Monday, 23 January 2017

Zvezda 1/72 20mm Flak38 AA Gun

Moving along quickly (for me), I'm now beginning the next kit for my Finnish anti-aircraft contingent. The Finns had a number of German 2cm Flugabwehrkanone (Flak) 38 light anti-aircraft guns, which they designated the '20 ItK/38 BSW'. The Rapid Fire war game rules specify that my Finnish HQ Company should be equipped with one of these guns, so I looked around for a suitable model.

Finnish 20 ItK/38 in action. Photo taken in Karvala September of 1941.
(SA-kuva photo archive, photo number 53274). 
Luckily for me, Zvezda do a lovely little simplified Flak 38 model (with crew) specially designed to suit wargaming purposes. And a very nice bonus was that this little kit only cost me £2.50 plus postage!

Now, unlike my Bofors AA gun kit, the Zvezda Flak 38 comes with a crew I can use unmodified. The figures included - in German infantry uniform - would pass very well for Finns once an appropriate paint job was applied. Phew, less work.

What's in the (little) box?
There are only two small sprues to this kit, with just 19 parts to this kit (including the two multipart figures)!

Aside from the plastic parts, there is also the usual paper instructions (a small two sided A5 sheet) and Zvezda's 'Art of Tactic' wargame card (which looks a bit complicated compared to 'Bolt Action', but I've not played AoT).

Like the Bofors kit I'm already working on, this Zvezda kit is made from a slightly softer plastic than the usual plastic injection kits.

Mobile Configuration Version?
Because I am building this model using war game rules as a guide, I have to include a second version of this unit in its mobile mode. Part of the real Flak 38's strengths was its manoeuvrability, with a special two-wheeled carriage designed to carry the gun to its position at which point the gun could be removed from its trolly and deployed on the ground.

A German Flak 38 in its mobile configuration (from which it could still be used).
Seine-et-Oise, France, August 1944. Source: Wikipedia
Now, the Zvezda kit does not come with the wheeled carriage, but, purely by chance, I had already solved this problem as I have a mobile Flak 38 which I got as part of a die-cast vehicle set...

My Deagostini Steyr 1500A/01 truck & 20mm Flak 38 combo. An eBay cheapy!
So, I just have to repaint the Deagostini model to match my Zvezda kit and Bob's your Uncle, static and mobile versions of the Flak 38. Albeit a little chunkier than the finely moulded Zvezda version.

Painting the Finnish Flak 38
For once, there isn't my usual puzzling over what the exact paint scheme of a piece of Finnish equipment was. I had already been informed in a post on the Axis History Forum that the Finn's guns were repainted in their Moss Green, but I also found a very nice colour photo of the gun over on the Jaegar Platoon site confirming that this was the case.


This looks like it should be a very quick project with no hassle at all. :)

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