Trumpeter 1/35 8.8cm Flak 18 Selbstfahrlafette Kit First Look
|Date of Review||July 2012||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||8.8cm Flak 18 Selbstfahrlafette||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||1585||Primary Media||Styrene, PE|
|Pros||Nice exterior detailing, distinctive subject||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$89.95|
One of the more fearsome weapons fielded by the German Army in World War 2 was the 88mm Flak gun. The weapon was originally designed for anti-aircraft defense, but the high muzzle velocity coupled with the right projectile made this weapon highly effective as an anti-tank system. While many units towed their 88's into the field, the system took time to set up and even more time to tear down for transport again.
In 1939, the German Army ordered a special self-propelled version of the 88mm weapon system that could be moved around the battlefield and fired with minimal delays. This initial capability was based upon the then-current Flak 18 mounted onto a platform of an Sd.Kfz.8 12-ton halftrack. The normally open cab of the halftrack was enclosed in an armored shield to protect the driver though this enclosure also partially limited the traverse of gun. These weapon systems were used in 1939 and 1940 in the Polish and French blitzes before experience led to improved versions of this mobile gun system.
In true Trumpeter fashion, here is another variant of the Sd.Kfz.8 family of half-tracks with this Flak 18 gun mount. We've seen a few other variants including the DB10 Gepanzerte but we'll be seeing the basic Sd.Kfz.8 12-ton half-track coming in October 2012. In the meantime, this kit provides a preview of things to come.
Molded in desert tan styrene, this kit is presented on 14 parts trees plus 10 trees molded in rust-colored styrene, two frets of photo-etched details, and one turned aluminum 8.8cm gun barrel.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Super-detailed Maybach engine
- Detailed chasis and drive train
- Detailed winch
- Detailed suspension
- Individual track links
- Armored hood can be made removable to reveal engine
- Detailed Flak 18 can be made to elevate and traverse
The kit nicely replicates the early war designs that were fielded before combat experience led to stowage, armored shields, ventilation, and other factors that were more common in late-war armored vehicles.
Despite the use of desert tan parts, this kit represents a very early-war machine when German combat vehicles were produced in a variety of colors (as long as they were all Panzer Gray). Markings are provided for a German Army vehicle bearing the license plate number of WH-24102 and otherwise generic markings.
This is another nice preview of the generic Sd.Kfz.8 half-track coming in our future and the first to be produced in this scale in styrene. This kit is quite distinctive with that huge Flak gun on the truck platform and the detailing of the truck and gun will be evident with some good painting, shading, and weathering techniques.
My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!