- Published on Thursday, 16 February 2012 00:01 Nick Mayhew
1/35 Panzerfaust 60M and QF 2pdr Barrel
Catalogue #'s 35A18 and 35B02 respectively
RB Model of Poland make a wide variety of accessories and upgrades for armour, aircraft, rail and ship kits. Established in 1988, they produce everything from wheels and buffers for trains, to capstans and port holes for ships, mainly in turned brass, but also in resin and wood.
RB Model's range also includes a large selection of turned metal barrels and accessories, mainly in 1/35 scale, two of which I review today. The full line-up of their products can be viewed (and purchased) via their website, here.
Simple packaging – no frills here
1/35 Panzerfaust 60M
The Panzerfaust (the translation from the German is along the lines of "tank fist") was a recoilless German anti-tank weapon during WWII. It consisted of a small, disposable preloaded launch tube firing a HEAT (high explosive anti-tank) warhead. Unlike the US Bazooka, it was operated by a single soldier, although once fired it could not be re-used. The Panzerfaust 60 – referring to its 60m operational range - was introduced in September 1944.
Panzerfaust in action
The Panzerfaust has previously been available as part of various German figure sets in injection moulded plastic by Dragon, and may be available in resin (not sure), but this is the first time I have seen one in the flesh in turned metal, and it looks simply fantastic.
In a small plastic bag, you get four separate metal pieces and a small fret of photo-etch metal, enough for two complete Panzerfäuste. The warheads are aluminium, whilst the firing tube and PE fret appear to be brass.
The warhead simply slots into the tube; the fit is perfect. There are two small holes the tube, into which you fix the firing mechanism and sight, as provided by the PE parts. This is not as simple as it sounds, only because there are no instructions provided. However, by studying the pictures on the RB website here, and shown below, you should be able to see what goes where.
These three pictures are from the RB Model site
In firing position
Sight folded down for transport
Actually, just looking at the fret in front of me, it's really not that hard: each Panzerfaust has two pieces of PE affixed to it, with parts provided so that you can have them in firing or carrying mode – that's a nice touch.
German troops holding Panzerfäuste on the Eastern Front, February 1945 [Wikipedia / Bundearchiv]
The quality of the pieces is excellent, and the finishing touch can be applied by using the correct stenciling found on both the warhead and the firing tube. For these, I would use the excellent decals from Passion Models, which I reviewed on Scale Plastic and Rail here.
Passion Models decals – just the ticket!
1/35 QF 2pdr Barrel for Matilda Tank
The Ordnance QF 2 pounder was a British anti-tank gun that saw widespread use in the early years of WWII. It was used in towed anti-tank artillery, mounted on vehicles and also served as the main armament of a number of British tanks, such as the Matilda, Valentine and Crusader.
Matilda of the 7th Royal Tank Regiment in the Western Desert, 19 December 1940 [Wikipedia / Imperial War Museum ref E1416 / 4700-32]
This simple replacement barrel from RB Model is designed as a barrel for Tamiya's excellent Matilda tank (make sure you get the new tool #35300). It represents the 'tapered' rather than 'stepped' barrel of the QF 2pdr, and as such can also be used with the Crusader and some marks of Valentine tank.
Dimensionally, the barrel fits the 1/35 scale plans in the Valentine Armor PhotoHistory book by Dick Taylor – I do not have any Matilda plans to hand but given it is the same gun in both tanks it should not make a difference. The barrel is bored out as far as the human eye needs to see, and the machining is nice and crisp.
If you are going to use it on one of the Valentines from Miniart (which don't come with a metal barrel) or from AFV Club (which do include a metal barrel, but I think it's the stepped one), it should be suitable for a MkI, II or IV, or the Candian built MkVI and VII, but as always, check picture references wherever possible. Looking at my Valentine (Miniart), only a small amount of surgery will be needed on the gun mantlet to make it fit.
Valentine II with tapered 2pdr barrel [Wikipedia / Imperial War Museum ref KID652 / 6000-02]
So What Do We Think?
Two excellent quality aftermarket sets. The packaging is basic and no instructions are provided with the Panzerfaust set, but the quality of product is very good indeed. They are also extremely cheap (approx €5 for the Panzerfaust for example) and in my opinion offer a superb combination of quality and value.
With thanks to RB Model for the review sample.
The full line of RB Model 1/35 barrels can be seen at their website here. Their products are also available from many good online retailers.