Friday, June 26, 2009

J.Norad Reviews ZACCA 1:6 scale Panzerschreck

Welcome back to part 2 of a 11 part series of me reviewing more lovely Zacca 1:6 scale models. I've bought two sets of rocket launchers: the five advertised blindboxed rockets for series 1 and series 2 of the 1:6 scale bazooka line. I mainly wanted the wall rack mount, but, hey, nothing says "I love you, Soldier" like buying him ten more types of explosive projectiles.

Ten 1:6 scale boxes does not equal 5/3.

This week, we'll review the Panzerschreck, German for "Tank Terror". This is model #2 of the first series of bazookas issued by Zacca. As with the FIM-92, it comes with a data leaflet with instructions on how to put it together. This time around, I didn't have to worry about my goods being smashed.

The Good

The panzerschreck is a lovely addition to your collection. As with all Zacca models, it's pretty detailed. The blast shield has several glued elements and a clear window. The tubing is well done and there's some silver accents on the metal parts near the hand grips.

The Bad

These models come in pieces due to their massive length. Fortunately, Zacca's engineers have made most of the pieces idiot proof in how you orient them during assembly. However, they have non-uniform part tolerances which make assembly annoying.

Figure 4: Panzerschreck Part Intolerance

From figure 4, I have three areas of interest to highlight. Section A, marked on the left of figure 4, shows the most annoying part of the model. If you don't glue the model together, which I have decided not to in the event I want to store them back in their original packaging, you'll have some loose pieces. The front end of the panzerschreck comes off too easily. It pops off with the slightest of nudges. Not great if you're trying to set up a photo outside and you spend a few minutes looking for it and putting it back on.

Section B, denoted by the letter and arrow on the right of figure 4, is the rear exhaust port of the panzerschreck. This piece is fairly detailed, but isn't something that can be handled with someone with ham fists and a temper tantrum of a 3 year old child. It's fairly fragile looking, but actually somewhat stiff. The problem is that this piece needs to be assembled onto the rear and the fit is tighter than I'd like. You will have to be fairly careful putting this piece on without sanding down the connector to avoid snapping the spokes during assembly. Otherwise, you'll have a slight gap if you don't put it on all the way. Not terrible, but something to look out for.

Section C highlights the rear sight. This is a fragile piece. It's a thin piece of plastic with a thin peg to slide into the side of the panzerschreck. Combo that with a tight fit, and you'll be spending a while getting it flush with the barrel. I haven't opted to sand it down yet, but I may have to in order to get it to fit. Another thing to look out for when you put yours together.

Zacca also uses some "weathering" on their models. In this case, some black details along the rails running parallel with the barrel. However, it's not uniform. There are parts where this effect suddenly disappears. You may want to redo them or possibly repaint this to your liking.


This is perhaps one of the lesser detailed models you can get from the Zacca line. It's pretty decent if you paid about $5-$8 for it. I don't really think it's worth hunting down for more than $12 unless money's no object and you demand the most detailed panzerschreck for your soldiers. At that point, you might as well buy a non Zacca panzerschreck. The one made by Dragon comes with actual rockets and a storage crate, if you're looking into the $20-30 range.

This one comes packed pretty well, so you won't have to worry about yours being brutally crushed by a belligerant postman. However, it's nowhere near as great as the FIM-92 "secret" model from the first series. If you're buying these blindboxed, you'll probably be unhappy knowing you could have gotten the FIM-92 and got this instead. Mainly since it's such a common model and not something exotic and rarely made in 1:6 scale.

I should also mention at this point that the model has solid end caps, so no jamming random objects down the barrel to "fire" them. They're painted black so you can't really tell from certain angles.

Overall Meaningless Scores and Stats

Price per unit:
MSRP: $5.
Average price: ~$10 shipped
Competing company prices: $20-40 (plastic and metal versions)

27.6cm long

Build quality:
Mixed. I'm pretty sure they had some design issues getting this model made cheaply. If you glue it and properly prepare it, it'll be your best friend. Comes in 6 pieces, assembly required. Looks actually sturdy enough to survive an accidental drop off a bookshelf. At least you can play with this one. Score: 9/10

Not worth it. Buy a real model of a panzerschreck unless you're trying to buy lots of them cheap. For $5, you can buy 4-6 of these as opposed to one from Dragon. I hear Dragon's quality is much better than Zacca. But if you really want to arm a whole regiment of Nazis with panzerschrecks on a budget, this is an option. Score: 5/10

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