"Chow Time" German Anti-Tank Gun Crew w/3.7cm PaK 35/36 1/35
War is characterized by long periods of boredom punctuated by frenetic bursts of activity. Eating is obviously one way of passing the hours of inactivity – even if army food isn’t that stimulating – and this is what the latest 1/35 scale figure set from Dragon depicts. The box contains three German Wehrmacht anti-tank crewmen eating their supper. This is such a typical scene on any battlefield, but so few kit manufacturers have bothered to represent it. Nevertheless Dragon has captured a mealtime to perfection with this set subtitled ‘Chow Time!’ The three crewmen aren’t the only content of the box for there is also a beautifully detailed PaK 35/36 3.7cm anti-tank gun included as well. This cannon emanates from a previous Dragon release but the accompanying soldiers certainly bring it to life.
The three soldiers are well sculpted in greatcoats and caps suggesting an autumn or winter scene somewhere on the frontlines. Two crewmen are digging into the mouthwatering contents of their mess tins while another is attempting to open a can with his bayonet. The sets accessories such as a loaf of bread and canned food will prove valuable for all manner of diorama scenes. This domestic-looking set fills a gap in the range of plastic figures currently available on the market. Modelers will doubtlessly find this set appetizing as a standalone vignette or alternatively with the contents mixed and matched in a larger diorama. Serve it up Dragon!
Subject: Review - DML 1/35 scale "Chow Time" - German 3.7 cm Pak with Crew
Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6697; “Chow Time” German Anti-Tank Crew (Eastern Front); 124 parts in grey styrene; estimated price US$28.95
Advantages: nice instant vignette kit
Disadvantages: photo-style directions hard to read, no figure painting directions
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German Eastern Front fans
The Eastern Front quickly became no friend to the German soldier and when winter 1941 hit things really got bad. Not only was the weather nasty the advent of vehicles like the KV and T-34 also ruined the day of many well-trained soldiers. The 3.7 cm PaK 36/37 antitank guns were soon shown to be worthless against these tanks and were soon derisively named “door knockers” by their crews.
DML has now released what amounts to an instant vignette kit of a PaK crew having a meal while waiting for their next operation. The kit comes with the well-known DML PaK 36/37 kit with all of its accessories such as the “Stick Bomb” Stielgranate 41 HEAT round and surprisingly the kit also offers an upgrade to the Soviet 45mm Model 1932/1938 gun via a new barrel. (The two guns were designed by the same team when the Soviets and Germans cooperated in the early 1930s.)
The gun is nicely done and the upgrade kit includes the new barrel and breech for the Soviet 45mm piece. A total of 13 new parts are included for this gun. The rest is the nice little 37mm piece that has been around for a number of years. However no ammunition or ammunition canisters are provided in the kit which is a bit odd considering the rest of it.
The three figures are all wearing greatcoats with two men standing and eating and one man cooking over a fire which is not provided. Each figure consists of at least nine parts (head torso arms legs two-piece coat and collar) with separate headgear and details. The kit also provides a loaf of field bread open mess kits with the tops used for carrying food and assorted cans including one which the kneeling man is trying to open with a bayonet (guess the Germans didn’t have the P-38 but I digress...)
While the parts are well done the directions are black and white photos and very hard to make out which parts go where. Also there are no directions provided for painting the figures which lets them down a bit. At least there is a nice box art painting by Ron Volstad to use for reference.
Three suggested finishing options are provided: one 3.7 cm PaK 36/37; one 3.7 PaK 36/37 with Stielgranate 41 loaded; and one 4.5 cm Pak 184(r) all in grey. No decals are provided.
Overall this is a bit of nice change from the “four unrelated guys in a box” sets of recent days.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.