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Flak 38(t) Ausf.M Late Production

DML 1/35 Flak 38(t) Ausf.M Late Production - Smart Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review January 2010 Manufacturer DML
Subject Flak 38(t) Ausf.M Late Production - Smart Kit Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6590 Primary Media 1,166 parts (763 in grey styrene, 240 “Magic Link” tracks, 154 etched brass, 8 clear styrene, 2 preformed etched brass, 1 length of twisted steel wire)
Pros Late Model basically covers improved details for 2 cm Flak 38 Cons Complex kit; “Magic Tracks” tedious to assemble; fender complaints still common
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $49.50

First Look

Roughly two years after DML released their kit No. 6469, Flakpanzer 38(t) Sd.Kfz. 140 auf (Sf) Ausf. L “Gepard”, they have released what they term an Ausf. M or Late Production version of that kit. Check as I could the only differences I found between this kit and the original were: dropping the silly “Gepard” name which the original never had; adding a sprue of parts for better detailing the 2 cm Flak 38 gun; and new decals.

As before, it is based on the Pzkw. 38(t) Ausf. G kit but with numerous modified or changed parts plus the complete sprues from the Flak 38 2 cm kit. Most of the interior parts (e.g. transmission, drive line, control compartment details, etc.) already came with the Marder III kit and the engine was added in the G kit.

The kit provides the correct drive wheels with the excellent suspension as well as different springs for the bogie assemblies. Assembly follows the earlier kit and is pretty straightforward. However, the back plate (part B40) is one piece so the access cover cannot be shown open or removed, as in performing maintenance on the engine.

As this vehicle uses totally different fenders due to the overhang of the casemate at the rear, they should avoid the “ding” over the fenders of earlier kits, but newsgroup postings show that not to be the case.

Tracks are the DML “Magic Track” links, which are identical so do not have to be “handed” as with other kits. But these are very small and very tedious to assemble, and in this case DML really should consider conversion to DS plastic single runs.

The interior is pretty much complete as near as can be seen, but the warning needs to be given that due to the small hatches it thankfully comes with new hatches over the engine compartment. Since the compartment is now amidships, this made it easier for DML to provide a better access to the compartment for viewing. This time they also note the “open” and “close” options for you, which is an improvement on the Ausf. G kit.

The casemate is “packed with vitamins” and a very, VERY busy place. Close scrutiny of the directions is needed here due to the many parts found there and the various options for opening or closing ports, panels or moving the gun in its position. The gun still offers four elevation angles and the side panels have two different sets of locking levers (open or closed).

Technical assistance is credited to Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson

The kit offers four different finishing options backed up with a small set of Cartograf decals. They include: three different 12th SS Panzer Division “Hitlerjuengen” schemes, Normandy 1944 (three color pattern - white 13; sand brown with divisional markings; three color pattern - white 12); and, Test vehicle, BMM Factory, 1944 (sand overall).

Overall this remains a nicely done if very busy kit.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • A 70 Pzkw. 38(t) wheels and suspension
  • A 89 Flak 38 - upper carriage
  • B 70 Pzkw. 38(t) Ausf. G fenders and hull components
  • B 45 Flak 38 - Sonderanhaenger 51
  • C 8 Flak 38 – elevation fittings
  • D 23 Flak 38 - improved fittings
  • D 58 Pzkw. 38(t) interior and transmission components
  • G 55 Flakpanzer 38(t) details and front hull section
  • H 43x2 Pzkw. 38(t) front glacis details and stowage bins
  • J 8 Flak 38 gun and fittings
  • K 43 Pzkw. 38(t) OVM and rivets
  • L 2 Radio antenna
  • M 72 Flakpanzer 38(t) upper works and casemate sections
  • N 5 cleaning rods and accessories
  • N 2 Radio antenna
  • P 17 Engine and accessories
  • R 14 Flak 38 alternative parts
  • S 8 clear styrene parts
  • X 1 Flakpanzer 38(t) hull
  • Y 240 Magic Track
  • MA 103 etched brass
  • MB 49 etched brass
  • MC 2 etched brass
  • MD 2 preformed etched brass
  • ‒ 1 twisted steel wire
  • GA 64 German kit: helmets, bayonets, canteens, gas masks
  • RA 9 German radios: radio and racks
  • RB 8 German radios: radio accessories
  • RD 14 German radios: radios and racks