The Flak 18/36/37 was a German 88mm antiaircraft, antitank and indirect artillery gun first developed in 1930. It was widely used by Germany throughout WWII. Total production was over twenty thousand. The gun is well known and well documented and numerous articles have been written about it by more knowledgeable people. I won’t go into the history anymore and instead focus on the build.
The base kit is the venerable Tamiya 88mm Gun Flak 36/37 number 35017 first released in 1972. For a 50+ year old kit, it’s not bad for a beginner or someone not concerned about accuracy, but it’s been eclipsed by the superior Dragon kits. I remember building one back in the mid-80s.
I picked this one up for $5 at a swap meet to use as a donor kit for an eventual scratch build but I needed something different to cleanse the pallet (compared to tanks and sci-fi) so I grabbed this out of the stash. Because I saved a bundle (on my car insurance) on the initial kit, I opted for the Eduard PE set, released in 2001.
I really should have stuck with the original plan of using this as a donor kit. There was nothing enjoyable about this build. It was plagued with ejector pin marks, flash, sink marks on a lot of parts, and mold seams everywhere. The Eduard PE set, while extensive, added questionable detail and did not greatly improve accuracy. I’m sure back in 1972 and 2001, these were the peak of modelling but now they were frustrating, yet I marched on.
I sorta followed the instructions but kept having to skip steps while I waited for epoxy putty or Mr Surfacer to cure in the pin and sink marks. I omitted the gun shield and cable spools based on a ref photo. The tiny chains for the folding arms were added since I intend to show this in the travel configuration. Many parts are still loose for primer and paint. The gun travel lock still needs to be addressed as it lacks several prominent details.
I have paired this with the Hobby Boss Voroshilovets artillery tractor as a war trophy. The tractor kit was a straightforward build. I added a few small details with brass wire and extra PE sprue.A few bits an bobs are absent on the Flak for the time until I can get another coat of primer.