by: Kevin Brant [ ]
The 2cm Flak 38, built by Rheinmetall, was an improved version of the Flak 30. The Flak 38 was introduced in 1939, and built until the end of World War 2. Production counts were by barrel, with more than 144,000 built. The gun was built primarily as an anti-aircraft gun, but was used against ground targets as well. The Flak 38 had a firing rate of 220 rounds per minute using 20 round magazines.
Opening the kit the first thing I noticed is how well some of the items are packed and protected, specifically the PE parts. In the box, there are six sprues of typical Dragon grey plastic, two frets of PE, as well as some lose pre-formed PE parts, and a small sheet of decals.
Reviewing the sprues, all parts look to be very well molded, with very little to no flash. Some parts are very finely molded, including the slide molding used on the barrel to produce a hollow flash suppressor making the plastic barrel look great. There are some ejector marks, although based on the location of these most look like they will not be seen after building.
I am impressed with the crispness of the molding, including the fine pieces. Care will be needed to cut some of the fine parts off, a good razor saw will help here. Looking at the trailer, the fenders are molded thinner then I have seen on a lot of kits, very impressive. Surface detail is well molded and presented, to include treading on tires.
The PE parts look to compliment the model to enhance detail. Some highlights include the gun shield being pre-bent and the shell casing catch basket pre-shaped. For those afraid of PE, most parts have plastic parts that can be used instead, but the thinness of the PE will greatly improve the model.
The single small sheet of decals include barrel ring marks, shield kill marks, and some fine labels. The decals look to be in register and are crisp.
The instructions involve 11 steps across an 8 page sheet, including paint schemes, and seem well laid out and clear. The instructions include options for use of the PE shields and two different sighting mechanisms. There is no explanations for the sight options, so the builder will have to research the correct version for their respective build. Also included are the use of optional parts for the desired elevation of the barrel at 0, 20, 40, and 60 degrees. Paint call outs are included, using Aqueous, Mr. Color, and Model Master. The paint/marking schemes include two unidentified units, one in basic Dark Yellow, and the other in a Dark Yellow with Red Brown camouflage.
Step 1 - Unidentified accessory (if somebody knows what these are, please let me know)
Steps 2 & 3 - Ammunition and Barrel cases
Step 4 - Gun mount platform
Steps 5 & 6 - Trailer
Step 7 - Gun
Step 8 - Gun elevation mount
Steps 9 & 10 - Mating Gun, elevation mounts to base, show elevation options and associated parts for each
Step 11 - Mating gun to trailer.
Overall this looks to be a great kit, well engineered and presented. Great molding and the use of PE will create a great looking model of the 2cm Flak 38. One disappointment for me was the art work on the box showing the great poses of the soldiers, but there are no figures included in the kit.