Corporal Overby's Motor Pool
Panzer IV with 8.8cm Flak
Kit # MP068
|Preview by Rob Haelterman|
In 1945, US troops
liberating Pilsen (Plzeň - Czechoslovakia) discovered two converted
Panzer IVs sporting an 8.8cm Flak 37 .
I bought two models straight from the manufacturer. Both came in a plastic bag. The bags were packaged together in a sturdy, top opening cardboard box. Only one part (a track unit) was broken, but in a way that I believe easy to repair.
3. Parts layout
Instructions are not included, which is a weak point of Cpl Overby's Motorpool's kits. Pictures can be found on the Facebook page of the manufacturer however, which might not be to the liking of people without a Facebook account themselves.
not sure if more than the two vehicles mentioned in  were converted
to carry an 8.8cm Flak, but there have been reproductions of this
vehicle, both in artwork and in plastic showing them with either the
regular roof over the driver's compartment (like this kit
in 1/35), a flattened roof (like
one shown on the Facebook page of Cpl Overby's Motorpool) or with
no roof at all (like this kit
The kit comes with an alternative gun mount. Without instructions it's not very clear what to do with it, but it seems it is provided for modelers who are convinced that the gun mount that is molded onto the hull is not correct. The plan is to remove the cast-on mount and replace it with the alternative mount as shown on the Facebook page of Cpl Overby's Motorpool.
What the configuration of the supporting plate of the gun is concerned, I believe a continuous plate (like with the kit we are reviewing here) makes sense for the crew to be able to service the gun, but the pictures of the real vehicle make me believe it was installed a bit lower, even though it can be argued that this would make life less easy for the crew.
The kit offers the choice in gun barrels between the Flak 18 and Flak 37, while references only show the Flak 37. Stephen Brezinski has written a very good article on the difference between both, but suffice to say that the smoothly tapered barrel is the Flak 18, while the fatter one is the Flak 37.
The kit provides cast hubcaps, rubber return rollers and no gun support, which would be in line with the "non Ausf. C" vehicle found at Pilsen (except for the inclusion of the roof over the driver's compartment).
6. Detail and casting quality
come as single units with the inner halves of the roadwheels, idler
and drive sprocket; their outer halves need to be added, enhancing
detail. A thin resin film needs to be removed from the inside of these
pieces. Compared to some other kits I have from this manufacturer,
the suspension has better detail: the hull sides are separate and
include some detail of the bogies. The tracks are nicely rendered,
but had deficiencies due to the molds starting to wear out. Care will
have to be taken when removing the film on the inside as this is bound
to damage some detail as well. One of my track units was broken, but
this shouldn't cause too much concern.
In general, casting quality is very good with crisp detail, although the occasional air bubble can be found. The most annoying one was found in the recuperator housing of the Flak 18, which (fortunately) we don't actually need to complete the kit, according to my references. The gun barrels are remarkably straight, by the way, and are hollowed out at the end.
The hull is a massive piece without any warping. It's a bit rough around the edges (fenders), which a short sanding session will easily solve. The right rear fender had a corner that was broken in my specimen.
7. Marking options
options or decals are provided.
 Panzerwrecks X, L. Archer, W. Auerbach, 2010
kit purchased by author, with permission of his wife.