88mm L71 Flak 41 Anti-Aircraft Gun with Sd.Ah.202 Trailer

Published: December 20th, 2012     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: Rod Lees - IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/35
Company: Bronco Models
Price: $70.00
Product / Stock #: CB35114
Product provided by: Dragon Models USA

Thanks go to Bronco models and Dragon Models USA for providing IPMS USA this magnificent kit! We appreciate your generosity!

Bronco's Flak 88 kit incorporates elements of the actual "new" model (the cannon and lower frame) with additional parts from Dragon's original Flak 88 kit in the form of the wheeled carriage assemblies that facilitate movement of the weapon between firing locations. This is a complex but relatively simple build; it only requires perseverance to complete, due mostly to the detail and care incorporated in the engineering of the kit.

Bronco provides an excellent short history of the Flak 88 (8.8 centimeter bore, hence the "88" abbreviation) in their instructions; for once, I actually read them (as I tend to have a lot more knowledge of the aviation subjects I normally construct) and learned the '88 was originally designed in 1918! That means the basic concept did not enter combat until 22 years later in 1940, such was the sound design principal of the original weapon. And if you know anything of WWII history, the '88 had a well-deserved reputation as an accurate, effective gun throughout the war, both as a tank-employed and anti-aircraft weapon.

Before I began parts removal from the trees, I did what I usually do with armor - spray all the parts in their basic color. In this case, it was Testors spray #1955, Afrika Mustard, FS 30266. One can did the job; I find I can touch up later, and it avoids a situation where assembled parts prevent paint from getting where it needs to be. You CAN see those bare spots!

Assembly starts with the lower cannon frame mount assembly. This is made up of individual panels which are cemented together to make the actual square frames. Up front - for this kit, be prepared to use your sanding sticks on a regular basis; the plastic feed runners (sprue) attachment points are on, for the most part, mating surfaces. If you are careful in parts removal and cleanup, and application of liquid cement (highly recommended), the result will be a final assembly requiring no putty. That was my experience throughout this build; exceptional parts fit and molding tolerances with outstanding final results.

Incorporated in the lower frame are hydraulic tubing, bracing, hinge and pins, and stabilization pads. Also included are separate ground spikes used to prevent the weapon from sliding around on the ground during firing; these were an effective solution verses incorporating a large, heavy recoil spade to hold the weapon in place.

Next in the build sequence is the actual cannon itself. The level of detail is astounding; the barrel is slide molded and only requires careful alignment and application of cement to provide a solid, straight item. NO FILLING A SEAM ALONG THE LENGTH OF THE BARREL!!! The breech assembly incorporates all elements, including rollers and gears for the breech block. The cannon barrel itself slides on the recoil carriage assembly; I had a bit of difficulty getting the slide bracket to lock the barrel in place, but if you desire a weapon in either travel position, full recoil, or "ready to fire", elevated or horizontal, you have the option.

Throughout the build, brass brackets and details are incorporated; In many cases I was unsuccessful in using them, so some detail is not there...and you can't tell unless you worked on these things! In truth, this kit has detail enough for contest-caliber completion out of the box. Elevation, azimuth adjustment, and tracking wheels are all here; target sights, fuse setting racks, seats with separate adjustment pins (!)...and once again, the detail level is unreal.

The splinter shield took some care to align; this is where some of those small brackets just didn't quite make it to the model. I did what I could; the instructions were a little vague at this point on the assembly of the sliding viewing door, but it was eventually sorted out. In the end, this finished the cannon build. On to the limber carriages!

These took me a couple of evenings to complete. Once again, small delicate parts and cleaning up the mold injection points took more time than parts assembly. The brake levers and the steering arms took a bit of fudging to get into their pins, but eventually "I win" here. The wheels have separate rims on the inside surfaces; I had painted the tires black, and had some liquid cement issues with installation, but it was done in the end. Tires have EXCELLENT tread with no mold markings.

Included in the kit are six full-up 8.8cm rounds, shipping containers and tubes, and a separate sight assembly with carrying case. Diorama stuff! A basic decal sheet is included; elevation and tracking dials, kill markings for one of the marking options, and shipping details for application to the boxes, shipping containers, and the ammunition as well. The decals performed to perfection on a gloss surface; no silvering, and certainly no curling back on themselves.

You can paint the finished kit in three different schemes; one has an unpainted barrel (with the exception of the muzzle) in basic Afrika Mustard, one in Mustard with a different, greenish-tan camo, and the final in overall Afrika Mustard with green random-sprayed camo. That's the one in which I chose to finish the kit.

All in all, a great build; took me two weeks, but I got my annual armor fix and it looks great. Thanks again to Bronco and Dragon for the review kit and IPMS-USA for the review opportunity.

  • Decals and PE
    Decals and PE
  • Completed kit
    Completed kit
  • Completed gun 1
    Completed gun 1
  • Completed gun 2
    Completed gun 2
  • Completed gun 3
    Completed gun 3
  • Completed gun 4
    Completed gun 4
  • Completed trailer 1
    Completed trailer 1
  • Completed trailer 2
    Completed trailer 2
  • Completed trailer 3
    Completed trailer 3

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