and 2, there is indicated call for 4 each PE6 pieces to be applied in what is an indicated need for 4 individual pieces of these parts. However, step 16 calls for 3 more applications of PE6, when the fret only contains a total of 4…already applied in steps 1 and 2.

In assembly steps 3, 4, 5 and 6, most parts as shown have inadequate notches, or cut-outs, that would indicate how the part is attached, and will almost certainly result in the trailing arms being almost impossible to line up symmetrically for display in the either towed, or deployed, position.

Assembly step 7 has a part identified Ab6 that should actually be labeled Ab9.

Assembly 22: part PE13 has no indicated attach point for the application on the cradle.

In assembly 23, be careful of part A16. This translating shield will brake easily and will add frustrated repair time.

Construction then moves on to the shield and gun mounts.
Assembly steps 23 and 24, of the shield and its associated parts are not properly/adequately sequenced, leaving the modeler guessing which part to glue first. There are some very nicely detailed parts here, and care will be needed not to break some of those finer parts.

During assembly step 25, part A9 is miss-identified and should be labeled A10. This is the part that keeps the trailing arms locked in the towed position. Part A9 should be what A10 is shown to be, and both are drawn incorrectly as well. Confusing, but you will see what I mean during assembly.

The photo etch fret is almost rendered entirely useless. Lots of the parts seem to have a larger size to them as if you are trying to fit 1/32 parts to a 1/35 kit. The other misfortune beset on the fret is that there is not enough of some PE parts that are called out for multiple applications.

There is a massive amount of parts to this kit that is quite over-engineered. While the crispness of detail on the gun itself, and that the molding of the shield is well done and has great surface details, the parts attached to the sprues are overdone with thick gates. Great care must be the order of the day as not to completely destroy or break numerous parts. I fell victim to at least 6 parts that were unrecoverable for repair.

The part Ab4 gun barrel is one piece, slide molded gun barrel. The muzzle brake will need to be cleaned of seams in the interior of the brake. Clean-up of the seams will prove difficult. The seam line issue continues along the whole of the recuperator assembly that will most likely leave evidence of over sanding that compromises the detail.

Removing parts B8 from the sprue proved fruitless and were lost. Held by 4 large gates for such a fine, delicate piece, is quite overdone. Final construction should prove to be good looking elevation gears and mounts, however, the builder is left guessing on how to place the translating shield for final position.

The instructions are typical MiniArt, but I highly suggest, and recommend, that you study them extensively, and dry fit often. Some of the assembly steps DO NOT look to be well organized. There are no markings.

SUMMARY
Highs: Great subject matter. Fills void in the re-purpose of captured weaponry by the Germans.
Lows: The fit needs excessive manipulation and some of the assembly steps lack coordination and sequence. Part gates woefully huge and results in lots of breakage.
Verdict: Recommended for artillery fans for the shear lack of any other offerings of this caliber and type of gun, but with guarded recommendation for all other aspects of this kit.
Percentage Rating
65%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35104
  Suggested Retail: $25.99
  PUBLISHED: May 27, 2017
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 65.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 85.89%

Our Thanks to MiniArt!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About John (vettejack)
FROM: FLORIDA, UNITED STATES

Main building focus on WW2 and Cold War 1/35 armor...and oh yea...Corvettes!!

Copyright ©2017 text by John [ VETTEJACK ]. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Was the plastic excessively brittle or just the fact that the mold pour gates were large that gave you problems
MAY 27, 2017 - 05:19 AM
Both...potentially a great looking gun that is overwhelmed by excessive part gate size and the over-engineered small part molding. The example I finished is unworthy of ever being considered for display or for entering a contest.
MAY 27, 2017 - 01:17 PM
I'm currently building two kits of this gun. MiniArt just germanized the russian version by adding a muzzle brake. But one major german modification is a side protection for the gunner, which is missing in the kit. A hassle to make those guards by using plastic card and lead fuse wiring. Right side of the shield has modified russian box ( extended for the optic ) and the common demolition charge box. I would say the gun cradle is a hassle to build with the 3 parts design AND the pointless use of PE ( to be curved ) as upper housing on the cradle... I am a fan with that gun and you can feel free to contact me for some pics taken from the french Draguignan Artillery school. Also please note that this gun fired ammo almost the same as PaK40, the crates being stencilled "Patr 7,62cm Pak 36". I would like MiniArt to release the german version with solid rubber/dish wheels ( I CAN HELP THEM for that ! )
MAY 27, 2017 - 10:23 PM
What nonsense is this in the intro? "re-rifled to take the German 76.2 round"? There was no such beast. They relined the barrels to take the German 75mm Pak 40 round once supplies of the captured 76.2 Russian round were scarce. Hardly effects the kit but you've got to stop the spread of misinformation as it appears.
MAY 28, 2017 - 03:11 AM
It wasn't even that, from the evidence available, just a rechambering and the production of Pak40 like rounds. The Pak 40 used the 7.5cm Pzgr. 39 while the Pak 36(r) and Pak 39(r) used the 7.62cm Pzgr. 39 rot. It's discussed here, slightly more than halfway down the first page. You have to wade through a good bit of utter bullsh1t though. And just like the recent thread about which prime movers the US used for various weapons, you have people who who simply, absolutely, cannot accept that they were wrong in their supposedly factual statements, even when hard, objective documentation is presented to them. Irrefutable facts are just another option to them, equivalent to their mis-remembered, misunderstood, illogical bloviations. There. I feel better now. KL
MAY 28, 2017 - 04:05 AM
I went to the blog and found the discussion hilarious! So much hot air expended on a meaningless topic that even children should understand the differences on. As if AKs, as issued in 7.62x39, would possibly fire from any other weapon not rechambered to accept this round, and the reverse is just as absurd. Fitting said round into my 7.62 NATO rifle would be A BAD IDEA and the case-fired brass would be rather difficult to extract (read: virtually impossible in the field). Same with the 76.2 vs 75 PAK 40 debate. Funny stuff for anyone in the know. Also completely meaningless in a blog devoted to building models, so let's move on now that we've all had our fun.
MAY 29, 2017 - 02:35 PM
I'll take you up on the offer of the pics from Draguignan. Much appreciated. PM me and I'll pass along an email address.
MAY 30, 2017 - 12:37 AM
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