Tamiya 1/35 Mobelwagen Sd.Kfz.161/3 3.7cm Flak Auf Fgst.Pz.Kpfw. IV(Sf) Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||May 2005||Manufacturer||Tamiya|
|Subject||Mobelwagen Sd.Kfz.161/3 3.7cm Flak Auf Fgst.Pz.Kpfw. IV(Sf)||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35237||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$44.00|
As WWII progressed, the Wehrmacht sought a means to protect it’s valuable ground forces from the onslaught of Allied aircraft. Armored vehicles, such as tanks, were especially vulnerable, leading General Guderian to order the development of an effective defensive weapon for the Panzer divisions. Early 1943 saw the mass production of an ex-Czech Pz.Kpfw.38(t) tank chassis equipped with a single 2cm Flak 38. However, it was found to lack sufficient firepower against Allied aircraft. A proposal was then made to mount the Panzer IV base with either four 2cm Flak guns or a single 3.7cm Flak gun.
In February of 1944, the mass production of the more powerful 3.7 Flak 43 equipped vehicle was started at a rate of 20 units per month. This vehicle could accommodate a crew of six and had a fighting weight of twenty-five tons. The fierce 3.7cm Flak 43 had a maximum firing speed of 250 rounds/min, a maximum range of 6,600m, angle of depression of 6 degrees, angle of elevation of 90 degrees, eight round clips, and ammunition storage of 416 rounds.
The upper part of the vehicle was protected by four huge 10mm thick metal plates. Because of its box-like shape, the crew nicknamed it “Mobelwagen” (furniture delivery truck). The Mobelwagen was mainly deployed to the anti-aircraft platoons of the Panzer divisions on the Western Front, providing a vicious counter-attack against Allied aircraft fighters and bombers.
The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The box art is Tamiya’s usual color painting of the vehicle in the kit against a pure white background. Side panels give us 4 more color views of the Mobelwagen and one color painting of just the 3.7cm Flak 43.
The kit contains 7 sprues of light tan colored parts, the one piece bottom hull tub, the small decal sheet, a square of nylon screen, the black vinyl rubber-band type treads, some vinyl polycaps (to sandwich inside the drive sprockets) and the instruction booklet.
The instructions consist of a stapled booklet of 14 pages.
Page one of the instructions begins with a black and white photo of the finished Mobelwagen with the single crew figure (that is provided in the kit). This is followed by the history of the vehicle 4 languages (including English).
Page 2 begins with READ BEFORE ASSEMBLY instructions, a paint color listing in Tamiya brand paints, some CAUTIONS followed by the first 2 assembly steps.
Pages 3 through the top of page 13 give us the balance of a total of 30 assembly steps. The first 20 are for the vehicle and the remaining 9 are for assembly of the Flak 43 and the 30 th step just shows to mount the Flak 43 onto the chassis. A narrow insert page gives assembly and painting instructions for the lone crew figure. The back side of this narrow insert gives decaling instructions.
The bottom of page 13 and page 14 give us 4 views of a Mobelwagen in a base of Dunkelgelb (dark yellow) over-painted with wave stripes of dark green and red-brown.
This is a vehicle of an unknown division in the summer of 1944. The decal sheet only provides 2 black crosses with white outlines for the sides of the shields.
There are 2 identical letter A parts trees. These hold the idler wheels, return rollers, road wheels, bogies, drive sprockets, final transfer covers etc. (58 parts per tree) There is a choice of early or late type idler wheels.
Tree letter B holds: the nose and rear hull plates, exhaust parts, engine air intake hatch, grab handles and the side waffle-shaped ventilation grills, fender sections etc. (23 parts).
Large letter C tree is co-joined to a smaller letter G tree. Together they hold all the parts for the Flak 43. (64 parts)
Letter D tree holds an assortment of tools, spare track links, machine gun, cable ends, tow hooks etc. (54 parts)
Large letter E tree holds the fighting compartment’s drop down shields, the single crew figure, shovels and a pick and some other fighting compartment small parts (73 parts)
Letter F is the single chassis top piece.
Next is the single bottom chassis hull tub piece.
There is a large square of black nylon screen in the kit to cut up and make the shell ejection basket from for the Flak 43.
As earlier mentioned the tiny decal only provides 2 black German crosses with white outlines.
The black vinyl rubber-band type tread pieces complete the kit’s contents.
It is not said whether these tracks are glueable or the old type that needs hot riveting to join them into a loop.