|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Flak 30 (Flugabwehrkanone 30) and improved Flak 38 were 20 mm anti-aircraft guns used by various German forces throughout the Second World War. It was not only the primary German light anti-aircraft gun, but by far the most numerously produced German artillery piece throughout the war. It was produced in a variety of models, notably the Flakvierling 38 which combined four Flaks 38 onto a single carriage.
The main problem with the design of the Flak 30 remained the fairly low rate of fire, which at 120 RPM was not particularly fast for a weapon of this caliber. Rheinmetall responded with the 2 cm Flak 38, which was otherwise similar but increased the rate of fire to 220 RPM and slightly lowered overall weight to 420 kg. The Flak 38 was accepted as the standard Army gun in 1939, and by the Kriegsmarine as the C/38. The standard mobile mount for the Flak 38 was the Sd.Ah.51
In order to provide airborne and mountain troops with AA capabilities, Mauser was contracted to produce a lighter version of the Flak 38, which they introduced as the 2 cm Gebirgsflak 38 (2 cm GebFlak 38). It featured a dramatically simplified mount lacking towing capability and using a tripod that raised the entire gun off the ground, which had the side-effect of allowing it to be set up on more uneven ground. These changes reduced the overall weight of the gun to a mere 276.0 kg. Production started in 1941 and entered service in 1942.
This kit is for the late production Flak 38 along with its wheeled mount. With 200 parts, it is not exactly a snap together kit so has a lot of detail and quite a few small parts. This means a rather high level of detail. This is further enhanced by having a decent number of photo etch parts, some of them preformed, which is always a help.
The kit can be built in the towed position or on the ground, set up and ready to use. The gun can be rotated on its mount, but elevation is limited to four different angles, 0, 20, 40, and 60 degrees. This is provided by four different elevation pistons for the elevation you choose. The kit includes various cases that can be built open or closed. There is no ammunitionprovided for these cases, but they can be found as aftermarket pieces.
The molded photo etch parts are mostly for guards and shell catch baskets. You also get photo etch gun shields, though you can use the plastic ones if you wish, or you can leave these shields off.
Here is a full list of features courtesy of the Dragon PR folks:
- Newly tooled hand wheels for gun adjustment
- Optional gunner seat newly produced
- Bonus photo-etched gunner's shield
- Gun shield is molded to correct scale thickness
- Gun cradle offers great definition of detail: even weld seams are present
- Gun sight w/well defined details
- Cannon can be elevated in any one of four positions (Angle 0°, 20°, 40°, and 60°) according to modelers' intentions
- Round base plate w/authentic details
- Accurate weld seams on the sides of gun platform
- Slide-molded spare barrel case (even w/spare barrel molded inside)
- Three types of barrel (standard model, late model and Schwebelafette version) can be assembled
- Slide-molded gun barrel w/hollow muzzle opening
- Hole positions and shape of flash suppressor & muzzle brake subtly represented
- Trailer can be portrayed in transport or "at rest" modes
- Trailer w/well defined details
- Tightening hand wheels around the platform base have sharp detail
- Tightening hand wheels have option of bonus photo-etched parts
- Spent shell case frame and photo-etched net included
- Spent shell case made from preformed photo-etched parts
- Tool box w/lock details made from slide-molds
- Slide-molded ammo clips x 4
- Detailed slide-molded ammo boxes x 2
- Optional preformed photo-etched gun shield
These are all painted panzer yellow. One is from an unidentified unit in France 1944. Another is an unidentified Luftwaffe unit in Italy during 1943. This one has decals for the barrel and for the shield. The third has green splotches on the shield and is from another unidentified unit is Europe during 1945.
Those who like artillery pieces, no matter what the size, will be pleased with this one. The detail is excellent and it provides the trailer so you can hook it up to a light prime mover for a nice diorama disaplay.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get this today at your favorite hobby shop.
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