Kitbashing a more accurate 45mm Anti-tank Gun Model 1942 using the Dragon & UMmt kits

Article by Al Magnus

At the start of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Soviet anti-tank guns for the most part were either the 37mm variety or of the slightly improved 45mm variant, both nearly identical to the 3.7cm Pak35/36 of their German opponents. As the war progressed the Soviets upgraded the 45mm gun with a longer barrel to increase muzzle velocity for improved armour penetration. Unfortunately the 45mm Anti-tank Gun Model 1942 as it was designated did not offer much better performance over its earlier brethren. Even with its limits it remained in production until the end of the war even as larger calibre guns became more plentiful. After the war many of the guns were passed on to client states, seeing action post-WWII with nations such as North Korea.

In 1/72 scale the gun is not well represented. There are a few older resin kits available and in plastic there is the UM/UMmt version (kit no. 409) released circa 2009 and the Zvezda release (kit no. 6112) circa 2011. Though I do not have the Zvezda gun, web photos of the sprues shows it to be very basic, whereas the UMmt gun does come with a lot of detail though it does have a few failings. This article concerns building a 45mm Anti-tank Gun Model 1942 via a kitbash of the UMmt gun and the ubiquitous Dragon 3.7cm Pak 35/36 gun found in numerous kits (e.g. kit nos. 7374 (with the 7.5cm Pak40) & 7419 (with the Krupp Protze)). I feel the UMmt and Dragon kits are the best to use for this task.

Using various reference photos, both period and walkarounds of preserved examples, I have identified the assorted detail points of the various iterations for the Soviet 37mm-45mm calibre anti-tank guns here.

From the Dragon kit
(white arrows)
From the UMmt kit
(red arrows)
  • Gun shield
  • Traverse & elevation wheels and shafts. The Dragon shafts are much better as they have the proper widening as opposed to the the shafts supplied by UMmt which are simple constant cross section rods.
  • Carriage
  • Trail handles
  • Trails
  • Wheels & tires
  • Barrel & breech
  • Shield rests (removed from the UMmt kit's etched sheet)
  • Gunner's protective shield
The yellow arrow points to the new wheel hubs that were obtained from the spares box. The UMmt kit's representation of these is quite poor. The braces on the rear face of the shield were replaced with thin plastic strip that was given a slight twist to represent those found on the real gun. The UMmt kit's trails feature the strengthening strips simply as a widened section which I modified to look like strips by scraping a groove down the length of the widened section. A careful examination of in progress picture, below right, shows the end result. The UMmt kit has two barrel options - a shorter barrel for the Model 1937 gun and the longer barrel for the M1942 gun. Each barrel is supplied as a separate piece to be attached to the front of the breech/chamber piece. Care needs to be taken while joining them to ensure the barrel is straight and the resultant seam is removed without flattening the round cross section of the barrel.

Pictures of the completed build are below.

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Article Last Updated: 23 September 2015