by: Jim Starkweather [ ]
Since I am certainly no expert on the German Flak 36, I will try to keep this review more of an "overview" than a critical review of the kit. I have of course built the Tamiya Flak 36/37 mobile 88mm gun, but that was back in the 70's. This kit is a much needed update complete with metal barrels & shells, brass photo-etch, wire, decals, and lots of plastic (589 pieces in all). From the photos I took you can see Dragon's typical high-level of detail for their current new releases.
Since the kit includes separate parts for a plastic barrel, I am assuming that the metal barrel upgrades were added as an after-thought. But they are certainly a much welcomed addition. The (2) barrels included can make either a Type 18 barrel or a 2-piece Type 36 barrel, which give the kit its effective 1939-1945 date range.
The 10-page manual is also well detailed and includes 6 different camo paint schemes. I am not sure the release date in Europe or Asia but the manual has a ©2005 date and was put together by Dragon Europe in Graz, Austria.
At a list price of $35 USD, this kit is certainly competitive with the older Tamiya release which generally runs in the $20 neighborhood with no PE or metal barrels. I will leave it to more experienced Axis reference modelers to critique the difference between them and the real thing. Stay-tuned... we should have a more detailed build review coming soon.