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Rejoining this GB with this Airfix 88mm anti-tank gun. Parts. Airbrushed Humbrol 225 this morning, with some flash removed. Bought at a car boot sale, during summer 2015. I offered £10 for four Airfix kits - bargain The litter included this, a Stug, Curtiss Hawk 81-A-2 (P-40B), and an Angel Interceptor - result. Intent, as with all my German armour, is to build this as something found in Normandy - by a marauding Typhoon!
German 88mm L71 Flak 41 Amusing Hobby 1:35 History The 8.8 cm Flak 18/36/37/41 is a German 88 mm anti-aircraft and anti-tank artillery gun from World War II. It was widely used by Germany throughout the war, and was one of the most recognized German weapons of that conflict. Development of the original model led to a wide variety of guns. The name applies to a series of related guns, the first one officially called the 8.8 cm Flak 18, the improved 8.8 cm Flak 36, and later the 8.8 cm Flak 37. In addition to these Krupp designs, Rheinmetall later created a more powerful anti-aircraft gun, the 8.8 cm Flak 41, which was produced in relatively small numbers. Krupp responded with another prototype of the long-barrelled 8.8 cm gun, which was further developed into the anti-tank and tank destroyer 8.8 cm PaK 43 gun used for the Elefant and Jagdpanther, and turret-mounted 8.8 cm KwK 43 heavy tank gun of the Tiger II. As early as 1939 the Luftwaffe asked for newer weapons with an even better performance, to address the problems of defending against attack by high-flying aircraft. Rheinmetall responded with a new 88 mm design with a longer cartridge and a longer barrel. A prototype was ready in early 1941 leading to the designation 8.8 cm Flak 41. The new gun fired a 9.4-kilogram (20 lb) shell at a muzzle velocity of 1,000 m/s (3,280 ft/s), giving it an effective ceiling of 11,300 meters (37,100 ft) and a maximum of 14,700 meters (48,200 ft), which General der Flakartillerie Otto Wilhelm von Renz said to be "almost equal to the 128-mm." It featured a lower silhouette on its turntable mounting than did the 8.8-cm Flak 18/36/37 on its pedestal mounting. The barrel was at first a three-section one with a length of 74 calibres, and then redesigned to dual-section with a length of 72 calibres. Improvements in reloading raised the firing rate, with 20 to 25 rounds a minute. Because of problems in service, the guns were almost exclusively used in Germany where they could be properly maintained and serviced. The Flak 41 had the disadvantage of complexity, and was prone to problems with ammunition, empty cases often jamming on extraction. Because of the high cost and complexity of this weapon, the Germans manufactured relatively few of them, 556 in all. The first deliveries were made in March 1943 and, as of August 1944, only 157 were fielded; with 318 in January 1945. The Model The kit comes in a rather flimsy top opening box on which there is an artist’s impression of the gun in action. Inside there are five sprues of yellowish plastic and a small decal sheet. The mouldings and detail is first rate with no sign of flash or other imperfections and very few moulding pips. The instructions are really nice and clear with actual drawings of the parts rather than renders, which I know some modellers aren’t keen on. The build begins with the breech assembly, which consists of no less than nineteen parts. This assembly is then glued to the rear of the gun tube, which itself is made up from three slide moulded parts, so no seems to worry about. The two piece slide is then fitted to the underside of the gun tube before attention is given to the recoil slide section or carriage of the mounting. This is made up from fifteen parts and includes the elevation gear and numerous small parts. The recouperator tube is then fitted to its eight piece mounting which in turn is fitted over the carriage. The gun tube assembly is then slid into position on the mounting slide along with the five piece inner shield assembly. Each of the rear mounted trunnion pins are fitted to the rear of the carriage. The mounting base is then assembled from upper and lower halves, the two piece folding arms are sandwiched between these halves and can be left unglued if required. Each of the four arms are then fitted with separate ground bases, with the fixed arms also being fitted with small hooks at their tip and large hook like fittings to the fixed arms half way along. The spade like items that pin the trail arms to the ground can either be fitted to each arm or in their stowage points on the central base structure. The mounting itself is made up of two trunnions fitted within large panels. Each side is then fitted out with internal stowage and electrical boxes, while the left side is fitted with a complex array of fittings and controls for elevation and the right side fitted with two seats and all the dials and controls for ranging and azimuth. These controls are really well detailed and the instructions followed closely to get everything in the correct place and in the correct order. The only downside is that there aren’t any decals for the gauges and dials. The turntable on which the mounting is fitted is assembled from seven parts and it is this that the two trunnion mounts are glued with the gun assembly left unglued between each trunnion. The main gun shield is then built up from four main parts and twelve small fittings before they are glued into position at the front of the mounting. The completed gun/mounting is then attached to the trail assembly, completing the build. Decals The small decal sheet only has kill markings for the barrel and shield, but no indication on where these could actually be used. There are four different colour schemes on the painting guide but no indication on where these guns were used. Conclusion Normally, when you see a kit for a German 88, you think you know exactly what it is and the shape of the gun and mounting. This is something quite different though and shows a weapon that I hadn’t known of before. The shape and low silhouette makes it have a completely different look and stance to what I was used to so will look great in a collection towed weapons. I think the only things the modeller has to look out for are the fiddly parts on the gun controls systems, other than these, it looks to be a pretty straight forward build. Review sample courtesy of Available from all good model shops soon
German 88mm and 105mm Guns 1:72 Eduard Brassin The resin aftermarket parts for the big Revell 1:72 submarines seems to have been fairly monopolised by CMK but now Eduard-Brassin have started to release some. The two sets we have been sent are for the submarines main guns, the 88mm for the Type VIIc and the 105mm for early Type IXs. Both sets are contained in the standard blister packs used by Brassin, with the parts well protected by foam inserts. The guns even in this scale are quite small, but are really well detailed with plenty of small fragile parts, so take care when removing from the moulding blocks and cleaning them up. 88mm [672 034]. Unlike some sets where only the barrel of a gun is changed, this pack contains not only the barrel, but the whole mounting. The resin parts include the pedestal, mount, breech bock, barrel mounted rangefinder and optical sights, elevation quadrant, elevation and turning wheel fittings, and the prominent crew waist supports. The small etched sheet contains the elevation and traversing wheels, fittings for the rangefinder, and the waist support mountings. There is a tampion and clamp to be fitted to the muzzle, which is missing the cable that could be seen attached to the tampion and wrapped around the barrel and connected to the gun mounting. 105mm [672 053]. The 105mm is very similar to the 88mm gun, which is natural, seeing as it’s the smaller weapons big brother. The parts are very similar too, providing as it does, the barrel, breech block, sights, waist supports, pintle, rangefinder plus accessories, and the gun mount/trunnion. The etched parts are also similar with the inclusion of all the traversing and elevation wheels, waist support mountings, and tampion. Again, the wire from the tampion to the mounting is missing, but at least the length and gauge of wire required is given. As always, check your references as from June 1943 the Atlantic-boats had landed the deck gun. Only in the Mediterranean and the Northern Sea boats kept their guns for a few months longer. In July 1944 some of the VIIc boats from the 8th Flotilla in Konigsberg got their guns back for the patrols in the Baltic Sea against the Russians. A number of Captains were also allowed to re-fit the deck gun when operating in the Indian Ocean. Conclusion It’s great to this pair of deck guns being released as not only does it give modellers the chance to improve on the kit details, but also backdate the Type IX to an earlier boat when they had deck guns fitted. These are superbly moulded with some very fine detail and will look great mounted on their respective submarines. Very highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
8.8cm Pak-43 Waffenträger Self Propelled Gun 1:35 Trumpeter The Waffenträger was part of the Entwicklung series of Armoured Fighting Vehicles that were supposed to standardise the vehicles used by the German fighting forces toward the end of WWII. It was a self-propelled gun that was based on an extended Czech 38(D) chassis, and built at the Ardelt works in Eberwalde using a Krupps 88mm Pak 43. Like the rest of the Entwicklung series though, it was too late to see serious action in the closing days of the war, although one or two did actually manage to reach the battlefield if accounts are to be believed. One surving example can be found at the Kubinka museum in Russia, dressed in a rather garish camo pattern, although contemporary pictures seem to show a single dark colour. As mentioned, it was based on the almost ubiquitous 38(D) chassis that served the Germans throughout WWII in one form or another, with an armoured driving compartment at the front, while the rest of the chassis was given over to a flat base for the Pak 43 and crew. Clearly, it was not capable of carrying its operating crew, who would have had to follow it into action in another vehicle, and during battle they would be quite exposed to attack from the side as the gun shield doesn't provide much cover to fire coming from any direction other than the front. The gun shield was sharply angled though, which did provide extra effective thickness to the plate, although with a number of shells stored in a box attached to the inside of the shield, that might be moot if the shot detonated the rounds. The Kit The kit arrives in a standard Trumpeter box with a slight corrugated surface, and a nice painting of a Waffenträger in action, doing terrible things to T-34s that seem oblivious to their presence. Inside the box is an impressive array of parts, including ten sprues of sand coloured styrene, lower hull part, ten small brown sprues of track links, six sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) parts, a steel tube, a turned aluminium barrel, and a set of decals. The instruction booklet and separate colour painting guide finish off the package. When you consider that this kit retails for less than £30, that's quite a haul, and for most people, that will be sufficient for their needs. Construction starts naturally enough with the suspension units being attached to the hull, and here the pre-war heritage of the 38(D) shows through, with simple leaf-spring bogies each holding two wheels, with a total of eight road wheels in four pairs, two per side. These are a simple stamped construction and have hollow backs that mimic the real thing. The idler wheels are at the rear of the chassis and are paired to avoid slippage of the track, while the drive sprockets at the front are similarly paired and attach to a small final drive bulge. The completion of the wheels on this kit won't take long as a result, and the absence of rubber tyres due to the shortage of this strategic material during the final years of the war makes that task even easier. The tracks themselves are made up from individual links that are housed on ten small sprues that contain 23 links each. Each link has four attachment points, which will slow removal and clean-up, and there is a single recessed ejector pin mark in the inside-middle of each one. Whether you clean these up with a little putty, leave them and cover them with mud or leave them and hope no-one notices is entirely up to you, but filling and cleaning up 206 small links in total is a job for when you can safely disengage your brain. There is a rudimentary interior provided with the kit, although rudimentary is perhaps a little unkind. The basics are all there, including the driver's compartment with seat, pedals and controls, plus some details of the engine compartment that is visible from the side of the driver's position, with some levers and a representation of the engine cooling fans, which would have made the driver's seat heaven in the winter and hell in the summer. In the rear compartment under the gun deck, is stowage for the Pak-43's 88mm ammo, which is made up of three layers of four shells offset to fit within the available space. The shells are all moulded on four sprues that are a wide dog-bone shape, and contains eight full rounds, and eight spent rounds with a slide-moulded hollow neck to the cartridge casing. Each shell has a corresponding PE percussion cap that adds a little extra detail to the area, and saves you from having to fastidiously clean up one attachment point per shell. Of course each shell has one sprue gate to clean up on the side, and the obligatory seam to scrape away down each side, but the resulting shells will look good with a coat of brass paint on the cartridge end. When dealing with the upper hull, there is the option to cut off the moulded in styrene fenders and install a pair of more realistic PE fenders that are made up from quite a number of parts. This not only gives a more scale thickness to the area, but also a little more crisp detail that is difficult to represent in styrene. The angled ends of the fenders are also provided as PE, and would benefit from being soldered into place to add some strength. If you elect not to use these parts though, you can ignore this whole paragraph and leave the parts ensconced in the box for another day. The hull top drops onto the lower, and the large square hole in the top matches the crew cab, which is a separate part and drops on top, with the instrument panel and bulkhead detail inside. At the rear a large panel fills the remaining void, with two extra lift-out panels within to access the shell repository, plus a whole host of lifting and towing eyes festooning the rear, with a low crew step that would make retrieving the shells from the store easier. The access panels can be replaced by folded PE parts, which would look good if you felt like leaving them open and scratch building the rest of the internals. A thick armour plate attaches to the sloping glacis plate, and the exhaust loops round the back of the cab, exiting on the front of the starboard side. More lifting eyes attach to the front, as well as a large louvered panel for the cooling system, with a matching panel at the rear of the cab for throughput of cooling air. Running lights, jack block and more lifting eyes attach to the front, along with the huge single-part travel-lock for the long 88mm barrel. The final part is a folding bullet screen to the front of the driver's compartment, which is otherwise open to the elements come rain or shine. Building up the Pak-43 is a large part of the construction process of this kit, and care must be taken due to the choice of PE or styrene gun shield, mantlet and other parts. The first section deals with the mount, and then the breech is built up with all of the large cast and machined parts that make up the loading mechanism and breech block. The elevation rams simply slide inside eachother allowing the barrel to move freely after building (if you wish), whilst pivoting at the rear aft of the gunner's chair. A ready-ammo box is made up from a single large sheet of PE that is bent to shape, and six shells are placed inside with their PE firing caps. The next steps cover the creation of the realistic two-layer gun shield out of either PE parts, or the easier styrene alternative. Personally, I would go for the PE parts as they look more in-scale when completed, and if you aren't experienced with PE and make a hash of it, you've always got the styrene parts to back you up! The PE shroud has 30 tiny styrene spacers to add between the two layers, which I assume is to help reduce spalling from incoming small arms rounds, as the gap is too small to be of much use in the event of an RPG hit. Various styrene and PE fixtures attach inside the shroud, as well as the aforementioned ready-ammo box, although the styrene alternative shield has a lot of these moulded in. Joining of the shield with the breech is accomplished by mating all of the stand-off bars with their sockets on the shield, after which the barrel can be added. Here again you have the choice of a very nicely turned aluminium barrel with a brass tube extension piece, or a styrene barrel made from two halves, but whichever option you choose, you will need to make up the flash-hider from two halves and hide the seams well before painting. The Mantlet can either be made from styrene or PE, with the PE requiring a few bends and the addition of some small detail parts before it is complete. The Mantlet's position on the barrel is given from both side and front views in scrap diagrams underneath the construction step that deals with its fitment. The final task is to bring the two assemblies together and add one single piece to the rear of the attachment point. The painting and marking guide gives only one scheme, which is Dunkelgelb with schokoladebraun patches. The sky is the limit though, as proving that any particular scheme was or wasn't used will be tricky, unless you head straight for a more concept based camo scheme. To assist you with your deliberations and flights of fancy, a set of generic decals is included, which provides yellow and white kill bands for the barrel, plus two of each numeral in red with a white border from 0 to 9, and black balkenkreuz with white borders and the more simple white ones. A decal for the driver's instrument panel is also included to detail up the panel fitted during the build, which has a Panzer Grey background and two main instruments in white with black details and red danger warnings. The decals seem of good quality, are in register and the colour density seems good on the sheet. Paint call-outs are given in Trumpeter's usual Gunze, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol colours, which should make it possible to convert to just about any major paint brand. Conclusion If you like late war German tanks of the Entwicklung Waffe'46 genre, this is a great kit to add to your collection. Even if they are not usually to your taste the shape of the vehicle with its high angle of rake to the gun shield makes for an attractive and purposeful looking finished model, but once you see the level of detail in the box at such an attractive price point, it is quite a simple decision to make. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of