Austrian model railroad giant Roco released this 88mm FlaK 36/37 model as part of their huge HO (1/87) Minitanks series. Minitanks is known for detailing, scale and precision in the model building world ever since. Roco was forced into reorganization recently and the Minitanks series is now distributed by Herpa. For this reason, I refer to the series simply as Minitanks. Herpa's website states, ”On October 1, 2007, Herpa has taken on the worldwide distribution of the military series Minitanks. In cooperation with the Modelleisenbahn GmbH (Roco), the line will be continuously advanced and extended.”
So feared by WW2 Allied infantry, tankers and airmen, “88" was synonymous for practically any gun bigger than a rifle shooting at them!
The name applies to a series of anti-aircraft guns officially called the 8,8 cm FlaK 18, 36 or 37. FlaK is a German contraction of either Fl(ugzeug)a(bwehr)-K(anone) or Fl(ug)a(bwehr)-K(anone) (hence the capital K, nowadays one word) meaning anti-aircraft gun, the original purpose of the eighty-eight. In informal German use, the guns were universally known as the Acht-acht (8-8), a contraction of Acht-komma-acht Zentimeter ("German" 8.8 cm). Success as an improvised anti-tank gun led to a separate line of guns for anti-tank use, the Panzerabwehr-Kanone (PaK) 88 (German: "anti-tank gun") and as the main armament for tanks such as the Tiger I, the 8.8 cm KwK 36. The introduction of the FlaK 41/43 led to a similar series of anti-tank conversions with even higher performance, under the name 8.8 cm KwK 43. These later models were capable of penetrating the frontal armor of any tank of the period at ranges over 1000 m.*
Packaged in the traditional orange and blue Minitanks card and blister pack (Herpa packaging is a card backed ochre box with clear window), the Minitanks FlaK 36/37 is preassembled except for fifteen detail pieces. Minitanks were originally injection molded, multi-piece, preassembled models. Many have extra pieces for different variants. Most have moving parts where appropriate. No exception, the Minitanks FlaK 36/37 is in three parts. These are the two Sonderanhaenger (or Sd.Anh) 202 trailers, and the gun on cruciform gun carriage, with shield..
The extra parts are four ground stakes for stabilizing the cruciform gun carriage, four large bars that go onto the two trailers, a pair of gun layer seats and hand wheels, a gun travel crutch, a brakeman’s seat and a tow bar.
The carriage can be detached from the trailers; its outriggers lower. Through the carriage and into the ground the stakes can be inserted.
The molding is good, but not as good as other Minitanks released over the past decade. Injection marks blemish the barrel, breach, and cradle. A slight ridge of flash runs the length of the buffer, barrel and recuperation. The muzzle needs to be hollowed out.
Unfortunately, a Minitanks model does not include ammunition nor crews. These are sold separately.
Minitanks are made in the dominate model railroad scale of HO (1/87). While the level of detail is not equal to a modern 1/72 (or larger) 88, the level of detail is pleasing. A few minutes of work can greatly enhance the level of detail.
Highs: High quality HO scale WW2 FlaK gun. Positionable parts.Lows: Mold marks, some flash, simplified detail.Verdict: This kit will make an impressive addition to any HO WW2 collection.
About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR) FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES
I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art.
My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling!
My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...