DML 1/35 88mm Flak 37 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||November 2005||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||88mm Flak 37||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||6287||Primary Media||566 parts (516 in grey styrene, 28 etched brass, 7 aluminum tubes, 4 etched nickel, 3 turned aluminum, 3 turned brass, 3 pre-decaled clear styrene, 1 brass chain, 1 copper chain)|
|Pros||Dedicated kit completes the basic family of 8.8 cm antiaircraft guns; choice of wide variety of finishing and construction options||Cons||No crew figures provided|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$34-40|
The German 8.8 cm medium antiaircraft guns were undoubtedly the best known of all German WWII artillery, and the majority of them were the shorter 56 caliber barrel models known as the FlaK 18, FlaK 36, and FlaK 37. While the first two were dual-purpose weapons, the FlaK 37 was generally not considered as anything other than an antiaircraft gun, and as such had a different analog data system and display for aiming the weapons. Surprisingly, they also had different shaped shields, but for the most part this was for protection from low-level straffers later in the war rather than bomb or shell fragments.
DML has now modified its excellent FlaK 38 kit to represent the later FlaK 37, and has changed or added some 47 parts to the kit. Among them are eight "slide molded" styrene tires with wrap-around tread pattern and no seams – a first! – which means no worries about splitting rubber tires or having to go out and find resin ones to replace vinyl tires with impossible to remove seams. The kit also includes three different patterns of gun shields with "wings" for added protection.
One thing many modelers will like is the fact that the aiming data readouts (parts K1) are provided as clear parts with either paint or decals already in place, meaning that they do not have to be done by the modeler and are precisely finished BEFORE installation.
The directions are very, very busy, and due to the wealth of options it is recommended that the modeler study them carefully before assembly. They relate to options such as metal or styrene, open or shut, travel or firing positions, and which gun shield (or no gun shield) is used. The kit provides for barrels from either the FlaK 18, Flak 36 or FlaK 38, and turned aluminum 18 and 36/37 barrels are included as well.
Finishing options are provided for four weapons: one each in Ossenbeng, the Eastern Front, and Germany, and one from the Herman Goering Division in Sicily.
Overall this completes the "family" of short-barreled 8.8 cm weapons now available to the modeler in styrene, but this one almost begs for a searchlight or sound ranging device to be situated next to it. With suitable crew figures, this is another impressive model.
Thanks to DML for the review sample.