Trumpeter 1/35 2cm Flakvierling 38 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||February 2010||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||2cm Flakvierling 38||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||2309||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nicely detailed kit!||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$26.95|
The FlaK 30 was a 20mm gun adapted for Army use from the C/30 naval 20mm gun that could fire 120 rounds per minute. The Army was not impressed with the relatively low rate of fire of the FlaK 30 and Rheinmetall responded with the FlaK 38 which could sustain a 220 round rate of fire. This variant was adopted into Wehrmacht service in 1939, the these improvements were likewise flowed into the updated C/38 naval gun.
Despite its improved rate of fire, 20mm anti-aircraft guns lacked the range/reach of larger caliber weapons and even at 220 rounds per minute, it still had a low probability of kill against the increasingly higher performance enemy aircraft it would face. To address this concern, Rheinmetall developed an innovative gun mount that could aim and fire four coaxial FlaK 38 guns and was designated as the Flakvierling 38.
This gun mount could be transported as a trailer behind most utility vehicles and many were mounted to the flat beds of a variety of platforms to create a self-propelled gun mount using the Sd.Kfz.7/1 half-track, Opel Blitz, and Sd.Kfz.251 chassis. Some were mounted onto tanks in place of their normal turrets, others still were mounted to flat cars for protection of the freight and troop trains.
Here is Trumpeter's 1/35 scale Flakvierling kit and I must say I'm pleasantly impressed. The subject has been produced before by Tamiya and others, so I was wondering how Trumpeter would improve upon this subject. Let's take a look:
The kit is molded in standard light gray styrene and presented on four parts trees plus three frets of photo-etched parts. The detailing is crisp and nicely done. The kit is broken down into three major subassemblies: gun mount, gun platform, and trailer.
The mount is designed to allow the guns to elevate as well as rotate on the platform. One of the more important distinctions between this kit and its predecessors is the gun - each of the 20mm guns have hollow-cast flash suppressors so you won't have to struggle with hollowing these out or replacing them with photo-etched cones.
Another important (and impressive) distinction with this kit is the nice array of photo-etched parts. These include the gun shield and ammo racks. The kit provides numerous styrene ammo clips to load into those racks and you can't get such fine looking racks out of styrene (though the technology seems to be getting closer).
The instructions have you assemble the gun shields in the stowed position, so you'll want to check your references to adapt the kit to render the gun in firing configuration.
A small sheet of decals are provided for generic kill markings that are common to three different FlaK gun kit releases.
This is another nice offering from Trumpeter and this provides a nice high-tech alternative for the FlaK 38 and this one will look good on a flat car with my armored train!
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!