The German 88mm must be the most well known artillery gun with offerings from most manufacturers in various scales. Bronco
now steps into the fold with a German 88mm L71 Flak 41 Anti-Aircraft Gun with crew. One of the things that make this model more desirable is that it is an anti-aircraft gun rather than the more usual anti-tank version. I believe that this is the only model of the 88mm flak 41 currently available.
The kit is packaged in the standard slip-top cardboard box which should be strong enough to ensure the kit reaches you as intended and contains;
• 12 light grey sprues.
• 1 photo etched fret
• 1 decal sheet
• An A4 glossy instruction booklet.
At the very start of this review I should mention that if you are looking for a towed 88mm gun this is not the kit for you as the parts included are for an emplaced gun only. The 88mm gun in this kit is specifically for an anti-aircraft gun in a fixed position and is provided with a six man crew produced by Dragon Models Limited, a link to a review of the figures by Nathan Phelps is at the end of this review. The Flak 41 went into service in 1943 and featured a longer barrel and larger breach to accommodate a longer shell in order to reach the allied bombers that now flew at higher altitudes. The 88mm flak 41 had a 12 man crew, this 12 man crew all came from the Luftwaffe.
Construction of this model is covered over 40 stages using the line drawing format. No stage is overly busy, but the model does have quite a high number of very small parts that will put your skills to the test and also means taking measures against the carpet monster.
This model is started by constructing the cruciform base; this area of the build is covered over six stages and surprisingly does cover assembly of cruciform in transport position as well as deployed. All of the parts are cleanly moulded as can be seen from the pictures and exhibit no obvious issues for the modeller to overcome.
Moving on to the barrel and breach of the model; the barrel has been cast using slide mould technology which results in one piece barrel lengths, that other than a very light seam are as good as any barrel I have seen. The seam on the barrel lengths should be removed easily with the lightest of sanding or scraping with a blade.
The gun cradle is the area of the build that will test your ability the most, with a large number of sub-assemblies and small parts that need to be precisely placed. Great care will need to be taken to prevent moveable parts becoming fixed before they are in the desired position decided by you.
The remaining construction areas are straight forward and should not present any problems for you. Included with this kit are three types of ammunition which are supplied with storage cases (two types) and include photo etched cartridge detail of the percussion cap with markings. Finally there is an R36 rangefinder and its storage case which allows you to decide if you want it depicted in use, in its case with the lid open, or just the closed case.
As mentioned earlier there is a six man crew included with this product from Dragon which are all of a good quality. I would have liked to see a full crew of twelve with this product, but six is a good start. The only other thing missing that I would have liked to see included with these figures is some decals, a step that Bronco has now started to take.
This is another good kit from the Bronco stable that should more than keep fans of the 88mm in all its guises happy. The kit is, in effect, a “diorama in a box” with the crew and equipment being included, the only people who may not be so happy are those that like to depict their artillery models on the move. This is, however, not a model aimed at the novice who I suspect will struggle with some aspects of it.
New Vanguard 46 - 88 mm FlaK 18/36/37/41 and PaK 43 1936–45 ISBN 9781841763415
DML Flak Artillery Crew review