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Renault UE Pak 3,7cm

n model by Bengt Johansson
n text and images by Martin Waligorski 

After their first defeats on the vast expanses of the Eastern Front, the German army mustered everything that moved. The urgent need for mobile antitank guns resulted in a variety of makeshift vehicles, such as the Marders. Although the Marder was the most numerous and "officially sanctioned", Germans created other more or less useful hybrids. One of the more bizarre vehicles in this category was Renault UE Pak 3,7cm, a combination of tiny ex-French Renault tankette and Pak 3,7 light antitank gun piggybacking on its rear body.

The model

Bengt Johansson built this model of the UE. Like the real thing, this model is a combination of 1/35 RPM Renault UE and Tamiya Pak 3,7 kits.

Generally, the RPM Renault UE is a good kit but as the mouldings are rather thick, it benefits from thinning out the edges here and there. Bengt did this, and opted additionally for replacing around 100 moulded-on rivets around the hull for more realistic appearance.

In the front part of the vehicle, additional detailing comprised of new scratchbuilt towing hooks, manufacturer's plate, rolled towing cable with holding clamps and the headlight with its long cover.

Moving along the sides of the vehicle, Bengt detailed the single stowage box with holding straps and a padlock. The suspension received a couple of additional details from plastic stock aimed at enhancing the look of kit-moulded detail in this area.

The most obvious piece of extra work in the rear was mating the Tamiya gun to the new chassis, but there was more. The gun's shield received new rivets to bring it to the same "look and feel" as the rest of the vehicle. The cramped rear basket area was filled with extra gear - ammo boxes, spent shells and blankets. Boxes and shells were taken from the Tamiya kit, the boxes being improved by scratchbuilding the carrying handles. The blankets were shaped from A+B putty rolled to a thin layer on a flat surface.


New pair of towing hooks completed the changes to the rear hull.

The Renault UE's most peculiar feature was the arrangement of the two crew. The vehicle was so small and cramped that the crew's heads poked above the hull in semi-spherical armoured cupolas, looking somewhat like welded-on oversized infantry helmets. Adding the figure of the driver brings focus to that feature, adding interest to the model. Actually there is not even a need to use a half-figure but a head. This came from Hornet. Bengt also placed an infantry helmet beside, detailing it from the inside with new padding and straps from metal foil.

Additional images, click to enlarge


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