Dragon 1/6 2cm Flak 38
|KIT:||Dragon 1/6 2cm Flak 38|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The original FlaK 30 design was developed from the Solothurn ST-5 as a project for the Kriegsmarine, which produced the 20 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 a projectile of about 134 grams at a rate of about 120 rounds per minute. Unfortunately 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 (2 Hz) 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 (3.7 Hz) 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.
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 GebF 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 is the fifth of Dragon's monster scale kits (75005 was released last month). These are the same scale as their big scale action figures/dolls and perhaps that is why they were developed. It definitely fills up a very large box so you are getting your money's worth on this one. By Dragon standards, this one is a 'snap' kit as it only has 150 parts.......
The molding on the kit is first rate and with the large parts, it will be relatively easy to assemble. No need to worry about losing a micro-part into the rug. The kit comes with a nicely formed aluminum barrel and some decals for the gun barrel. There are ammunition stacks and some separate shells as well. The design is such that the gun can be moved in both azimuth and elevation. Detailing includes even the smallest item with all the various handles and wheels included.
Instructions are quite detailed and it appears that there has been a glitch in one of the 14 construction steps as an addendum sheet is included. There are fthree painting options all differing only in color. One is panzer grey, one is panzer tan and the other is panzer tan with red-brown camouflage patches on it. The kit does not include the trailer section shown on the box art, nor any of the figures. The decal sheet includes two different sets of 'kill' markings for the gun barrel.
This has to be one of the easier kits to put together, thanks in large part to the size of the pieces. It is one that is both impressive, and won't take up all that much shelf space.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today either on-line or at your local store.
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