Ace 1/72 Flak 38
|$5.95 from www.scale-model-kits.com
|Scott Van Aken
The original FlaK 30 design was developed from the Solothurn ST-5 as a project for the Kriegsmarine, which produced the20 mm C/30. The gun fired the "Long Solothurn", a 20 × 138 mm belted cartridge that had been developed for the ST-5 and was one of the most powerful 20 mm rounds in existence.
The C/30 featured a barrel of 65 calibers, firing at a rate of about 120 rounds per minute. The C/30 also proved to have feeding problems and would often jam. This was offset to some degree by its undersized magazine, which held only 20 rounds, which tended to make reloading a common requirement anyway. Nevertheless the C/30 became the primary shipborne light AA weapon, and equipped a large variety of German ships. The C/30 was also used experimentally as an aircraft weapon, notably on the Heinkel He 112, where its high power allowed it to penetrate armored cars and the light tanks of the era during the Spanish Civil War.
Rheinmetall then started an adaptation of the C/30 for Army use, producing the 2 cm FlaK 30. Generally similar to the C/30, the main areas of development were the mount, which was fairly compact. Set-up could be accomplished by dropping the gun to the ground off its two-wheeled carriage and leveling with hand cranks. The result was a triangular base that allowed fire in all directions.
The main problem with the design 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 and subject of this kit, 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.
I can tell you from experience that this will build into a very small model, having done the MAC 1/72 FlaK 30 kit many years back. Ace has produced the kit on two sprues. The molding is rather good with nice detail on the various parts. Typical of low pressure molding, there will be some minor flash in the way of larger than normal mold seams to remove before cementing the parts together.
With fewer than 30 parts total, this won't exactly be a long term build. There are really no options aside from choosing whether to have it in the ready or the towed position. If choosing the latter, you'll need to attach the gun and mount to the trailer that is supplied.
Instructions are single folded sheet with five construction drawings. A fingernail sized decal sheet is provided for the one option that needs it; a Herman Goering Division gun in panzer grey. If you don't use the decals, you can paint this in any of the various schemes used where this gun was found, and it was found everywhere.
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