The 8.8 cm Flak gun proved to be a very versatile and potent weapon for the Germans in WWII. The Germans explored many different vehicle-weapon combinations and the subject of this kit is one of them. There were only 3 prototypes of this variant of the Pz.Kpfw IV produced by 1942. While they performed very well in field trials, no more were manufactured because tank production took priority. It was heavy for a self-propelled gun and its size would have made moving it by rail problematic. The project was cancelled by Albert Speer in January 1945.
This is a limited edition kit from Cyber-hobby and it is loaded with goodies. The large box contains almost 1000 pieces of light gray plastic, 4 small photoetch frets, aluminum barrels, metal chain and metal wire. It combines the DML Pz.kpfw IV H kit and the Flak 36/37 kit with some additional new parts that replace where the center section of the Pz.kpfw IV hull and turret would go. Your spares box will be greatly enriched from this kit, as several of the trees provide only a couple parts each with the remainder not being used on this model.
The instructions are the typical fold out type we see from DML/Dragon with the color callouts in Aqueous Hobby Color, Mr Color, and Model Master numbers. The first 11 steps build the tank portion of the kit and the following 10 steps build the gun portion with the final step being the combining of the two kits together and final touches...
Construction of the tank portion went by with virtually no problems. The parts are very well detailed and engineering and fit is overall excellent!! At several points you’re given the option between photoetch and injection molded parts and whether or not to have hatches open or closed. There is no interior detail to speak of, so I built mine with hatches closed. I was about 50/50 on the use of photoetch parts to plastic. The only problem I noted during the tank portion of the build was that there are several different types of trees sharing letters (three "A" trees, three "B" trees, four "C" trees, etc…),... so finding the parts became bothersome at one or two points. But as long as I went carefully there wasn’t much that went wrong.
Construction of the 88 gun also went with no problems at all, until time to assemble the sliding metal tubes that act as the equilibrators (parts ME4 and ME5). I managed to botch mine and as a result the gun cannot elevate at all. So use caution here. Otherwise engineering and fit is again excellent as well as detail!!! There were also fewer trees with the same letter identifier making finding the parts easier too.
The tracks are the individual link magic tracks type molded in different shades of gray for left and right identification. They assembled easily and held up well to the handling required to fit them along their runs. The instructions called out 99 per side my count was 98. Step 6 of the tank build has you use several right-hand track pieces for the spare track section mounted to the top of the forward hull. I recommend using the left-hand pieces for the other spare track section mounted to the lower front hull, use any more rights and you might fall short of what you need to do the main track run later on.
The instructions provide two paint schemes. One is a hard edged three tone camouflage. The other is a softer spotty three tone camouflage. Both are from “unidentified units in Germany, 1945”. No decals are provided at all in this kit. I painted mine closer to the hard edge look using the Life color brand over a base coat of Tamiya flat black. Weathering was a wash followed by pastels.
This was a fun build!! Fit was excellent! Detail was excellent! And I got a pile of spare parts out of it. And while the subject is an obscure, never used, footnote in the history books… It does look pretty cool!!! Thanks to Cyber-hobby (distributed by Dragon) for the review kit.
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