Trumpeter 1/35th Scale
by Eric Christianson
Developed from Krupp's Gerät 42, this
incarnation of the venerable 8.8 cm PAK43
gun used a new cruciform mount with the
gun much closer to the ground, and a
much stronger and more angled armor
shield to provide better protection. The
standard armament of the Tiger II, the
KwK/PAK43 tank gun was able to pen-
etrate about 200mm of armor at 1,000m,
allowing it to defeat any contemporary
tank on the battlefield.
photo-etch outer sleeve for the barrel
comes in a separate bag.
The three sheets of photo-etch contain:
1. An optional gun shield (from the one
provided in plastic) and various pieces
that provide detail for the gun shield.
2. A superb ammunition rack that is
mounted on the inside of the gun shield
(which should remain empty if the gun is
mounted on its wheels).
3. Flat, imprinted disks that go onto the
ends of 16 plastic ammunition rounds
provided in the kit (eight live rounds, eight
empty casings). The empty casings are
hollowed out at the end – very nice.
The 12-page instruction booklet is well
illustrated and easy to follow - for the most
part. A separate glossy, two-sided color
Trumpeter's PAK43 comes in a small,
sturdy box containing seven separately
bagged trees of yellow-tan plastic parts.
The parts are crisp and flash-free, and
effort has been made to restrict the few
ejector pin marks to areas that are not
visible on the finished model. The plastic
is very soft and sands easily.
Also included are three sheets of photo-
etch and an aluminum barrel. A delicate
Painting and Marking Guide is included
and provides a late-war standard color
scheme of a German Dark Yellow base. One
side of the guide shows a five-view layout
of the gun in its towed configuration, the
other side provides the same as a fixed
emplacement. These were invaluable in
determining the placement of the very
small parts included in the kit. The box art
shows the weapon sporting a dark yellow,
green, and red-brown late-war scheme.
There are many, many delicate parts in this
kit that have other parts attached to them.
In order to get everything lined up and
installed right, I had to attach a few parts,
wait overnight for the glue to dry rock-
solid, and then attach a few more parts,
etc, etc., which made for a relatively
lengthy build. I could have used super-
glue, but the fit of many of these parts
suffered from what I call Trumpeter’s
‘wiggle-fit’ – meaning the parts fit, but not
securely. There is no positive, tactile
response when attaching parts and many
of them must be nursed along as they dry
in order for them to line up right. Under
such conditions, I find super-glue too
Throughout the build, there are many sub-
assemblies that should be built, painted
and weathered separately. Some are as
small as the operator’s seat (four parts),
some are much more complex – each of two
wheeled limbers contain roughly 44 parts.
In addition, all four wheels are different –
be sure to keep track of each wheel
separately until they are finally installed.
Based on more error than trial, I would
recommend the following assembly and
1. Assemble the cruciform mount (Steps 1-
3) and set aside.
2. Assemble the gun base (leave gun barrel
off) (Steps 4-6) and set aside.
3. Assemble Gun Shields (Steps 7-10 –
leave gun barrel off) and set aside.
4. Assemble four wheels and attach rubber
tires (Steps 12 and 13) and set aside.
5. Assemble both limbers (Steps 14-16 –
leave the wheels off) and set aside.
6. Attach both limbers to the cruciform
7. Prime, paint, and weather the gun base,
gun barrel, cruciform mount (with limbers
attached), gun shields and the four wheels
8. Attach the shields to the gun base.
9. Attach the gun base to the cruciform
10. Attach the wheels to the limbers on the
11. Attach the barrel to the gun base.
IPMS Seattle Chapter NewsletterPage 4
The main gun shield restricts access to
many of the (visible) main gun parts
directly behind it, so it should be painted
separately. Make sure that all the parts that
connect the gun shield and the wheels to
the main assembly are accounted for and
not attached too soon as the instructions
would have you do.* There are four posts,
for example, that connect the gun shield to
the gun. These posts have no positive
connection point on the back of the gun
shield, so they cannot be glued-fast until
you attach the gun shield itself and know
where the posts can go.
* ‘Connecting’ parts that I left out of the
assembly sequence until later:
Step 3 – B46
Step 4 – E17, E18
Step 15 – B10, B11
Step 16 – C41 (two parts)
I assembled and painted the four wheels
separately because I felt the process of
stretching the rubber tires onto the wheels
after assembly might cause many of the
delicate parts to break off. As it turned out,
this was a very good idea.
The rubber tires looked nice but proved to
be a disappointment. Each wheel has two
tires, and for some reason there was only
one wheel out of four where both tires fit. I
checked the wheel diameters and found
that they were identical, as well as the
outer wheel ‘ring’ areas where the tires are
supposed to slip around. This means that
there must have been some minute
difference in the way the rubber tires were
made. To keep the tires from rolling off the
plastic wheels I used some 5-minute epoxy
to make them stay. They did.
Each wheel attaches to the limber by fitting
a U-shaped joint on the limber to two small
holes in the wheel, and then gluing the end
of the spring to another part of the wheel.
The attachment points for all of this were
very weak. Consequently, even though
much effort is put into the design of the
wheels and limbers, I had to glue each
wheel fast to each end in order for them to
be able to support the main gun assembly
The attachment of the main gun shield to
the gun assembly went relatively
smoothly. I had to open up some of the
attachment points and proceed slowly,
letting each part dry before starting on
another. I attached the large ammunition
case after the shield was in place since it
sits directly adjacent to one of the delicate
rods that hold the shield to the gun, and I
needed complete access to that rod in
order to fit the shield on and hold it. Once
the shield was firmly attached to the gun, I
attached the gun to the cruciform mount.
that effectively covers the sink marks
Another PE sheet provided contains 16
disks that attach to the ends of the 8.8cm
ammunition rounds – beautiful. But since I
wanted to build the gun with its transpor-
tation limbers attached, the ammunition
rack would be empty, so the PE and
accompanying rounds will be saved for
another build. That left me with precious
little of the wonderful PE to use on the
build. But I’m not complaining too much!
Trumpeter included three sheets of photo-
etch with the kit. You get a beautifully-
rendered alternative to the plastic gun
shield which, if you choose to use it, must
be augmented with many very small rivets,
plates and other bits, front and back. I
thought that the plastic shields were thin
enough for use, and Trumpeter thought-
fully provided a back plate to the shield
Once you finish the sub-assemblies and
have accounted for all the parts, the kit
comes together quickly. With a little effort,
I think the final result looks pretty good
and crazy-complex – which is the look I
I painted the two gun shields and wheels
separately. With so much Testors glue on
IPMS Seattle Chapter NewsletterPage 5
the model I started with an even primer
coat of Gunze Mr. Surfacer 1200. I followed
this with a base coat of Tamiya NATO
Black. Both of these layers are very thin
and (I feel) did not detract from the look of
all the delicate parts making up the gun.
I would recommend this kit to modelers
experienced in solving problems. That
said, however, the kit builds into a very
nice and unique representation. I'd like to
thank Steven’s International for providing
the review sample, and Internet Modeler
for giving me the opportunity to build the
Next I airbrushed everything with Tamiya
Dark Yellow, followed by a dusting of a
mixture of Tamiya Dark Yellow and Tamiya
Deck Tan to lighten up the upper surfaces
of the larger parts. I tried my best to leave
a little NATO Black showing through. I
then gave everything a coat of Future to
prepare the surface for washes and filters.
Once the Future dried for two days, I
applied (first) a very thin filter of Mig Dark
Brown. I use Mona Lisa White Spirits to
thin my oil paints. Mona Lisa is about as
mellow as paint thinner can get while still
actually thinning the paint. Once that was
thoroughly dry, I applied a pin wash,
mixing Winsor Newton Burnt Umber and
Ivory Black oils with Mona Lisa. The last
step was to (very carefully) touch up
everything with Mig P231 Metallic Gun
Metal pigment using my finger to give
these parts a proper metallic ‘glint’.
The build took me about 15 hours to
complete, most of the time spent on the
two transportation limbers and fit prob-
The number of small parts and complexity
of the assembly made building this kit a
challenge even for an experienced modeler.
I don’t blame Trumpeter for the complexity
– the design of the gun and two transpor-
tation limbers appears to have risen more
from crazy German over-engineering than
anything else. The attachment points for
many of the parts in the kit, however, could
have been better-designed. Many such
points were simply non-existent.
On the positive side, however, the com-
pleted kit conveys the sinister look of a
high-caliber anti-tank weapon and I think it
will look perfect behind a halftrack on a
muddy road somewhere on the Eastern