Italeri 1/35 Flak 43 Anti-Aircraft Gun Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||March 2008||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Subject||Flak 43 Anti-Aircraft Gun||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||0363||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Neat subject. Highly detailed||Cons||No decals or gun crew figures|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$19.00|
The 3.7 cm anti-aircraft gun was produced with the German flak units of the Army and Luftwaffe during the second half of 1943. The Flak 43 was characterized through the extensive use of stamped metal parts, rather than cast iron, in order to accelerate production and to avoid material shortages which became a serious problem for the German war effort.
Rapid fire features made the gun a serious threat to low and medium-altitude Allied aircraft. Only a few hundred units were produced, some of which were mounted on armored carriers.
Italeri is a model company based in Italy.
The kit comes in an end-opening type box. The boxart shows a Flak 43 off it’s trailer and set up in firing position. It is set up on rocky terrain with some snow cover. It is in overall earth yellow, with 7 white kill rings on the barrel. The upper part of the scene is all black, so I assume this is supposed to be night-time. Side panels of the box give one-paragraph histories of the gun in no less than 12 languages, each labeled with a illustration of the flag of the country that the language is spoken in (including English). The kit is not recommended for children under 3, and is aimed at modelers over 10 years old.
The back of the box has full color boxart illustrations for 4 other AFV kits that Italeri markets: a Sturmtiger (kit no. 299), a SWS half-track with panzerwerfer rockets (kit no. 356), an M-8 “Greyhound” armored car (kit no. 364) and a modern M-977 Oshkosh truck (kit no. 299).
This Flak 43 kit has a copyright date of 1998.
Inside the box are 3 trees of parts in Italeri’s usual signature tan colored styrene. Also included is a piece of black vinyl screen material. There are no decals. I would have thought that Italeri might have given you those kill rings shown on the boxart, but alas…no. I have seen wartime pictures of anti-aircraft guns with silhouettes of aircraft painted on the gun shields as kill marks too. These would have been nice on a decal sheet. None of the parts trees in the kit are in a cello bag. This is a fault, that runs through most of Italeri’s kits. The trees then rub together and parts get knocked off.
The instructions complete the kit’s contents.
The instructions consist of a single sheet that accordion folds out into 10 pages of 7” x 9” format.
Page 1 has the history of the Flak 43 in 8 languages, including English.
Page 2 begins with “Attention-Useful Advice” about the kit, in 11 languages, including English. The bottom of the page has the parts tree drawings.
The top of page 3 gives a listing of 5 Model Master paint colors to use to decorate the model. One color, light tan, is used overall. The other colors are just for individual parts. The bottom of page 3, through the top of page 9, gives a total of 12 assembly steps. Each step calls out colors to paint things as you go along, that might be hard to reach with a paint brush or airbrush later. Good move Italeri. Attention should be paid to directions telling you when to arrange parts for either towing or firing position poses. The bottom of page 9 has a lonely 2-view line drawing of the Flak 43 calling out to paint it overall in Model Master light tan. Ho hum!
Careful assembly will allow the gun to elevate and traverse, if you don’t glue those contact points solid. The wheels on the trailer will rotate also.
Page 10 has “Important information concerning this kit” in 20 languages, including English.
Large letter A part tree fills the box. It holds: the 3-pointed ground plate, ammo (both live and spent rounds), elevation and traverse hand wheels, barrel cradle parts, the gun barrel, gunner’s seats and numerous other fittings (84 parts)
Long and narrow letter B parts tree holds: the gun shield, shell ejection basket framing and other small parts (22 parts)
Long and narrow letter C parts tree holds all the parts for the gun’s trailer, plus some tow cables etc. (31 parts)
The final part in the kit is the black vinyl screen piece. This is used to frame the shell ejection basket.
There are no gun crew figures provided.
This is one neat kit of a German anti-aircraft gun. It should find its way into lots of dioramas.