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In-Box Review
135
Rheinmetall 12.8cm K44 L/55
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by: Guido Hopp [ TAILOR ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction

Following the experiences of the Wehrmacht with the Russian 122mm gun in 1943, a similar weapon was called for. Asking for a field artillery piece initially, anti-tank requirements were added soon after. Rheinmetall Borsig and Krupp received the order for prototypes to be delivered by the end of 1944.

Due to shortages of capacity and material the guns were never put to large scale production. Only 50 weapons, mounted on a variety of emergency carriages of most different origins, saw action in the late stages of the war.

In late July 2010, the 1/35 Rheinmetall K44 L/55 High Velocity Anti-Tank Gun from Great Wall Hobby will hit the shelves of the traders. It's another surprise release of the model maker from the city on the Jangtse river mouth.

The Kit

In the nicely designed and generously spaced box we find 7 injection molded sprues, a small photo etch sheet, metal springs, a length of wire, a coloured painting sheet and the assembly instructions.
The final product will depict the gun with a 6-wheeled carriage as designed by Rheinmetall Borsig.

Sprue A:
Two of this sprue are included and holds the wheels and rubber tires, suspension and a multitude of small parts including the muzzle brake.

Sprue B:
This one consists mainly of parts of the mounting cross and base of the mounting.

Sprue C:
Holds mounting parts, the gun cradle, and recuperators. Prominent on this sprue are the parts of the double gun shield, too.

Sprue D:
This sprue supplies parts for direction and laying mechanics, the lock, and slide. More parts for the carriage are to be found here, as well.

Sprue E:
This frame holds the gun barrel consisting of 2 parts. The first third behind the muzzle is molded in solid styrene, while the later two thirds are split in two along the length of the barrel. Even with the massive styrene front part of the barrel, there are no sink marks whatsoever.

Sprue Ka:
This one is taken from early GWH kits and holds tools such as a shovel, crank-bar and fire-extinguishers.

Special Parts:
As is mostly customary today, a small PE sheet is supplied for parts that cannot be represented well using the injection mold technique. Additionally two metal springs and a length of wire are supplied to better represent the spring bars of the carriage and the electric and hydraulic wiring/tubing respectively.

Instruction Sheet and Colour Profile:
The instruction sheet seems to be easy enough to understand on first inspection, and is less packed compared to former Great Wall Hobby instructions. The instruction points to the possibility of showing the gun deployed or ready for transport.

The colour profile shows one painting option without giving reference to a historical unit. Colour systems given are Gunze, Tamiya, and Vallejo.

Quality:
If you havenít worked with Great Wall Hobby products, be advised of the use of pretty soft plastic. Use of only small amounts of glue is required, and recommended, to avoid melting down finer parts.

The sprue connectors are fine to very fine and promise to create little clean-up effort upon removal. There are no sink marks on any of the parts upon first and second inspection. Unavoidable ejection marks will be hidden behind other parts or in hard-to-see locations, which has been a mark of quality in GWH kits so far. There is the tiniest bit of flash on the muzzle brake, removing this will only be a matter of minutes. Mould separation lines are well hidden or in such places where they will pose as welding lines on the real gun.

conclusion

The density of detail is high and state of the art. Some parts will require special care upon removal, because they are right at the limit of finesse in casting. A dry fitting of some of the larger parts reveals no problems whatsoever. With a bit of care even a novice will be able to build this kit, given careful treatment of the finer parts.

While some would think it to be a step backward, a new product policy is being implemented at GWH. Former small artillery pieces such as the Nebelwerfer 41 and 42 and the 37mm Flak43, with all their use of multimedia parts, were so far out in finesse, and price, that interested modellers were scared away. The new concept aims to supply finely detailed, but buildable and affordable kits. For such kits, a detail set will be issued to satisfy the AMS-Modeller for an up-charge at their convenience. As I write this, the upgrade set complete with PE shields and lathe turned aluminium barrel is well on the way!

A Build Log has been started on the Forums to evaluate the kit construction.
SUMMARY
Highs: A welcome surprise release with great fit and detail, and still workable for the beginner. The price announcements so far seem reasonable.
Lows: None noted, taking into account that an expansion set with PE and turned parts is on the way.
Verdict: There may be subjects that had more historical relevance, but this is surely a nice, affordable and buildable kit.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: L3523
  Suggested Retail: 39,95Ä
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jul 16, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.57%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.63%

About Guido Hopp (Tailor)
FROM: NORDRHEIN-WESTFALEN, GERMANY

Too old to be young. Too young to be old. Happily married, one son. Living just North of the German Ruhr area . Trying to concentrate on ship models, but having way too many soft spots for other fields of interest. Please remember: Vee Jermans hef no sense of humor (at least Dave of WEM says so) ...

Copyright ©2019 text by Guido Hopp [ TAILOR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



Comments

I love the box art, and this is one very slick looking piece of artillery.. I'm not sure if I'm ready for the soft plastic though.. eh, it'll end up in my stash sooner or later
AUG 01, 2010 - 08:32 AM
does anyone have pictures of the ammunition and ammo boxes this gun used?
AUG 01, 2010 - 08:58 AM
There were only a couple of prototypes of the full gun produced but none were actually deployed. 50 barrels though were produced and used on captured French and Russian carriages. This may be of interest to some regarding the kit build 12.8cm K44 L/44 review Cheers Terry A
AUG 01, 2010 - 11:30 AM
arrrghh....I thought it actually saw service...
AUG 01, 2010 - 12:05 PM
Gentlemen- I should have started that build some time ago, but real life interfered once more. Then I got notice that the add-on was on the way and I decided to wait. I got the deail set just yesterday: It is a thing of beauty. It replaces the gun shields, the barrel, and the muzzle break. It certainly does help the kit, even though I am convinced that the kit will build nicely enough without the add on. Anyway, I should find the time to start the build tomorrow. First I'll put together a few words and pics for the News. Cheers, Guido PS.: Look! I got a medal! That's nice! Thanks!
AUG 12, 2010 - 02:10 AM
Well, jimbrae was quicker than me putting it up so I save the time and get right into building, but I can start Monday only. Upgarde for K44 Have a nice weekend! Cheers, Guido
AUG 13, 2010 - 04:23 AM
I look forward to your review, Guido! I received my upgrade set lat week and the thing is surely excellent! I agree that an OOB build will still look great but having those little brass thingies is always nice as well. Rob
AUG 13, 2010 - 06:50 AM
Gentlemen- I started my building blog: WIP: Rheinmetall 12,8cm K44 L/55 The kit is great to work with so far. Comments and questions welcome! Cheers, Guido
AUG 19, 2010 - 08:01 PM
Working on this kit and up grade set, great kit! Does anyone know what primemover was used to tow this thing? Also does any one make an ammunition set for it, or the Jagdtiger (same gun?)? Thanks Tim
AUG 21, 2010 - 04:58 AM
   

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