by: Vinnie Branigan [ ]
The Flak 38 was one of the principal guns of the German Armoy throughout WWII, even though towards the end of the War it inflicted little damage. It had a single seat for the Gunner, and used 10-round curved magazines. A tripod base allowed all-round traverse, and was usually mounted on a small two-wheeled trailer, although many of them were mounted on specially adapted half-tracks, for example the 251/17.
This kit from Dragon comes hot on the heels of another from a major maunfacturer. Open the box and you'll find 2 large sprues of their normal light grey styrene, and two smaller sprues with the Flak on. The great bit is that there are loads of photo etched bits in the kit. No less than 8 photo etch parts are held in a special vacuum formed 'protector' inside the box, and 3 of these photo etch parts are frets. The special container is necessary because the photo etched shield halves are pre-bent, as are two of the parts for the spent-shell basket, parts that would normally be very difficult to form from flat photo etch.
Also included as photo etch, already mentioned, are the two sides of the shield. These look excellent as far as thickness, but the bolthead detail is slightly off, which is difficult, but not impossible to correct. Also we have various photo etched handles, brackets, and the part shield that is actually fitted to the Flak 38 gun itself, consisting of 3 parts.
The quality of the parts is as we've come to expect from the later Dragon releases, i.e. immaculate. Included is a box that can be left open to display a new barrel, ammunition boxes that can also be left open, with or without magazines inside, and of course, the gun can be displayed on the trailer or dismounted for firing.
As with other kits of the Flak 38 the angle of elevation has to be decided whilst building and different parts used dependent on which elevation is chosen to disply the model at. Apparently the gun can be left movable, but this necessitates leaving some parts off, to get around this there are parts included so that you can model the gun at four different elevations from horizontal to 60 degrees. I have a slight gripe in that I would have liked to have seen a photo etched flash suppressor included, as although they can be hard to form they really do improve the look of the finished barrel incredibly.
There are 8 markings options in the kit, 7 of which are one-colour, and only two of these options require no decals.
I've run out of superlatives. It's a kit I can see myself buying quite a few of. It's a must have. Get a few.
My Thanks to Dragon for the review sample