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Mike

German 12.8cm Flak 40 (84545) 1:35

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German 12.8cm Flak 40 (84545)

1:35 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Ltd

 

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The Flak 40 suffered from a protracted development period that began in 1936, and ended with limited service as a static emplacement that was famously mounted on the flak turrets in Berlin to defend the last remnants of the Reich.  This stemmed from the overly heavy mounting that made it difficult to transport and resulted in its use in the emplacements that were mounted on concrete bases for stability.  The gun was also used as a Zwilling dual mount in the anti-aircraft role, but the reduced weight towable version lost the contest with the Krupp Pak.44 that was more mobile than the Rheinmetall Flak 40, with Hitler himself sealing its fate.

 

 

The Kit

This is a new tool from Hobby Boss of this dead(ish)-end project, and it’s pretty large and impressive.  It arrives in a standard Hobby Boss box with their usual slightly corrugated surface and tight-fitting lid.  Inside is a card divider separating the wheels and axles from the rest of the parts on their sprues.  In total there are thirteen sprues in grey styrene, nine flexible tyres and a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, plus the instruction booklet and a separate painting guide that shows off just how long this thing is when attached to its bogies.

 

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Construction begins with the pedestal, which has four pivoting legs and ground anchors that you can leave free to pivot if you don’t use any glue.  The base of the gun is next, and is a substantial assembly to support the weight of the massive gun and its heavy-weight breech, which is assembled from a large number of parts and includes rollers to assist the crew with shell insertion.  The finished barrel and breech are mated, with a small PE ring slipped over the muzzle and slid down to the step, then the assembly is slipped into the carriage and it is surrounded by the huge elevation and recoil mechanisms, which telescope inside each other like the hydraulic rams they replicate to facilitate elevation.  A Shell cradle fits on the left of the carriage, then the base of the gun is joined up and the rams are attached to the base accompanied by the aiming, crew seating and adjustment wheels over the next few pages.  Another chunk of the loading mechanism is assembled and added to the side, then the crew work platforms are fabricated from tubular plastic frames and tread-plated floor panels.  The gun is then completed by twisting the assembly into the pedestal that was made up earlier.

 

There are two large bogies to be made up, and each of these begin with the shaped chassis, across which the huge leaf spring units and wishbones fit on two axles, with tanks attached on each side of the rail under the pivot point.  Both bogies have four wheels made up from three-piece hubs and flexible black tyres, which fit neatly onto the axle, and are joined by the central “fifth wheel” pivot-point, then covered with a swooping cowl, cable bobbins and the towing arm.  They attach to the folded gun via two large lugs toward the rear of each bogie and a third pin that locates further under the gun.  The front bogie differs in that it also has a spare tyre on the cowling, which gives you a good clue as to which is the front of the finished item.  The gun is over 35cm long in travel mode, and best part of 10cm wide, with that width increasing if you decide to build it off the bogies and fold out the legs.

 

 

Markings

Not on this kit baby, and it’s gonna be grey as it was built earlier in the war as a prototype.  If you’re going to model it as a fictitious in-service piece from an alternate timeline, the world is your oyster of course.

 

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Conclusion

It’s massive, and will look great in a collection of German WWII artillery pieces, especially if you have the victorious Pak.44 for comparison.  The instructions don’t really give you much information about setting the gun up for firing, and as such I feel that you are intended to build it in transport mode, which makes me wonder how accurate the ends of the uncovered fixing lugs on the bogies would be in this instance.  You’ll need to do some checking of references if you also feel this to be the case.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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