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60cm Flakscheinwerfer (Flak-Sw 36) mit Sd.Ah.51 German Searchlight w/Trailer

AFV Club 1/35 60cm Flakscheinwerfer (Flak-Sw 36) mit Sd.Ah.51 German Searchlight w/Trailer Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review June 2007 Manufacturer AFV Club
Subject 60cm Flakscheinwerfer (Flak-Sw 36) mit Sd.Ah.51 German Searchlight w/Trailer Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35125 Primary Media Styrene, photo-etch
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons  
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $25.95

First Look

60cm Flakscheinwerfer (Flak-Sw 36) mit Sd.Ah.51 German Searchlight w/Trailer
60cm Flakscheinwerfer (Flak-Sw 36) mit Sd.Ah.51 German Searchlight w/Trailer
60cm Flakscheinwerfer (Flak-Sw 36) mit Sd.Ah.51 German Searchlight w/Trailer
60cm Flakscheinwerfer (Flak-Sw 36) mit Sd.Ah.51 German Searchlight w/Trailer
60cm Flakscheinwerfer (Flak-Sw 36) mit Sd.Ah.51 German Searchlight w/Trailer

The Flak-Sw 36 Flakscheinwerfer (searchlight) was developed in the late 1930’s. It had a 60cm diameter parabolic glass reflector. It was powered by an eight kilowatt generator. The lamp output was rated at 135 million candelas and it had a detection range of about five km for targets traveling at an altitude of 1500 meters. With the beam dispersed, this was reduced to about 3.2 km.

It required a crew of three and could be transported using a single-axle, two-wheeled special trailer: the Sd.Ah.51.

The kit comes in an end-opening type box. The box art shows actual photos of the search-light made up and off its two-wheeled trailer. The rear of the box has three further photos of it made up in three color schemes: overall panzer gray, overall earth yellow and panzer gray over-painted slightly with white wash. It sports no markings.

Inside the box are three olive drab trees of parts, one tree of clear parts, a fret of brass PE parts and the instructions. These are all individually cello bagged.

The instructions  give a total of 12 assembly steps. In step 12 there are two black and white photos of an actual Flakscheinwerfer on display in a museum. The instructions thank three different museums for offering help with data about the search-light. The Auto + Technik Museum Sinsheim, the Diekirch Historical Museum and the Military Technology and Procurement Museum Koblentz.

The search-light can be built either on or off its two-wheeled trailer and elevated to different angles. There is an optional lens cover that can be used if you prefer.

There are no parts tree drawings on the instructions

Two of the trees hold the parts for the search-light and the third tree has the parts for the two-wheeled Sd.Ah.51 trailer. Molding is very good on these parts. Some parts are very tiny, especially the little wing nuts and much care will have to be taken to remove these and some other small parts from the trees without damaging them. Needle nose tweezers will be a MUST.

There is a tree of clear parts for the lenses on the search-light.

The brass PE set holds shutters that mount inside the search-light etc. The kit has close to 300 parts in it. It is recommended only to persons over 14 years of age. I go along with this because of its complexity. I also recommend that the modeler has had some experience with complicated models and very small parts.

This is a really neat subject and creates all kinds of diorama ideas in one’s head. Next to an 88mm Flak gun? I wish there had been a figure provided to sit on the seat behind the light. I read, someplace, that these lights were sometimes manned by female Luftwaffe personnel?

A welcome relief from all the Tigers and Panthers on the market if you want something really DIFFERENT.

Highly recommended.

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