ARM: Italeri 1/35 scale Cannone da 47/32 Model 39 and Crew

Kit Review: Italeri 1/35 scale Kit No. 6490; Cannone da 47/32 Mod. 39 with =
Crew; 83 parts in grey styrene; retail price US$47.00
Advantages: first model of this weapon in styrene; well-executed model has =
several options; five man crew a bonus
Disadvantages: directions only show how to assemble an emplaced gun; crew f=
igures somewhat simpler than competitors=92 products
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: to all North Africa warfare fans
In 1935 the Austrian Boehler company developed a lightweight antitank gun =
called the M 35, which was a 47mm weapon that was small and light enough to=
break into five separate loads for use with pack animals. It proved popula=
r with the untried antitank forces of the day and was widely sold and produ=
ced under license in many countries.=20
The Italians were one of the licensees and produced a shorter version of t=
he gun as the Cannone da 47/32 M 35. A later model, the M 39, used a slight=
ly different design of carriage and was some 130 pounds lighter (611lbs vs.=
740 lbs). It was slightly more powerful than the German PaK 36/37 3.7 cm g=
un but inferior to the Czech 47mm or the Soviet 45mm guns. But it saw wide =
use with the Italian army, as it was light and could throw a 3 pound high-e=
xplosive projectile for infantry support.=20
This nice new kit from Italeri presents the later Model 39 version with li=
ghtweight wheels (albeit the original wheels are shown on the box art, that=
is not what comes in the kit) and a crew of five in the long desert unifor=
The gun itself consists of 52 parts and includes all of the necessary bits=
as well as six rounds and a case for the ammunition. Even though it is a t=
iny gun it comes with a three-piece barrel, separate recoil mechanism and b=
reech block, and will permit free elevation and traverse if properly assemb=
led. Optional seats (I guess they are seats, but are like the gun very tiny=
) are included for the crew members. A pedestal mount is included for use i=
n other kits (a kit of the Semovente 47/32 is also coming).=20
But the only option shown in the kit has the gun with trails and spade dep=
loyed for combat with the wheels removed to lower the silhouette. There is =
a sprung axle mount (part 33F) which comes with the wheel mounts in place (=
one was broken off the review sample in shipping) but no word on what they =
are for, and all it says is to cut them off. Stub axles Parts 36F are then =
glued to the wheels for display in the removed position. Also a locking bra=
ce (39F) is shown installed but it would fold back for movement; likewise t=
wo lifting handles (40F-41F) are shown stowed. It=92s too bad the kit engin=
eers allowed for this but the direction writers did not.=20
The crew figures are somewhat simpler than other conventional figures =96 =
the heads come molded onto the torsos as do some of the equipment. While th=
ey are thus somewhat old-fashioned in design, the figures show better anima=
tion and details than many older Italeri figures. Three of the personnel (t=
he gun commander and two of the crew) sport beards and mustaches and all ha=
ve reasonably good expressions. They appear to be wearing Italian airborne =
helmets from what I can determine with the officer in a =93tent hat=94. The=
four crew figures cover the gunner, loader and two =93other numbers=94 wit=
h extra rounds.=20
The seams and some of the details on the figures are a bit deeper or smoot=
her than many today prefer, but from what I gather most modelers are happy =
to compensate for a lack of separation for an easier-to-assemble and paint =
figure. =20
Artwork is by a G. Rava and is in watercolor; while very artistic it unfor=
tunately gives the impression these troops are wearing desert =93tiger stri=
pes=94 which they are not. Painting directions are of the =93follow the cha=
rt on the back of the box and the box art=94 type.=20
Overall the kit is a bit pricey but lately Italeri has been once more prov=
iding details as they did when they started over 35 years ago. The gun is a=
gem and the crew are nicely posed to suit the piece. I do wish they had co=
vered the other assembly options in the directions though.=20
Thanks to Ronelyne at MRC for the review sample.=20
Cookie Sewell
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