1/48 HobbyBoss German 12,8cm Flak 40
- Product Name : German 12.8cm FLAK 40
- Product Number : 84545
- Manufacturer : HobbyBoss
Development of the gun began in 1936, with the contract being awarded to Rheinmetall Borsig. The first prototype gun was delivered for testing in late 1937 and completed testing successfully. The gun weighed nearly 12 tonnes in its firing position, with the result that its barrel had to be removed for transport. Limited service testing showed this was impractical, so in 1938 other solutions were considered.
The eventual solution was to simplify the firing platform, based on the assumption it would always be securely bolted into concrete. The total weight of the Flakzwilling twin-gun mount system reached 26.5 tonnes, making it practically impossible to tow cross-country. In the end, this mattered little since by the time the gun entered production in 1942, it was used in primarily static, defensive applications. There were four twin mounts on the fortified anti-aircraft Zoo Tower, and they were also on other flak towers protecting Berlin, Hamburg, and Vienna. It is claimed that during the Battle of Berlin the guns on the Zoo Tower were used successfully to support ground forces, “where the heavy 128 mm shells obliterated Soviet armor, especially when hit from the side”. The rush to capture the Reichstag led to dozens of tanks being destroyed. Approximately 200 guns were mounted on railcars, providing limited mobility.
The gun fired a 27.9 kg (61.5-pound) shell at 880 m/s (2,890 ft/s) to a maximum ceiling of 14,800 m (48,556 ft). Compared with the 88 mm FlaK 18 & 36, the FlaK 40 used a powder charge four times as great.
In December 1943, Hitler decided not to introduce the FlaK 40 “During this war“.
Hobbyboss has done it again. It is the first manufacturer to bring this beast in 1/35 scale, so it is a new tool. It is not small: at a length of 353,3mm and a width of 90,4mm you will need to prepare some space on your shelf.
The kit comes in a sturdy box, typical of HobbyBoss and all the sprues comes in its own plastic bags, minimizing the risk of damage. Kudos to HobbyBoss on that one, first impression: pleasant.
Let’s see what’s inside:
The kit consists of over 362 parts on 13 sprues including hull, 5 small PE parts and 9 vinyl tires, more of that later.
The 13 sprues are made of the typical Hobbyboss plastic, which in my opinion is good quality and easy to work with. There is no sign of flash except in some very small parts which I am impressed HobbyBoss managed to produce with styrene. No ejector pins visible and the ones that exists will not be visible once the kit is completed.
Notice that some spruces are duplicated. The gun is held by a four-axel special trailer (220), so be prepare for some DeJa’Vu as you build along.
Special features are detailed wheel bogies with cable spools, tiny handwheels, knobs and positional stabilizing legs, although we don’t know for you how it would have looked in firing position.
Here I must notice one thing: the gun seems very detailed unlike the trailers which suffers from a “all round” general feeling. From the instructions, in 4 steps they are done! Perhaps the modeler could spice things up with some hydraulic hoses here and there and some war paraphernalia that I am sure followed this beast everywhere.
The tires are vinyl, yes, you love it, or you hate it. Some modelers find it difficult to weather them or to paint them (if need be) while others just like them because it gives them that little extra realistic look to the kit. I am one of the later, I have never encounter problems with vinyl and on a Wiki article I will explain a quick way to prepare the vinyl to be weathered.
- First on its class in 1/35 scale
- Very detailed
- New tool
- Looks great
- Gun is divided in two parts (there is aftermarket metal barrels already)
- Vinyl tires?
- Lack of clear instruction on how to set the gun in firing position
- No decals of any kind, not even stencils
This is a great kit which once built is going to look impressive on the shelf. Even though the painting guide tells you to paint it “prototype grey”, I believe the modeler can go into town with his one as any “what if” will be just as acceptable.