Dragon 1/35 Flak 38(t) Ausf M (Late Production)

KIT #: 6590
PRICE: $52.00 MSRP
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Smart Kit



The Flakpanzer 38(t) (Sd.Kfz.140), officially signed into existence on October 15 1943, served as an interim anti-aircraft platform before the Flakpanzer IV was fielded. Based on the Czech-designed 38(t) Ausf.M chassis with mid-mounted engine, the fighting compartment was mounted at the rear of the vehicle. The Flakpanzer was armed with a single 2cm FlaK38 cannon of L/112.5 caliber, and was supplied with 1040 ammunition rounds onboard. As an interim Flakpanzer design, it had obvious inadequacies such as limited armor protection for the crew and a lack of firepower from the small main armament. Thus, BMM only produced 141 such vehicles between November 1943 and February 1944. Many of them saw combat on the Western Front in units like the 12th SS Panzer Division “Hitlerjugend.” The top armored sections could fold down to allow 360º traverse of the cannon at low elevations. This also meant the weapon could be used against ground targets.


Once again, Dragon provides us a kit based on the very popular Panzer 38(t) chassis. This one has their superb 20mm flak gun mounted on it. This gun is a kit on its own and includes formed photo etch pieces for the shell casing baskets that these guns carried. Thanks in part to the separate link Magic Tracks, this kit has 780 parts, making it a lot of modeling time for your money. I'll let the PR folks expand on the features.

- Upper hull rendered w/beautiful detail
- New Flak 38(t) Ausf.M Late Production authentically produced
- Flak 38 gun accurately presented
- Sprocket wheels w/breathtaking detail
- Gun sight w/well defined details
Newly tooled hand wheels for gun adjustment
- Fighting compartment armor can be positioned up or down in travel or combat modes

- Modelers can choose to elevate 2cm Flak 38 cannon to any one of four positions
- Realistic gunner seat
- Driver's seat has crisp detail
- Transmission system w/excellent detail
- Finely detailed firewall
- Both locked and unlocked catches included as separate detailed parts
- Gun cradle offers great detail definition
- Slide-molded gun barrel w/hollow muzzle opening
- Special design for flak gun mount
- Engine-deck cover can be assembled open or closed
- Gun shield is molded to scale thickness
- Catches on inside of rear fighting compartment armor to secure it during travel
- Ammunition boxes w/fine detail
- Lower hull front armor w/great detail
- Engine exhibits delicate details
- Slide-molded one-piece chassis w/delicate detail
- Fighting compartment with full interior detail - reinforcement strips w/bolt detail realistically represented
- Idlers and road wheels accurately produced
- Round base plate with authentic details
- Detailed radio unit
- Spent shell case frame and photo-etched mesh included
- Spent shell cases made from preformed photo-etched parts
- Engine compartment rear panel is sharply detailed
- Barrel case included inside fighting compartment
- Magic Tracks w/casting-number detail etched on every link

Markings are rather generic, considering that the most they carried were insignia and perhaps numbers. There are five painting options, all based on Panzer Yellow, with some having a brown and green pattern randomly applied. The vehicle with no insignia and in overall Panzer Yellow is one of the test vehicles from the BMM factory. All the rest are with the 12 Panzer Division in France during 1944.  with one being an 'unknown' unit. 


This is an excellent beginning to a new aircraft line from Cyberhobby. I know of several folks who were less than thrilled with the Eduard kit due to the near impossibility of modeling it with panels closed and the somewhat dodgy fit. This one should alleviate those concerns and is less expensive to boot. Once a few projects are off my bench, this one is going there.



March 2010

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