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6722, 2cm FlaK30 Smart Kit. 1/35th-scale styrene/multimedia kit containing 84 styrene parts, one photo-etched brass fret, and four pages of instructions in seven steps.
Development of the 2cm FlaK30 was undertaken by Rheinmetall-Borsig, with the gun entering service in 1935. A competent design with a built-in anti-tank capability (the 2cm KwK30 fitted to the Pz.Kpfw.II was a closely related design), it suffered from a relatively slow rate-of-fire, especially when confronting modern aircraft. It was eventually replaced by the 2cm FlaK38, which featured improved performance and ease of manufacture.
In fact, the FlaK38 has received its due with kits from Tamiya, Italeri, Tristar and DML; the FlaK30, not so much. Modelers have long expressed a desire for a state-of-the-art rendition of this early-war German FlaK gun, so that the venerable ESCI kit can be retired. DMLs Cyberhobby entity had announced that they would be releasing this kit a few months ago. This is no surprise since DML already has an Sd.Kfz.10 halftrack in their stables; the FlaK30 is a logical step towards the release of a Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.Kfz.10/4) fuer 2cm FlaK30.
The 2cm FlaK30 gun tube is a one-piece slide-molded item. It features a perforated and fluted muzzle brake, which also has a pre-drilled bore end. The textured areas that were used to grip the gun tube when it was changed are not present. The gun tube fits on to a multi part receiver group that has separate bolt, cocking lever and cradle parts. The ammunition magazine is a single styrene part and it includes a molded-on feed tray and a full 2cm round at its open end; this can be seen from the open bolt. Alternately, two more 20-round magazines are given, one of which can be inserted if using the provided etched brass feed tray. Again, each magazine has a shell depicted at its open end. These can also be used as accessories; in fact they are all that is in the box belonging to that category!
The cradle is a multi-part assembly that can be shown in the firing or traveling position; for the latter configuration there is a brace and separate retaining pin. The latter must be easily modified, according to the instructions, to depict the gun in the locked configuration.
Typical of German FlaK weapons, a variety of gunners sights were seen on these pieces of ordnance as time progressed; this is important to modelers who wish to place their replica into a specific time frame. From what I can gather from references, the gun was originally issued with the Linealvisier 21, which was a ring-and-bead apparatus. I believe this sight is what is in the box, but I stand to be corrected. Apparently by the beginning of the war, the Flakvisier 35 sight was the most common one in use (see reference 1, below), but I have found a few photos showing the kits sight configuration. There was also a mechanical computer linked to the traverse and elevation mechanisms.
Regardless, the sight assembly is an intricate multi-part assembly that features some very, very tiny parts. A slide molded core part is dressed up with 14 more styrene and one etched brass part. The latter is for the ring segment of the sight and it replaces an all-styrene option. The mechanical computer is a three-part assembly. Furthermore, there is a two-part arm that runs from the sight bracket to the trunnions; this can be set at different elevations.
This is conventionally presented with two separate side plates that held the trunnion point. Various linkages, power conduits and hand-wheels decorate each outer plate. Strangely, the turntable is molded as part of the triangular base so the gun cannot traverse; its rim gets some etched brass parts for detail. This design decision severely limits the display potential of this gun, especially if it winds up later on mounted to an Sd.Kfz.10/4. The gunners pair of foot pedals and foot rests is each made up of three pieces; they are fixed on either side of the mount. His seat is a three-part item and between his legs is a four-part hand-wheel and mount. Interestingly, both hand-wheels feature separate (and tiny!) parts to represent the turned wood handles seen on the wheels rim. This is a very nice touch, indeed.
The tripod base has separate leveling pads, with two out of the three hand-wheels associated with them being separate parts. Note that these items have two vertical handles which were used to help grip them when in use. When not in use, the parts were commonly seen folded down. The modeler can simply shave them off and use styrene rod to show them laid down. A number of separate parts are provided to detail the tripod members.
There is no Sd.Ah.51 trailer in the box.
There are only two extra 20-round ammunition magazines, both of which have dimensional issues.
Molding, Fit and Engineering.
This is, as usual for Cyberhobby, very well done. There were no sink marks at all and only two ejector pin marks will need treatment. Both are easily accessed and appear on the elevation gear quadrant. Mold seams are faint and easily cleaned. Some of the smaller parts will be especially trying for some modelers, but their inclusion will allow for a finely-detailed finished display piece.
These are in the traditional line drawing format and have not presented me with any trouble during the build of this kit.
Accuracy and Details.
It looks as if the ammo magazines are too long and there seems to be a slight issue with the 2cm gun tube, with the sleeve at the breech end being possibly too long; the overall length seems to be fine. The textured grip areas on the gun tube are also not in evidence. The gun cannot be traversed and that severely limits its use, as does the lack of an Sd.Ah.51 trailer to tow the piece. The inclusion of splinter shields would also have enhanced the value of this kit.
Painting and Markings Information.
The modeler is instructed to paint the model overall in Dunkelgrau RAL 7021, for a gun on the then non-existent Ostfront, supposedly in 1940. These guns, when not fitted with splinter shields, carried very little in the way of markings. Occasionally, a gun-in-battery letter was seen as was the legend Braun-ark. So although there is not much to build upon in the way of markings, colors are a different matter. Through June 1937, the feuersicherem Buntfarbenanstrich three-tone system of Nr.17 Erdgelb-matt, Nr.28 Grün-matt and Nr.18 Braun-matt was in effect. After July 1937, the base color was Dunkelgrau Nr.46. This was over-sprayed with Dunkelbraun Nr.45 in patches. Both schemes, along with the one suggested in the instructions, are viable for this kit, as long as the modeler takes into consideration the time period.
Although it is lacking in some aspects, Cyberhobbys latest release is certainly better than anything previously seen in this scale. Because of the decision to design a gun that cannot traverse, this kit may not be widely accepted by modelers. In addition, the lack of the Sd.Ah.51 is also a negative. In essence though, this is a nice little kit, with some fine detail. It will make a great, quick week-end project.
References consulted for this report included:
1. Leichter Zugkraftwagen 1-ton (Sd.Kfz.10) Ausf. A und B and Variants, Development and Production from 1935 to 1945; Panzer Tracts No.22-1, by T. Jentz & H. Doyle.
2. Anti-Aircraft Guns; WW2 fact Files, ARCO, by P. Chamberlain & T. Gander.
3. German 20mm FlaK in World War II; Schiffer, by W. Müller.
4. Krupp Protze and 2cm FlaK; Tamiya News No.4.
5. German Artillery at War, 1939-45, Vol.1; Concord 7059, by F. De Sisto & L. Lecocq.
6. German Artillery at War, 1939-45, Vol.2; Concord 7063, by F. De Sisto & L. Lecocq.
Note: Since May of 2005, I have been working on books for Concord Publications, a sister company to Cyberhobby. The reader may wish to take this into consideration. For my part, I will attempt to maintain an objective viewpoint when writing these reports.
DML kits are available from retail and mail order shops. For details see their web site at: www.cyber-hobby.com.