8.8cm Flak 36 with Fire Director
The Flak 36 and other 88mm derivative guns were the cause of much dread amongst the allied forces through WWII because of their potency, and this model is the towed Flak gun with an extra trailer and Fire Director equipment, making a comprehensive package, just needing an Sd Kfz 7 prime mover and some crew to make an impressive diorama.
The kit is supplied in Revell's black end opening box, with a dramatic depiction of a rather relaxed crew fighting off a flight of P-47 Thunderbolts, totally unconcerned with the incoming cannon shells and explosions all around.
Inside the box are four very busy sprues of Revell's light grey styrene, a small decal sheet, and an instruction booklet. A simple package, but the sprues contain a lot of fine parts. Two of the sprues are identical and provide the parts for the two trailers onto which the gun is placed for transport. They also include lots of duplicate parts for the symmetrical areas of the model, and a set of pioneers tools to personalise the finished article. One of the sprues also has an extra set of runners added, by a small section of sprue that turns the plastic flow on and off, which contains the gun shield amongst other smaller parts.
The larger of the two remaining sprues holds the majority of the gun platform itself, plus an alternative gun shield, which is a little wider than the other. The modeller gets to choose which to use. Two gun barrels are also included of different designs, but both have solid ends, so would benefit from careful drilling out to add a bit of realism.
The detail in parts like the barrel support, with its elevation mechanism displaying finely moulded teeth is a treat for the eyes, but here and there, there are also occasional sink marks in thicker parts, which will demand the attention of your favourite filler. Overall however, detail is excellent given the smaller scale, and parts are moulded free of flash, with good mould register on my sample.
The final sprue contains the parts for the Fire Director and its special trailer. The fire director is a box-like structure with long arms each side containing the optics. Once targeted the data would be passed to the fire crew to aid them in laying the gun accurately. The Fire Director sits on a circular platform with a nicely rendered mesh surface, and the trailer looks like a modified Flak43 unit with knobbly tyres sourced from one of the other sprues.
The decal sheet allows you to build one of the following units:
- Flak Regiment Herman Goering (Panzer Grey with mottled Stone Grey gun shield)
- Afrika 1941 (Sand with Dark Earth splinter camo)
- Unbekannte Einheit, Russia 1942 (Panzer Grey)
- 2.Regiment General Göring Kiev 1941 (Panzer Grey)
The decal sheet, although small is nicely printed in Italy, and contains a choice of military number plates for the specific subjects, kill markings and unit badges.
Apart from the overscale armour plating on the gun shield, this kit is a little diamond, with plenty of detail, optional parts, and a good choice of color schemes. I particularly liked the sad with dark earth splinter camo - a little different from the norm.
The inclusion of the Fire Director is an excellent idea, as these are seldom seem with other kits of the same subject. Well done Revell!