So feared by WW2 Allied infantry, tankers and airmen, “88" was synonymous for practically any gun bigger than a rifle shooting at them!
The FlaK 18 was the Wehrmacht’s standard mobile anti-aircraft gun. The gun carriage was a heavy center spar with side outriggers that were lowered to make a cruciform platform. Steel stakes were driven through slots in the four ends for further stability. The outriggers could quickly be raised and the main center spar ends attached to Sonderanhänger 201 steerable wheeled trailers for rapid movement. The cruciform platform center held a pedestal mount that allowed a 360-degree field of fire unlike conventional mounts. Easily deployed and reconfigured for travel, the guns could travel with the fast motorized ground forces and rapidly provide artillery, anti-aircraft and anti-tank support. Developments were the FlaK 36--the FlaK 18 with a multi-piece barrel and heavier Sonderanhänger 202 trailers. The FlaK 37 was the FlaK 36 with an improved data transmission system. Due to the size, weight and crew component of the FlaK 18/36/37, heavy duty vehicles were used to move it, most commonly paired with the Sd.Kfz.7 halftrack. Continued improvements lead to the FlaK 39, 41 and 42 (never used). This feared weapon fought to VE day.
first issued this model in the 1970's, and reissued in the late 1980's. A decade later these were re-reissued by FROG/Fuman
. Though this model is the FROG
molding, for heritage sake I consider it Bandai. Bandai’s
molds had held up well but are rumored to have been mishandled by Fuman
and subsequently scrapped.
Depending on the manufacturer, the box will be a sturdy two-piece box (Bandai
), a flimsy two-piece box (Fuman
), or a single flip-top box (FROG
original box had a red stripe with a Wehrmacht eagle on the bottom of the colorful, action oriented box art. Eventually the Swastika was deleted from the eagle, and later the boxes lost the red stripe. During the 1980's reissue, the box art was a full color four-view of the subject. FROG's
box art is an exciting battle scene but not colorful. All sprues were sealed in plastic bags.
Molded in one hundred seventy-six pieces on four sprues, the parts are crisply cast with sharp detail and virtually free of mold marks, ejector marks and sink holes. Many parts are marred with flash. There are some mold seams along edges but most of these can be eliminated with the pass of an X-acto blade. Shovel handles and other lithe parts are too thick.
The Sonderanhänger 201 trailer wheel tires are molded as one piece with the hubs. The detail of the treads and hubs are good.. The holes in the communication-cable spool reels are not molded open. Towing cables are molded on the fenders of one trailer. Chains are molded on the gun cradle. The pioneer tools are poorly designed.
Test fitting promises a tight model; three Bandai
1/48 AFV's I have recently built generally have good fit.
The FlaK 18 gun tube was 4.93 m (16.17 feet) long. Bandai’s
gun is 1 foot short.
released this model with a small sprue of some 88 rounds, and a sprue of their six figure German Artillery Crew. FROG/Fuman
replaced those with a bigger sprue of forty 8.8 cm rounds, fourteen empty casings, twelve wicker ammunition crates and six jerry cans are included, increasing the total kit parts count to two hundred forty-eight! The rounds are the wrong type. The FlaK used long straight rounds. The kit rounds are like the stepped casing Pzgr.39 / Pzgr.40 rounds of the Tiger I.
The cruciform gun carriage was engineered to attach and detach from the trailers. The outriggers can be raised and lowered. The ground stakes can be slipped into their slots.
decals and painting
Several choices for units and battery markings. Tactical symbols and gun identification letters are included. So is an imposing number of kill stripes! If you can find a Fuman
issue, be warned--their "decals" are are vinyl peel-N-stick stickers, printed on a tan background!
The easy to follow instructions only reference Humbrol paints in this FROG
Whether an original Bandai
release or a Frog/Fuman’s reissue
, this kit offers us a good quarterscale “Acht-acht” (8-8, a contraction of Acht-komma-acht Zentimeter, e.g. 8.8 cm). Gaso.line used to offer a 1/48 resin 88, but they are considered hard to find and expensive. The kits are not hard to find but the older Bandais 'red stripe'
can be expensive.
Jaguar makes an ammo set of 1/48 scale 8.8 cm rounds, casings and shipping containers.
Photos of built Bandai / FROG / Fumans: