First to Fight

Polska armata przeciwpancerna 37mm wz.36 Bofors

Kit #: PL1939-025 Review by - Al Magnus

The 37mm Bofors ATG was designed in the early 1930s by the Swedish armaments manufacturer Bofors, and was produced under licence in a few other nations. It saw use with both Allied and Axis forces, primarily early in World War Two. Performance wise it was very similar to the German's standard early war 3.7 Pak gun. Captured examples were impressed by the Germans - those from Poland were designated as 3.7 cm PaK 36(p), Danish guns as 3.7 cm PaK 157(d).

The kit

Inside First to Fight's typical thin, end opening cardboard box are a pair of parts frames, one each for a gun plus ammo cannister, along with a set of 6 figures (3 figures to man each gun). My model was obtained via a trade and was missing its figures and ammo box.

The gun comprises a meager 14 pieces. The plastic is a hard, styrene style and moulded in dark green.

Instructions and painting guide are printed on the box's back panel. The painting guide lists only Vallejo brand paints. Decals are not included which is to be expected. As usual there is a pamphlet in Polish describing the history of the gun's service (presumably describing its use in Poland only).

The parts are well moulded and detail is sharp though quite petite. Flash is non-existent. There are some fine seams to remove as well as a few ejector pin depressions, mostly on the rear face of the shield, that should be filled. In common with most small scale kits, the tire's tread detail is a weak point.

As expected with so few parts construction out-of-the box is quick and easy, with no real problems. In my case, a little extra detailing was the only thing that slowed me down from making this a very quick build. Items addressed included:

  • adding seat brackets using thin lead foil
  • replacing the rather basic looking towing eye
  • adding grab handles on the legs
  • adding traverse and elevation wheels
  • drilling out the muzzle
  • replacing with thin plastic rod the shield's lower braces which were damaged in the mail

The shield was left separate to ease painting. After everything was put together a quick measurement with my dial calipers, and using reference [9] below for values of the real gun, revealed the following:
Actual Scale
Barrel Length
(measured from
tip of muzzle brake
back to face of breach)
63 in 0.875 in 0.85 in1/74
Gun Width43 in0.59 in0.58 in1/74
Gun Height41 in0.57 in0.55 in1/74

This shows that the kit is definitely a "fence sitter" - neither in the 1/72 scale camp nor in the 1/76 scale camp, but saddling the middle point between the two most popular scales for braille armour. For me this is not a major concern. For those desiring more fidelity to 1/72 scale, the Ace kits could be investigated as an alternative.

The suggested camouflage is overall pre-war Polish green. If one were to model a beute gun, then overall German panzer grey would also be valid. I chose to go with a three colour German camouflage of panzer yellow with green & brown patches, partly based on the below period photo of equipment captured by the Soviets in Courland, 1945 (picture from references [4], [5] & [6]), and partly because I wanted to test my new detailing airbrush. Note the numerous Bofors ATG guns in use even at this late stage of the war. The example in the fore is identified as a Danish weapon (presumably due to the spoked wheel rims and the ladder style protector for the gunner), but if you look further down the line, the following guns could possibly be Polish examples. Note also the camouflage. Most are light coloured, which I presume is a panzer yellow base with some brown and/or green splotching, while a few are dark coloured, perhaps green or panzer grey.


Overall, this is a decent kit of a rather obscure weapon. Only a modicum of additions are needed to up the detail over what comes in the box. The scale is advertised as 1/72, though measurements make it closer to 1/74. I personally have no qualms adding this to my 1/72 scale artillery collection.


[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] Captured Weapons and Equipment of the German Wehrmacht, translated by Ed Force, Schiffer Publishing, 1998 ISBN: 0-7643-0526-3
[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])
[7] 1/19 scale paper model build
[9] wikipedia
[10] (Finnish version)
[11] (Wiki)
[12] (walk around)
[14] Mirage 1/35 scale build

Review sample purchased by the author.

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Article Last Updated: 01 May 2019

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