1⁄35Building the Dragon 251/17 w Schwebelafette
Stages 15,16,17,18,19 & 20Now we can begin to assemble the Flak 38 and its pedestal mount. If assembled according to the instructions, the gun remains completely free to move, both traverse and elevation. It is an extremely fiddly model to build as per the instructions though! When building the gun itself, there are a few options to decide between. The pedestal mount itself is fairly straightforward, consisting of 6 parts. When this is out of the way, the gun is next. Construction begins with what I think is the bolt carrier which comes as a separate part, and the insertion of a magazine. As far as barrels go, there are 2 options. There is a styrene Flak 38 barrel, or a metal Kw.K.38 barrel which is slightly shorter, and which means cutting the Flak 38 barrel out to replace it, since you still need the flash suppressor from the end. I chose to use the Flak 38 barrel, but if you do choose the metal Kw.K.38 barrel, then Dragon supply a small jig to make sure you line the barrel up correctly. In the end, I managed to find a brass replacement barrel form Aber, and used this instead of the Flak 38 barrel. The reason I wasnít happy with the kit part was the flash suppressor. The styrene kit part, although hollowed out at the end, has no holes in the suppressor itself or the collar. There are several replacements available, but most donít have the suppressor holes. Of machine-turned suppressors, only one I know of has the correct holes already drilled, and thatís the superb one from Schatton, which unfortunately I couldnít find. The Aber one needs the collar to be formed around a drill bit, and then the suppressor itself to be formed into a cone. Thatís the difficult part, and Aber recognize this by supplying two in case the first one gets ruined. I used several paintbrushes, and eventually managed, although it turned out less than perfect! Underneath the gun itself are two spare magazine holders, and Dragon offer the option of replacing these with photo etch replacements. I built the gun as instructed but left the 6-sided shield off for painting. Again, Dragon offer 3 options for the shield, a styrene one, a pre-formed brass one, or one with a small cut-out that needs to be folded. I decided to use the pre-formed one. The gun looks beautiful when made, but it is extremely delicate, and will not stand up to a lot of handling. On the plus side, it can be removed from the pedestal mount for painting if part K19 is NOT cemented to part K21. The whole assembled gun and mount was left out of the vehicle for separate painting. Final assembly just involves the positioning of the rear MG42 or folded tarp, along with the antennae base, and front towing hooks if not on already.
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