In-Box Review
StuK.40 L/48 7.5cm barrel
German StuK.40 L/48 7,5cm Barrel with early model muzzle brake
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by: Scott Espin [ SPIFF ]

ABER is a company that has been providing excellent update and upgrade detail sets for modelers since 1995 and are well known for their quality products. In this review I take a look at the ABER (part # 35 L-58) German StuK.40 L/48 7,5 cm Barrel with early model muzzle brake for StuG. III Ausf. F/8 and StuG. III Ausf. G early. I have used aluminum barrels on many of my builds in the past and they usually consist of a single piece turned aluminum barrel with a drilled out muzzle brake. This barrel set is far more detailed and I must say that upon initial inspection I was really impressed! The parts certainly look like the real thing!
This set comes packaged in a plastic sleeve 6” long and 2” wide. Included is an aluminum barrel, 3 brass parts for the muzzle brake, 1 brass gun collar and a small photo etch fret with 16 parts including slotted screw heads for the gun collar. Detailed assembly instructions in color are provided on an 8” by 6” foldout sheet.
It is a good idea to have some experience working with very small PE parts, although this set might be a great way to gain that experience. The ABER instructions recommend soldering the parts together, although most modelers will probably just use cyanoacrylate (superglue). Either way care will be needed when installing the screw heads and the detail parts of the muzzle brake.

This barrel set is designed as an upgrade/replacement for the 1/35 Tamiya and Dragon kits. I just happen to have the Tamiya 1/35 Sturmgeschütz III Ausf. G Frühe (recently built) and the Dragon 1/35 StuG III Ausf. G Early Production Smart kit so I’ll compare the ABER set to the kit parts of both. Right off the bat it was obvious to me that the ABER parts have far more detail than the Tamiya kit parts. The plastic Tamiya parts don’t include any of the details inside the muzzle brake and the Tamiya gun collar is molded smooth all the way around without any screw head detail. The Dragon Smart Kit is much more detailed than the Tamiya offering and includes plastic details for the inner muzzle brake as well as the slotted screw heads around the plastic gun collar, although the detail is a bit soft. The ABER details are much crisper and more closely resemble the look and feel of the real thing. The ABER set is a huge improvement over the Tamiya parts and is somewhat of an improvement over the Dragon Smart Kit parts.

Next up was checking the fit of the parts. The ABER brass gun collar fits perfectly into the mantlet and tube of the Dragon part and looks fantastic! However, when I attempted to fit the aluminum barrel into the brass gun collar I quickly realized that there is no way to get the barrel all the way into the gun collar without damaging the barrel because the fit is just way too tight. In order for the barrel to fit you’re either going to have to slim down the attachment base of the barrel or slightly bore out the brass gun collar. This was a huge disappointment after the initial great first impressions. I suppose you could opt to use the plastic gun collar in the Dragon kit in place of the brass, and you could use the PE screw heads around the plastic collar to make up for the soft details in the Dragon kit.
This would be a very impressive detail set if only the barrel would fit. When you factor in the hefty price tag you should certainly be able to expect the parts to fit. You could still take advantage of some of the detail included here by mixing and matching ABER parts with the kit parts, but then why bother paying $25.95. Because of the fit issue, I can’t really recommend the set. I’m hoping the review sample fit problems were just a fluke, but without having another set to test there is no way for me to know. If it weren’t for the fit problem I would have given this set an almost perfect score.

Highs: Excellent and very accurate details.
Lows: Aluminum barrel will not fit into the brass gun collar.
Verdict: Great detail, but disappointing fit.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35 L-58
  Suggested Retail: $25.95
  PUBLISHED: Aug 17, 2008

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About Scott Espin (Spiff)

I have been an avid student of military history for over 35 years, especially World War II with my focus mostly on German military equipment (tanks and aircraft). I'm especially interested in anything relating to the Eastern Front and North Africa. My Dad ignited my passion for modeling when I...

Copyright ©2021 text by Scott Espin [ SPIFF ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks for the review Scott, shame about the brass collar not fitting with the base considering the level of detail it would offer.
AUG 16, 2008 - 05:57 PM
I was pretty excited about the prospects of using it with my Dragon StuG III Ausf. G Smart Kit, the detail is perfect! I'm hoping the fit issue was just a fluke with my review sample. If anyone else has this set, please let us know if you encountered the same problem with the barrel fit.
AUG 17, 2008 - 06:05 AM
Great review, Scott, but what a major booger! I would've given the thing a 50% or worse, since there's no point, as you say, in laying off $25 to have the thing not fit. Can we get a comment from Aber on the fit problem? Someone at Armorama able to contact them and see if they're going to address this? It's not unheard of, though. I had to return a Lion Roar Tiger I barrel because the muzzle brake assembly would not screw onto the barrel threads. Apparently it had been machined from the wrong direction. I went with Armorscale and never looked back.
AUG 18, 2008 - 12:19 PM
Well in that case you could almost argue an even lower score depending on how you look at it. I'd like to see another set, or have someone chime in who has purchased it so we can see if my fit issue was a fluke. If it weren't for the fit problem with the barrel this would be a fantastic set.
AUG 18, 2008 - 02:55 PM
Good point on letting Aber know about a possible problem with one of their products, one of the worse things for a business is not getting feedback on something faulty. What makes a company outstanding is how they handle the problems, do they make it right or do they ignore you. We've, most likely, all purchased kits that have had manufacturing defects, short shots and the like. I've contacted 2 separate companies (both well known manufacturers) on defective parts in recent releases (not some OOP kit), one ignored me and the other had a replacement to my door in under a week. I'm now hesitant to buy from one, and will buy from the other without pause. Cliff notes: Give a company the chance to make it right before writing them off completely
AUG 18, 2008 - 03:11 PM
James, you make a good point. Given the long wait time, though, to get many of these AM products (LuckyModel.com is STILL OOS on Armorscale radio aerials months after my paying for them), it's human nature to be impatient about these matters. Aber is normally spot-on with their products (I personally prefer their PE upgrades to Eduard by a mile), so this is surprising. Let's hope it's a fluke with someone not paying attention on the production line when maching out the muzzle brake and not a design flaw.
AUG 19, 2008 - 02:37 AM
I have had fitting problems on my Tiger-B Armorscale barrel. The forward part of the muzzlebrake only fitted after lengthy sanding and filing of the aft part and the collar which slots down the barrel also had to be filed to be able to be slid down all the way. So any company can get their hit and their mis. The Aber Panther barrel I reviewed was perfect construction wise. No problems.
AUG 19, 2008 - 03:21 AM

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