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In-Box Review
135
OrangeHobby's sIG 33 Barrel
150mm sIG 33 L/11 Barrel
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by: Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]

introduction

The sIG 33 (for schwere Infanterie Geschütz or “heavy infantry howitzer”) was first developed in 1927, and became the standard infantry support gun of the German army in WW II. At 15cm it was larger than any other infantry gun, and could fire a range of ammunition, including the bunker-busting Stielgranate 42 demolition round. Its powerful punch led to it being mounted on a variety of gun platforms as well, including Pz. I, II, and the Czech-designed Pz. 38(t). CyberHobby has already released a kit recreating the horse-drawn version, with its characteristic wooden wheels. Now DML has added a towed version with pressed metal wheels, rubber tires and brakes. With over 4,500 sIG 33s built by 1945, it is an important addition to the modeler’s stash of German artillery.

To go with the kit, one of the fast-rising new after-market accessory manufacturers, China's OrangeHobby, has released a brass turned replacement barrel. Their PE sets hitting the market right now are generally superb, and now they're making moves into the AM barrel market as well. The latest is this brass (instead of aluminum) turned barrel for the DML and CH sIG 33 kits.

the upgrade

The barrel and a small fret of PE with the attachment ring for the base are packed in the usual OH Ziploc baggie, along with a small diagram showing how to mount the barrel on the kit parts.

the review

Hey, what can you say about a replacement barrel? Either it fits, or it doesn’t, is accurate to length or isn’t, etc. Oh, and then there’s the price: some of the AM barrels just aren’t worth the cost. The OH version is touting its rifling and a correct shape. One of the negatives of Dragon and CyberHobby metal barrels is an almost total lack of rifling. And with a gun having this large a bore, the absence of rifling becomes even more-noticeable, especially if the breech is in the open position for loading.

But the problem is that in this case, the CyberHobby and DML sIG 33s both have rifling.

Oops.

Fortunately, the news for OH isn't all bad: as usual, the rifling (and the bore) in the DML barrel only extend a few millimeters with the rest of the barrel solid metal. OrangeHobby’s barrel has done Dragon and CyberHobby one better by having the bore extend down the entire length of the barrel. After all, with such a short muzzle, the sIG 33 is perfect for showing the gun being loaded with an open breech.

Unfortunately, OH missed a chance to be truly exceptional by extending the rifling all the way, instead of only 5mm down the bore. The PE attachment ring is a nice touch no one else seems to offer, but beyond that, what you see is what you get: a nice barrel (in brass instead of aluminum).

conclusion

I suspect the only reason OrangeHobby has gone into the barrel business is to offer its Asian customers a locally-made alternative to Aber and RB Model (hence cheaper because of shipping from Europe for both of them). While this barrel is very good, I can’t recommend it with as much enthusiasm as I could if the rifling had been all the way down the bore. I hope OrangeHobby will look for ways to make its products truly distinctive and not just alternatives as it has done with its PE sets.

UPDATE: A built review of Dragon mechanized version of the sIG 33 using the OH barrel can be seen here.
SUMMARY
Highs: Nicely-rendered replacement barrel for a very common German gun. Complete bore allowing for open breech for loading.
Lows: Rifling only extends 5mm down the barrel.
Verdict: It's a good replacement, but nothing earth-shaking.
Percentage Rating
75%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: G35-007-35
  Suggested Retail: N/A
  PUBLISHED: May 17, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.08%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.15%

Our Thanks to Orange Hobby!
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 Bill Cross (bill_c)
FROM: NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.

Copyright ©2019 text by Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Good review, Bill. I have both the CH and DML 33s and may actually pick these up at some point. I like the PE ring they offer so this alone may be enough for me to get them. Rob
MAY 17, 2010 - 08:37 AM
Thanks, Rob, I'm glad you enjoyed it. The barrel will be an improvement over the DML/Cyberhobby version, but it could've been soooo much better.
MAY 17, 2010 - 09:30 AM
Great review again, Bill. Thanks! I will buy this set, just because I'm in Asia, and can't afford the shipping for Aber products all the way from Europe. I think that most other Orange Hobby products are superb!
MAY 27, 2010 - 10:12 PM
Thanks, Ted! I suspect it's the product's raison d'etre. I agree with you. They have gone from a standing-start to 60mph in no time. Good value for money, though not that many vendors in other countries. Hobbyeasy.com in HK seems to carry SOME of their stuff.
MAY 28, 2010 - 05:07 AM
A built review of Dragon's mechanized version of the sIG 33 using the OrangeHobby barrel can be seen here.
MAY 31, 2010 - 02:41 AM
   

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