88mm L71 Flak 41 Anti-Aircraft Gun with crew

Published: January 12th, 2013     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: Tom Moon - IPMS# 43192
Scale: 1/35
Company: Bronco Models
Price: $66.50
Product / Stock #: CB35067
Product provided by: Dragon Models USA

This kit is a combination of the Bronco gun kit and the Dragon 6275 crew kit. The gun can only be presented in the firing position as the travel bogies are not present. The crew can be depicted in either anti-tank mode or anti-aircraft mode. However, the crew instructions included with the Bronco instructions only show them in the anti-tank mode. You can get Dragon 6275 instructions and build the crew in different poses, and even in the anti-aircraft mode, which is what I did.

The basic point to remember when building this kit is that there are numerous small plastic and PE parts. Care should be exercised during the build, and you may even want to delay attaching certain parts until almost the end of the build.

  • Step 1. In this step you build the trails and the base. This creates subassemblies 1 and 2.
  • Step 2. In this step you attach the side trails (subassemblies 1 & 2) to the main trails and base. When attaching the side trails, don't use any glue, as this will allow you to position them in the firing position or the travel position. You will want to hold off on adding parts A37, A8, A30, and A26 until you have finished with step 4. This will keep you from breaking these pieces off, as you will have some support for them once you have those other pieces in place.
  • Step 3. In this step you add the pressure plates and various small photo etched parts. You need to be very careful in doing this as the parts are very small and can be bent very easily.
  • Step 4. In this step you will add the lifting hooks; these are created as subassemblies 3 & 4. After this step is finished, you can add parts A30, A37, A8, and A26; you now have the support keep them from breaking off.
  • Step 5 - 6. In this step, you have to choose between firing position and transport position. Since there are no carrying trailers, I chose the firing position.
  • Step 7. In this step you build the internals that go inside the gun carriage; they are listed as subassemblies 5 & 6.
  • Step 8. In this step you build the gun floor. Make sure you leave the gear part F3 unglued so that you can adjust the height of the Flak gun in later steps to your desired position. In this step you also add subassemblies 5 and 6, that were created in step 7, to the gun floor.
  • Step 9. In this step you build the breech block. There are many parts to this, so you need to be very careful as you put these together - especially part B67, since it is so small that it's hard to tell where the sprue ends and the part begins.
  • Step 10. In this step you continue building the breech block. There are 2 parts F26 and F27 that fit under a lip, and you will have to adjust the height of those 2 parts to place it properly. Part F20 is a U-shaped rod, and the instructions don't show exactly where it fits. This part sticks out and you need to take care that you do not break it off. I left it off until very late in the build. This step also builds the barrel; you will need to take good care that you get everything lined up properly. The slide molds minimize the mold lines, but they are there and will need to be dealt with. When finished, the barrel is subassembly 7.
  • Step 11. In this step you build the gun cradle. It comes in two parts and you will need to make sure that they line up correctly when you put them together. Part F17 is another one of these miniscule small parts that you need to watch out for when you put it in, or even wait until late in the build to add it. Part B39 is a very small and delicate part and I waited until almost the very end of the build to add it.
  • Step 12. In this step you mate the gun (subassembly 7) to the gun cradle base, with a few odd pieces that go on the cradle itself. The instructions show this as just sitting on the cradle without any glue. I assume this will allow you to adjust the gun to show the desired amount of recoil.
  • Step 13. This step builds the recuperator C-mounting piece and is full of very small photo etched parts and will require a lot of careful handling after it's built. It is noted at subassembly 8.
  • Step 14 and 15. This step mounts the C-clamps (subassembly 8) that was built in step 13 to the recuperator and to the cradle and the shield that goes along with the barrel. Here you need to decide whether you want to have the barrel and the cradle in the firing position or in the recoil position.
  • Step 16. This step builds the mounting cradle to allow the barrel and its cradle to fit inside the main mount and allow the barrel to move up and down. This step also has a lot of small pieces and photo etched pieces which will cause great concern as they are easily broken off. This creates subassembly 9.
  • Step 17. This step builds subassemblies 10 and 11 that are the right and left side walls of the main frame. Part B 32 is shown on the subassemblies but not called out in the instructions.
  • Step 18. This step builds subassembly 10 and mounts subassembly 12 to the side of the left-hand side of the general cradle wall. It begins with a lot of little parts and you especially need to watch out for subassembly 12 - it has little pieces that are very small and the mounting points are very small. In fact, I left off the preformed wire piece until the end and, sure enough, one of the mounting points P31 had disappeared.
  • Step 19. This step builds part of the fusing/aiming apparatus. This is designated as subassembly 13. Again, there are very small pieces attached here and you need to be careful.
  • Step 20. This step builds subassembly 14 and requires you to bend multiple PE parts that are very small with the bends curved in multiple directions. These are then attached with only their edges mating to the plastic, so that means a very weak join and, yes, some parts did come off, but I was able to find them and affix them back before the finish.
  • Step 21. This step is almost a repeat of Step 20 as it builds a similar subassembly 14, but numbers it 15. Then subassembly 13, 14, and 15 are attached together, along with some more small parts.
  • Step 22. This step attaches the apparatus completed in step 21 to the left side wall, along with numerous PE parts.
  • Step 23. This step builds the optical sights for the gun. It is very detailed but looks great.
  • Step 24. This step builds subassembly 16. This will eventually mount on the right side wall and will have some gauges attached.
  • Step 25. This step builds up the right side wall and includes more small parts, both plastic and PE.
  • Step 26. This step builds subassembly 17. It appears to be a companion aiming piece with subassembly 16.
  • Step 27. This step mounts subassemblies 16 and 17 to the right side wall along with some connecting equipment.
  • Steps 28 & 29. These steps finish out the two side walls. It interesting that the instructions show the seats in either travel mode or firing mode, but because there are no bogies to put the gun in travel mode on, these instructions seems extraneous.
  • Step 30. This step mounts the gun between the two side walls. The two parts B71 and B72 are shown as not being glued in place. They appear to be leaf-type springs, but the placement is not clear. You will need to check any references you can come up with to see if there are any photos in that area to detail where to put these two part.
  • Step 31. This step builds the inside part of the right side outer wing splinter shield, and again, these PE parts are so small and have such small attachment points there is a large possibility that these will be knocked off during painting and handling. This creates subassembly 18. This step also creates the base for subassembly 19 which is the inside part of the inner right side splinter shield.
  • Step 32. This step completes the outside of the right side inner splinter shield with the option of the direct vision sights opening being in the open or closed position. This makes subassembly 19.
  • Step 33. This step builds the inside part of the left side outer splinter shield, and again these PE parts are so small and have such small attachment points that there is a large possibility that these will be knocked off during painting and handling. This creates subassembly 20. This step also completes the inside of the left side inner splinter shield. This makes subassembly 21.
  • Step 34 and 35. This step mounts the two splinter shields in either firing or travel mode. I note here that there is a lot of detail that will be covered up here by the splinter shield.
  • Step 36. This step mounts the completed gun to the cruciform platform. The instructions say not to glue the gun but allow it to move. My experience is that the gun is unstable and I suggest that you pick a position to aim it and glue it in place.
  • Step 37. This step starts the build of the crew and their equipment.
  • Step 38 & 39. This step just shows the two forms - firing mode or travel mode.
  • Step 40. This step builds and paints the ammo and ammo crates.
  • Step 41. This step builds and paints the crew figures. But the instructions are only half of the instructions that come with the Dragon 6275 kit. The big point here is that the sitting figure is designed for only a small foot rest that does not go between the figure's leg. The seat on the gun is mounted on a larger tubular bar and the space between the figure's legs will not allow the bar to go between them. This will require some planning on your part if you want to use this figure on this model.

Painting and Decals

The painting options are varied, but basically Dark Yellow with some camouflage. The paint guide lists Mr. Hobby, Hobby Color, Humbrol, and Tamiya.

The decals are for the ammo and ammo boxes, with just a few for the gun.

Conclusion

This kit is very detailed and will build into a stunning model. The figures were not designed for this kit, but for a general setting between 1943 and 1945. This kit is not designed for the beginner; in fact, I would not recommend it for a modeler who has no experience with photo etch parts. The photo etch parts are required for this model, as there are no plastic parts to substitute for the PE. Overall, this is a very nice model and I can recommend it to intermediate to experienced modelers who want a first-in-plastic 88mm FlaK 41.

Thanks to Dragon Models USA for the Bronco kit to review, and to IPMS USA for the review space.

References

  • German Artillery of WWII by I Hogg from Greenhill Books
  • 88mm FlaK 18/36/37/41 and PaK 43, 1936 - 45 by J. Norris & M. Fuller, Osprey New Vangard 46
  • Panzer in the Gunsights 2 by S Zaloga from Concord 7057
  • The Eighty Eight, a Visual History of German 8.8cm FlaK Guns in WWII by D. Doyle from Ampersand Publishing.
  • Crew assembly and painting guide
    Crew assembly and painting guide
  • Lower left front
    Lower left front
  • Lower left rear
    Lower left rear
  • Lower right front
    Lower right front
  • Lower right rear
    Lower right rear
  • Upper left front
    Upper left front
  • Upper left rear
    Upper left rear
  • Upper right front
    Upper right front
  • Upper right rear
    Upper right rear

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