by: Adie Roberts [ ]
Originally published on:
2.8 cm schwere Panzerbüchse 41 (sPzB 41) or "Panzerbüchse 41" was a German anti-tank weapon working on the squeeze bore principle. Officially classified as a heavy anti-tank rifle (German: schwere Panzerbuchse), it would be better described, and is widely referred to, as a light anti-tank gun
Although the sPzB 41 was classified as a heavy anti-tank rifle, its construction was much more typical of an anti-tank gun. Like the latter, it had a recoil mechanism, carriage and shield. The only significant feature the weapon had in common with anti-tank rifles was a lack of elevation and traverse mechanisms—the light barrel could be easily manipulated manually.
The 2.8 cm sPzB41 was used by the Jager (light infantry) Gebirsjader (mountain) and Fallschirmjager (paratrooper) units though some of these guns were used by Sapper units too. The 2.8cm sPzB41 was also used in the Eastern Front from the beginning until the end of the war also saw combat in the North African Campaign and in the Western Front 1944 - 45.
The contents of the kit are one instruction booklet 10 pages altogether
2 grey sprue's
1 photo etch fret
2 Gun carriage wheels
2 Trailer wheels
Painting options on back of kit box
The start of the main gun, starts with the leaf spring suspension which itself is very small and is placed into the blocks that go to make the axle for the wheels. There are two stabilisers that also go into the blocks giving it some stability to the frame work. On the blocks are two very fine locating holes on upper and lower levels. The upper for the leaf spring the lower for the stabilisers the latter being very fine in size and I found filing the joining mount where I had cut it from the sprues very fiddly in deed. Once done I placed the rear plate into the back of the frame and the adjustable bar into the front of it I have to say that I did have to work on the hole to be able to get it to fit.
Next comes the trails which can be set in either a closed position allowing for it to be placed on the trailer for towing or open position and ready for firing. I choose to do the open version as I am after doing this build review before going to be painted and then using the gun for a diorama I am going to be making in a group build. The level of detail on the on the lower trails is very nice there are some fine lifting handles these are very fiddly and you need to be very careful on removing them. Once fitted, I fitted the trail lock and the lunette. The wheels were the last piece I fitted on the axles now I am unsure here if it was just this kit or maybe an issue with the mould but the axle space is not wide enough to fit on the trailer once the ammo box has been placed down. This of course is one of the last things you will do, so you, like me would not be aware of this situation until you got to it. I would at this stage use two of the rammer rings on the axle then place the wheels this will give you enough space at the end should you have decided to place it on the trailer without having to take it all apart, which I have to say I did not do as it was so fragile. Once the wheels are on, this finishes the two building sections on the first build page.
This is the start of the gun build itself, and first off it is the protection mounting plate. This involves putting two plates together and providing a sense of security to the gunners standing behind it. At the end of this stage is what I can only describe as one of the smallest pieces of etch I have ever had the pleasure to bend! This is so small that I had to look at it twice and the instructions twice! just to work out if it was a misprint or mistake. Alas not it took me a while to bend it in the right places, fixing it on the armour plates was to be fair also a task as the holes are not big enough in diameter for the etch to fit in; however if you open the holes too any depth the etch very quickly disappears. I used some micro kristal klear to use as a marker and first point of contact, once this was dry I used a fine amount of super glue to make sure it was secured in place. I did not want to have to do it again.
The holding base of the gun was glued together and handle placed at the end of it. The gun barrel was then placed on a plate with the breech handle and gun sight is then placed and glued onto the barrel holding base. Following this the armoured plate is mounted onto the front of the rear barrel while doing this you have to push the sight through the sight slot in the armoured plating. The last part of the of page three is the gun barrel side mounts with the tilting handles and the mounting lugs for the gun now this is another part that if you are not careful you will cut it back to far and it will not even reach the barrel. I have to say that this is one of the only two bad parts in the instruction sheet.
This stage starts with another much larger armoured plate this plate also has some etch on it and again it is very small to bend let alone mount. I used my etch pencil to try to hold and get it into the right position however the parts were so small that the etch did not stick to the pencil and I ended up using micro stix smart hold, which are very good for holding parts in place while waiting for the parts to locate and stick. I then placed the gun onto the mounting plate and glued it in place.
This stage is the start of the actual trailer chassis; there are four brackets that are mounts for the mud guards these do have a mounting pin making it much easier to locate on the chassis. Two pins are placed to the underside of the chassis which in the end form part of the axle. The towing hook bar and axle are then placed on the chassis with stabilising bars and springs which slot into the outer axle and make the mounts for the wheels.
This begins with a very trying piece of modelling, starting with one of the easiest parts to fit the towing eye which has a fixing mount there is then a bar that is placed along the length of the towing bar, it has two U mounts the end one goes over the rear end and the front stabilisers inside. A locking pin is then placed at the end of the bar, then for the fun part another tiny piece of etch that has to be bent around the bar into a U-shape then both ends have to be bent out flat and it fits as a mounting for the for the towing hook. This took me some time to get right and several expletives as I went. The rails for the gun to sit on while on the trailer for moving, both rails have ejector marks all the way down each rail and it is quite tricky to file these and so will require some patience. Underneath the rails there are two holes onto which two U-shape mounts hold it on to the chassis at the end of the rail, two more mounting pieces are glued into place to hold the ramps down for loading or unloading the gun. I used these as I was using the gun in a firing position and required the ramps in a down position. On the front end are two wheel chokes to stop the gun just rolling of the rails. The last part of the build on page six was the mounting of the rails to the chassis.
This starts with the placing of two mounts, that will in the end hold the rear of the ammo box in place. Two large mounting brackets are placed on the front of the chassis and a tool box fitted behind them. The ammo box has two handles that mount on the top of the box lid and this is then placed on the top of the box. The ammo box moulding has two U shaped mounts that sit on two small mounts that are already moulded on the chassis, then it sits back on the two little mounts that you placed on the edge of the chassis just next to the tool box.
This covers the fixing of the gun on its own wheels placed onto the rails and secured for travelling, I was going to use the gun which is just as well as the axle space would not fit over the ammo box without either pushing the wheels off or the wheels being at a 45% angle looking really silly. But as I said at the beginning of the build, this can be rectified by using a couple of the rammer rings as a spacer on the axle which would then give you a perfect width to fit over the ammo box. The last part of the build would be securing the ramps into an up closed position holding the wheels in place and stopping the gun from coming off the trailer again if like me you are building the gun in a firing position page eight would be skipped.
You now make the main trailer wheels, these have an inner rim and spacer that fits between the rim of the wheel and repeats for the second wheel. A light is then fixed to the mud guard and the nearside mud guard fitted over the wheel and glued to the brackets. You do need to manipulate the fixing here holding the mud guard on the two brackets until secured, otherwise you have a mud guard that actually sits on top of the tire, literally!
This stage involves attaching a light and a number plate to the trailer, and again you have to manipulate it and hold it on to the brackets until it is secured. The last part of the build was the ramps which I placed in the open position.
In hindsight I would have done the model slightly differently to what I did and I will defiantly study all of the Bronco Models instruction booklets much more thoroughly in the future.
Bronco Models cannot be criticized for the detail they have put into their kits, it is to a very high level, especially when you consider the actual size of the gun. In reality it is more like an anti-tank rifle than a anti-tank gun. The entire amount of detail from the tire detail down to intricate photo etch is very good. I do have quite a few kits in my stash and quite a few of them are Bronco Models, I am now looking forward to making them. They certainly are a challenge but very satisfying when completed. I will post some pictures once I have finished the diorama that I have planned for it.