The 2cm FlaK 30 and improved 38 version were Germany’s main light anti-aircraft gun during the Second World War, and complemented the heavier 3.7cm FlaK 37 and the truly awesome FlaK 18/36/37 8.8cm “Eighty-Eight.” In low-altitude assignments where volume of lead thrown at the target was more important than pinpoint accuracy (for example, glider assaults), the gun in its quad array was devastating. The army discovered early on that FlaK guns could be even more effective when used against ground targets, especially troops, so the 2cm was mounted on a variety of platforms, especially the Sd.Kfz.10 (mistakenly called the DeMag 10 after the firm that developed the prototype, Deutsche Maschinenfabrik AG
Developed by the firm of Rheinmetall
in the 1930s, the single barrel version of the 2cm was not particularly popular with the German Army. It preferred the 3.7cm because of its far heavier (8x, and therefore deadlier) projectile that traveled further, yet could be fired at a similar rate to the lighter-weight 2cm. Rheinmetall responded to the criticism by developing a quad version that had a withering practical rate of fire of 420-480 rounds per minute. The single barrel version was used both as a stand-alone battery (transported on the SdAh.51 trailer body), was mounted on a variety of vehicles, and was mounted on some light tanks and recon, including the Sd.Kfz. 232 and Panzer II.
Griffon Model has put out a suite of PE upgrades for the FlaK 38, primarily in support of Dragon’s Sd.Kfz.7/1. But no matter what version of the FlaK 38 you build, it needs ammo, and that has resulted in three separate sets:
Cartridges and empty shell casings (MA35005, reviewed by me here
Magazines (MA35001). They are also included in the barrel upgrades (reviewed by me here
Ammunition cases (L35A035).
There is also a set (MA35002) for the tank-mounted version of the 2cm KwK38). This review concerns #3, the ammunition boxes/cases.
The set is packed flat with:
Three (3) PE frets
1 50mm lengths of 0.3mm copper wire for hinges
3 50mm lengths of 0.8mm copper wire for loose shells
A small sheet of stenciling decals
The set allows building two examples each of two types of ammunition box: a common wooden one with metal handles at each end, and a less-common version with no handles (see here
for a generous selection of images showing 2cm ammo boxes). The boxes can be built open or closed, fully-loaded, partially-filled or even empty. The handles, hinges and latches are all rendered in exquisite detail. As you can see from the photos of the finished boxes, they build up into excellent renderings of the real thing. One question I have with the cases is their accuracy, since there are some serious distinctions between the second alternative in the kit and the historical examples, but I simply don't have enough reference material to decide this question.
The set cries out for a PE folding tool, and the hinges and latches aren’t for the first-time photo etched brass hobbyist. I’m impressed with the decals provided that replicate the box markings from historical examples (see website referenced above for more information). But the solution of cutting copper wire for the rounds strikes me as inferior; if I have achieved this level of accuracy in the box, why settle for inferior rounds? Better to use the set of cartridges MA35005.
There is no way that styrene can compete with photo etched brass, so for those who want the ultimate in detailing, this set allows you to recreate minute detail that can’t be captured by styrene or even resin upgrades. Given the appetite for cartridges this gun (and especially its quad version) had, ammunition certainly had to be a priority of gun crews, so adding this kind of “real world” accessory is a definite plus for the current rage for vehicles in action.