by: UncaBret [ ]
historyOriginally developed as a light anti-aircraft weapon for the Kriegs marine, the German army also adopted the 20mm cannon for use on land and was widely-used throughout WWII. To compensate for the cannons low rate of fire, 4 of these cannons were mounted together to create the Flakvierling 38. The mount featured collapsible seats, ammo cartridge racks, a three-legged base, and could be rotated via hand wheels, with the guns themselves fired via two foot pedals,each of which controlled a pair of diametrically opposed cannons. In basic form, the Flakvierling38 was loaded onto a 2-wheeled mount for towing to deployment points, but it was also fitted onto halftracks, tank chassis, ships, barges, and trains to provide close-range air defense against Allied fighter-bombers.
The kit consists of three sprues in light tan plastic, with parts for the gun, trailer, four crew figures,and an assortment of boxes and magazines. There are also four poly caps, two are used when attaching the guns to the mount. The castings are clean with good detail for the scale. Flash is non-existent, and mold lines are easily cleaned up with a sharp knife or small file. There are some pin marks, most notably on the backside of the gun shields, but most are easily filled or unseen after completion. Unfortunately, the figures are completely devoid of personal equipment. Gas mask cases, canteens, etc. were pretty standard for most German soldiers, I do believe, and inclusion of such would have been nice. There are no decals.
Not surprisingly, the kit goes together with little problem. Typical of Tamiya, the fit is very good and the instructions are clear and easy to follow. There are a few small pieces that can be a bit of a challenge if (like me) you don't have the eyes and hands of a brain surgeon. The kit can be built in either traveling or firing configuration. Or, I suppose, somewhere in between. The figures are in action poses for the firing position.
conclusion This kit is nice little weekend build kit, with many possibilities for diorama settings.