Caesar Miniatures

WWII German SIG 33 Heavy Field Cannon

Kit #: 7202 Review by - Al Magnus

The 15 cm sIG 33 (schweres Infanterie Geschütz 33) was the standard German heavy infantry gun used in the Second World War. It was the largest weapon ever classified as an infantry gun by any nation. Approximately 4,600 units were manufactured during the war by Rheinmetall (gun’s designer), AEG-Fabriken and Bohemisch Waffenfabrik. [1]

Inside the box you get one sprue consisting of 31 parts, an instruction sheet and a set of 8 crew figures (my kit was used and did not have the crew). There is no decal sheet. The parts are well molded in a nice light grey & hard styrene plastic. Flash is non-existent and there are few mold seams to deal with.

The wheels are reasonably well done. They could be improved with smaller bolts and the spokes could be a little less flat on their faces. It’s hard to tell the tire type exactly. The lack of rim detail on the wheel makes them look for the most part to be steel tires versus rubber ones.

Construction started with the shield. The kit’s shield is of the late war style with straight edges. I wanted to have the more common scalloped shield so I went about scraping and sanding the scallops into the edge. I next thinned the edges of the shield as it was much too thick. The kit’s sight cover (part 18) is scalloped but I could find no photographic confirmation of this so I replaced it with a small piece of thin plastic sheet. Moving to the backside of the shield, there are some molded on inverted U-shaped protrusions into which one is to fit the braces (parts 22). Again I could find no reference to these so they were removed. I then cut a small length of Evergreen U-channel and added one to each side at the top of the shield. There is a separate shovel to mount on the shield. It is not the best and I replaced it with one from my spare parts box. The shield was left as a separate assembly to be added following painting.

  1. Edges of shield with scallops added.
  2. New sight cover made from a small piece of thin plastic sheet.

Next was the barrel assembly. This was done pretty much as it came out of the box. The hole in the muzzle (part 13) was a bit off center so I tried to correct it which was a partial success. A real stickler would probably want to replace the barrel with a metal aftermarket item (like those offered by Armo or RB Model). The only item I added was a thin strip of plastic to the block to represent the firing lever.

The carriage followed. The upper shield braces (parts 22) are molded with a square cross section which is incorrect. It would be best to replace them with scratch items but I just scraped their edges with my hobby knife to make them roundish. Reference [2] revealed that some extra work was in order here. Below the barrel is another shield located between the carriage legs, which I added from some plastic sheet. There is also an extra brace and stabilizer bar running along the front just behind the shield. This too was added with some plastic rod. Not totally accurate compared to the real item but it’s better than not having one at all. Last was a pair of triangular pieces located on the lower shield braces. I’m not sure what their purpose is on the real gun. The holes located at the pivot points for the barrel were covered with small disks punched from some plastic sheet. The aiming sights (part 28) and the traversing & elevating wheels (parts 24) were left off to be added later.

  1. Firing lever.
  2. New brace and stabilizer bar.
  3. New shield/cover located between the front portion of the carriage legs.
  4. Small triangular pieces on lower shield arms.
  5. Small plastic disks.

Adding the box trail parts completed the major part of the build. The cross brace (part 14) needs to have a missing panel added under it. The panel also needs to have an X-brace added to the side of the panel facing the rear of the gun. I drilled a hole through the small triangular protrusions found on the outside of the trail arms.

  1. Added missing panel and X-shaped bracing here.
  2. Drilled hole here in triangular protrusions.

The box (part 5) is hollow so a bottom needs to be added to it. The T-handle (part 6) was modified to add a small extension to the handle where it attaches to the trail. The eyes in the tow ring are a tad too small so they were drilled out and handles at the rear of the trail were added using some thin wire.

  1. Modified kit T-handle.
  2. Handles from thin wire.
  3. Rivets added to inside of carriage legs.
  4. Hollow box needs a bottom.
  5. Opened up the eyes on the tow ring.

Two pieces of ammunition are included. They don't look too good and if ammo is desired for the gun it would be best to obtain the sIG33 ammo set from Thor Hobby.

Once the trail was finished the traversing and elevating wheels were attached. They are a bit too large in diameter and touch the compensators on the legs above them. The seam lines inside the spokes are next to impossible to remove. And last, but not least, I added short extensions to the axles from some plastic rod. Now the gun was ready for painting.

The instructions have you paint the gun in overall early war German panzer grey camouflage but since the kit depicts a late war version you’d be better off painting it in the dark yellow/tan used later in the war and apply some brown and green on top if desired. If you scallop the edges of the shield as I did then the panzer grey would also work. For this build I tried something different for painting the black on the wheels. Without any rim to allow me to flow black paint I decided to try using a wide tip permanent black marker to colour just the surface of the rim that would touch the ground. Worked quite well and I'll definitely use this method again if the need arises.

With the painting done the separate assemblies could be joined: shield to the carriage, wheels to the axle, shovel to the front of the shield and finally, the gun sights. Some weathering and a spray of clear flat finished everything off.

Overall this is a nice kit. Construction is fairly straight forward and there were no major issues with the fit. The detail is decent out of the box and only a little extra work is needed to detail the kit some more. If desired, this gun could be used in whole on a self-propelled application such as on a 15cm sIG33 (Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B, or cannibalized for other vehicles such as the 15cm sIG33 (Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) Ausf H (SdKfz 138/1) Grille.

[1] German Light & Heavy Infantry Artillery 1914-1945, Wolfgang Fleischer, Schiffer Military/Aviation History, Atgen, PA 1995 ISBN: 0-88740-815-X
[2] Grenadier 352 (detail shots of restored gun)
[3] German Infantry Weapons, Special Series No.14, US War Department Military Intelligence Services, Washington 1943
[4] Wikipedia
[5] German Artillery at War 1939-45 Vol.2, Frank V. De Sisto, Concord Publications, Hong Kong 2008, ISBN: 962-361-144-7
[6] Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two Revised Edition, Peter Chamberlin & Hilary Doyle, Arms and Armour Press, London 1993 ISBN: 1-85409-214-6
[7] Tank Power Vol. XXIV No.247 15cm sIG33(Sf) auf PzKpfw I/II/III, Janusz Ledwoch, Wydawnictwo Militaria 2006 ISBN: 83-7219-247-2

Review sample purchased by the author.

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Article Last Updated: 09 March 2012

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