by: Mecenas [ ]
Originally published on:
The anti-tank rifle "Ur" was designed by the Polish engineer Józef Maroszek and approved as an Army armament in 1935. The calibre of the rifle was 7,92mm, the same as in the standard Mauser type rifle. The difference in the ammunition was the cartridge length. The Mauser ammunition was 7,92x57mm (calibre x length) while the Ur ammunition size was 7,92x107mm which means much larger propellant. Together with a very long barrel it resulted in the much greater than usually speed of the bullet which had great kinetic energy in the moment of hitting the target. Test shooting from the Ur rifle proved that it could punch a hole of about 25mm in diameter in the 33mm armour plate from the distance of 100m. This means that in 1939, when the Germans invaded Poland, there was no tank which could last out the fire from this rifle. One of the biggest problems of this weapon was the psychosis of keeping the existence of this rifle in secret. It was so much advanced that till July 1939 only few people in each regiment knew that it had been supplied. There were no tactical trainings in the field use of the “Ur”, of course. On the outbreak of war, when the orders came to open the cases, almost nobody knew what this was for and what to do. This is hard to explain and understand from the present point of view. Operating the Ur did not differ much from the standard rifle. The aiming was the same, as well as the reloading and operating the bolt. The biggest difference was the barrel length, folding bipod and loading the ammunition in a four round magazine from the underside of the weapon.
There are many theories about the name of the rifle - “Ur”. One of them seems to be the most probable. Before the war Poland had been selling rifles (standard infantry carbines, of course) to Uruguay in South America. Because the headquarters wanted to keep the existence of wz.35 AT rifle in secret it was stored in the boxes which had this superscription: “Do not open: fragile optical instruments” or simply “Uruguay” which meant that those boxes were supposed to be sent to Uruguay. That's the legend of the “Ur” carbine. Now, let's see what the box of the figure contains.
As usual, the box contains a small bag with cast parts and the instruction sheet. There is no assembly instruction but having the drawing of a soldier silhouette with full equipment there should be no problem where to glue specific parts. The instructions also give us clues of painting the figure refering to Lifecolor acrylics. The soldier body is separated into six parts: both legs with loins and breadbag as one piece, torso, arms and head. Hands are cast together with the rifle. Adalbertus gives us choice for the headgear: a wz.31 helmet or a field cap. If we decide to use the field cap, we will have to carefully remove the helmet stripes from the face of our figure. What else? For the Ur rifle we have an unfolded bipod for shooting. There are also a few parts for the soldier equipment: a rucksack with a rolled blanket, a messtin, a late type WRS gas-mask bag, a bayonet, two ammo pouches, a spade and a pistol holster. All that stuff covers full individual gear of the AT-rifle shooter.
What's the quality then, you ask? For me personally it is good, but you will have to arm yourself with a sharp knife. Almost all parts suffer with the resin excesses. Some details will also need sharpening. It is nothing major, you do not have to worry. I have not dryfitted the parts yet so I can not say anything about the fitting. I did not notice any sinkmarks or air bubbles, just the above mentioned excesses. I tried to show everything on the attached pictures. The figure I got has one more fault: the arched shape of barrel. There's not much to do for the producer while pouring to fix it, with this length it simply happens. I think it would be the best for the modeller to cut the resin barrel of and replace it with a needle. What I especially like in the casts is the rucksack. It has a good shape and sharp details, you can even find the marks of stitches. The blanket is a bit too wrinkled in my opinion but it may go without any harm, let’s say it was badly rolled.
The figure is certainly not the best I have ever seen. One of its pros is that it depicts a very interesting topic of a not widely known weapon. The static pose of the figure asks for a simple vignette with a foxhole or a big stone and we have a shooter preparing to knock-down his target. I am a bit afraid of recommending this figure to kids or complete newbies because it may require some additional patience and some experience but I think that everybody else in the hobby will not have any problems with fixing.