7.5cm Panzerabwehrkanone 41 Pak.41

Kit #: 72280 Review by - Al Magnus

A brief history

The 7.5cm Pak 41 was designed and built by Krupp AG to compete with the Rheinmetall 7.5 cm Pak 40. It used the Gerlich principle to increase shot velocity by squeezing the shot size from 7.5cm down to 5.5cm. It was the largest of the three squeeze bore guns employed by the Germans, the other guns being the 2.8cm schwere Panzerbuchse 41, and the 4.2cm Pak 41. It never saw widespread use for a few major reasons. Shot velocity deteriorated rapidly over distance affecting accuracy, barrel life was found to be poor, and the valuable tungsten was difficult to obtain. An interesting point is that the targeting wheels were on opposite sides of the barrel, something counter to the norm with German anti-tank artillery.

There was a short production run of 150 guns, with the majority going to tank hunter units on the Eastern Front starting in 1942. Only a few guns survived till the end of hostilities, due to the 7.5cm Pak 40 replacing them as the war progressed.

The kit

This is a vintage limited production Ace kit - the copyright states 2009. Two sprues contain parts that are generally accurate. Detail is generally soft. Most of the 51 parts will need tender loving care to remove seams, pieces of flash and fill low spots. Intructions are the usual exploded views and somewhat vague in places. Construction covers four steps. No decals are included. A painting guide suggests three schemes:

1. Overall Panzer grey gun, Panzerjäger Abteilung, 30th Intanterie Division, Eastern Front, spring 1942
2. Whitewash over Panzer yellow gun, Panzerjäger Abteilung, 36th Infanterie Division, near Baranovichi, Belarus, spring 1944
3. Green & brown splotched Panzer yellow gun in 1994.

In reality you could paint it anything valid for the time period and locations where it was used.

The build

Much time was spent removing flash and especially seams. The most egregious parts were the trail legs and barrel. A few parts were tossed because they weren't worth the effort to fix - much easier to just replace them if possible. The majority of that work is described below:

  • Beware locating the trail pivots (part 12) to the back of the shield. The instructions provide no clear direction regarding their placement, so I attached them to a couple of slots found on rear face (indicated by the red X in the photo below). Unfortunately, I discovered later this was not where they should be placed. When I added the trail legs they bumped against the wheels preventing me from spreading them sufficiently for the firing position. After much referring to web photos I realized they should actually be placed closer to the barrel. The kit parts were pried off and replaced with new scratch built items. The new parts were then glued to the correct position directly against the ends of the traverse gear teeth molded to the lower backside of the shield. (indicated by green check marks in the photo below).
  • Probably the worst part of the kit is the wheels. They were so bad I shelved the kit for some time hoping that the after market would produce a replacement. This hasn't happen up till now, and when fellow modeller Will Alcott offered to 3D print a pair for me, I jumped at the offer. As you can see by the comparison photo below, the kit wheels pale in comparison. I did have to add an axle cap along with a hold down ring, made from wire, to each wheel.
  • I could find no replacement metal barrel so my only option was to live with the kit part. Deepening the slots and then drilling out the barrel to open everything up was the most nerve wracking modelling work I've done in a long time.
  • The elevation gear (part 14) was replaced with a part from the spares box and its support bracket was scratch built.
  • On the top of the right trail leg there is what appears to be a jack. The kit represents it as an indistinct lump. That lump was removed and a new jack scratch built using a photo of a 1/35 scale part as a construction guide.
  • I replaced the document boxes on the trails because the kit's parts (29) were marred by rather large sink marks. Unfortunately I was not able to duplicate the x-shaped strengthening ribs. I did add, however, handles made from wire and latches sourced from the spares box.

  • If you refer to the following photos, you can see most of the other changes as listed below.

  • The towing eye (part 17) was tossed and a replacement scratch built.
  • Replacement aiming wheels were sourced from the spares box.
  • Pieces of wire were used to replace the handles (part 6) and for missing grab handles locate on the trail legs.
  • Tongues were added to the trail spades.
  • The axle spindles were cut off parts 31 & 32 and replaced with small sections of round rod. This was done to make adding and aligning the wheels easier after everything was painted.
  • Archer rivets replaced a large portion of the kit's poorly molded versions.
  • Various bits and pieces of plastic, plus punched disks of plastic were used to add detail to the breech area.
  • The hand brake was replaced.
  • Stretched sprue was used to replicate weld seams along the top & bottom of the trail legs.
  • One item Ace missed was the large equilibrator spring that runs from the shield to the barrel on the port side of the gun. I located decent representation of it in my spares box.
  • Drilled out the openings for the sights (part 16). After the flat coat was sprayed, small drops of Bondic were placed inside to replicate glass lenses.

Well, this it is definitely not for the faint of heart. It is, in my opinion, one of the poorer efforts from Ace from their limited run pre-computer-aided design days. It is currently the only game in town for this gun, so if you must have it, be prepared for a lot of work.


[1] German Anti-Tank Guns 1939-1945, T.J.Gander, Almark Publications, New Malden, England 1973 ISBN: 0 85524 142 X
[2] WW2 Fact Files: Anti-Tank Weapons, Peter Chamberlain & Tony Gander, MacDonald & Janes, 1974 ISBN: 0 35608 065 X
[3] Waffen Revue Nr. 33: II Quartal 1979, Journal-Verlag Schwende, p. 5265-5304
[4] Antitank Artillery of the Wehrmacht 1939-45, Maxim Kolomiets, MK Strategy, Moscow, Russia 2006 ISBN: 5-901266-01-3
[5] Wydawnictwo Militaria 258: Panzerabwehr Artillerie, Maxim Kolomiets, Wydawnictwo Militaria, 2006 ISBN: 83-7219-258-8
[6] Wydawnictwo Militaria 392: Panzerabwehr Artillerie, Maxim Kolomiets, Wydawnictwo Militaria, 2013 ISBN: 9788372193926 (a slightly modified reprint of [5])
[9] wikipedia

Review sample purchased by the author.

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Article Last Updated: 10 November 2020

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