Hobby Boss 1/35 Flakpanzer V Ausf.A Kit First Look
|Date of Review||November 2022||Manufacturer||Hobby Boss|
|Subject||Flakpanzer V Ausf.A||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||84535||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nice kit||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$106.99|
As allied airpower was brought to bear on German ground forces in the north, central, and southern theaters, and the lack of sufficient fighter forces available in the Luftwaffe to counter them, German planners mounted anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) onto a wide variety of platforms, from obsolete tank chasses to halftracks. As the Luftwaffe continued to be stretched too thin, German planners began converting production chasses with AAA guns of a variety of calibers (2,0cm to 8,8cm) in order to protect the ground forces. In keeping with arming current production chasses with AAA guns, Rheinmetall began working with a new turret design that would mount atop the Panther (Panzer V) series of tanks. As this design work started in 1943, the 2,0cm guns were deemed insufficient for the task and a pair of 3,7cm guns were planned to be mounted to the turret. Daimler Benz also entered the competition for this new Flakpanzer design, and a wooden turret mock-up was created in May 1944. Despite the advantages of a fully enclosed turret firing its guns at allied fighters, the Allied landings in Normandy and the allied bombing campaigns limited the availability of the Panther chassis. While the two companies continued through early 1945, all work was stopped because the 3,7cm guns were also deemed to be inadequate to the task.
Here's a nice kit from HobbyBoss that represents the notional Flakpanzer V turret mounted to a Panther Ausf.A chassis. The kit designers added some logical details to their kit as the wooden mock-ups didn't have such details yet. The kit is molded in tan styrene and presented on 13 parts trees plus 19 trees of individual track links and one fret of photo-etched details. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Torsion bar suspension
- Detailed road wheels
- 88 track links required on each side (links consist of three parts each)
- Pioneering tools are mounted to rear hull as was common on other Panther variants
- Hatches are molded separately but are built closed as there is no interior detailing available
- Optional armored side skirts are provided
- Guns are can be moved in azimuth and elevation
The painting and markings guide provide one example in early overall panzer gray colors and no markings.
If you're modeling late WWII firepower, especially some of the paper projects that sometimes made it to the mock-up stages, this kit is for you. You'll want to add your own two or three-color camouflage scheme and notional markings to bring this model into the potential real-world, but overall, you'll find this kit an enjoyable build. You can even replace the two 3,7cm guns with the proposed 5,5cm armament that didn't go anywhere late in the war.
My sincere thanks to Model Rectifier Corporation for this review sample!