Trumpeter 1/35 8.8 cm Flak 18 Selbstfahrlafette
KIT #: 01585
PRICE: $86.99 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES:

HISTORY

Ten 8.8 cm Flak 18 anti-aircraft guns were mounted on pedestals on DB s8 and DB 9 chassis in 1939 as the 8.8 cm Flak 18 (Sfl.) auf Zugkraftwagen 12t (Sd.Kfz. 8) for anti-tank duties. A gun shield was provided for the 88, but the gun crew had no other protection. All ten were assigned to the first company of the anti-tank battalion Panzerj�ger-Abteilung 8 which participated in the Invasion of Poland in 1939, the Battle of France in 1940 and Operation Barbarossa in 1941. Despite these being the early 88mm guns, they were quite effective against enemy tanks.
THE KIT

Trumpeter uses tan plastic for its military vehicles and so that is the color of this one. The box is jammed full of sprues as you get most of an SdKfz 8 half track along with the 88mm gun and shield. This is not a curbside as Trumpeter likes to provide a full engine for this one. The engine detail is really quite good and you will spend some quality time building this one up. It also comes with multi-piece wheels and sprockets. A fully detailed chassis and suspension are included, and that means lot more detail with the nicely done transfer cases and gear boxes. In fact, about 1/3 to 1/2 the build will be devoted to assembling the chassis along with the track system. As is the norm for many top line kits, this one comes with individual track links.

Since this vehicle is designed to be in combat, you will find the superstructure to be different from the standard half-track. Though the radiator assembly is the same, there is an armored shell that fits over this and the engine compartment. The bed section is open and includes ammo storage areas as well as the large pedestal on which the 88mm gun sets.

The gun comes with a metal barrel and the piston assembly for elevating the gun has brass tubes. A well done gun shield is provided for the gun to give some protection for the crew. An armored cab is also provided for the driver. Photo etch is provided for many of the external details and is also the material from which the gun shield is made, providing a realistic thickness. I was pleased to note that only a few of the p.e. parts are actually small so those who dislike tiny brass bits will be happy about that.

Instructions are well done with color information provided during the build process. The lone markings option is an overall Panzer Grey vehicle. Decals are provided for this vehicle and include the instrument panel.

CONCLUSIONS

By basically combining two kits, the 88mm gun and the SdKfz 8 kit with a new sprue or two, Trumpeter has produced a very nice and well detailed kit of an interesting, if not widely built early war vehicle. Should make into a very nice model.

July 2012 

Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. You can get this one today at your local dealer or have them order it for you.

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