Revell AG


www.onthewaymodels.com

3.7cm Flak 37
(Sd.Kfz. 7/2)

Kit #: 03207 Review by - Al Magnus

This review only covers the 3.7cm Flak 36/37 gun which unfortunately is not available as a separate kit from Revell.

The 3.7cm Flak 36/37 was basically an enlarged version of the 2cm Flak 30.

Before I start with my review of the kit, I'd like to talk about the 3.7cm Flak 36/37. In most references the differences between the two guns is attributed to a single change of the aiming sights - the Flak 36 used the Flakvisier 33 (some references state Flakvisier 35 or 36) while the Flak 37 used the Flakvisier 37 (some references state Flakvisier 40). My research does not support this assertion completely. While the Flak 37 did use a different sight versus that of the Flak 36, it also differed in a variety of other features.


3.7cm Flak36

3.7cm Flak37
Notes:
1. 3.7cm Flak 36 has two additional seats (white arrows) on the port side for the loaders. The 3.7cm Flak 37 has no additional seats.
2. 3.7cm Flak 36 used the Flakvisier 33 (yellow arrow). The Flak 37 has later Flakvisier 37 gun sight. The different sights also use different mounts.
3. 3.7cm Flak 36 loader's platform (red arrow) is flat while the Flak 37 has a metal ammo box at one end of the platform. The platforms for both guns fold up for transport. On the Flak 37 there is a handle on the platform that is placed over a hook mounted on the port side of the gun to hold it in place, while the Flak 36 has a chain connected to the port loader seat, which pulls the platform up when the seat is folded up against the side of the gun.
4. The 3.7cm Flak 36 has slots (blue arrow) in the barrel which are missing on the 3.7cm Flak 37.
5. Minor differences in wiring, hooks, etc. (black arrows)
6. The starboard side appears to be identical for both guns.

Based on my research, the gun in this kit a 3.7cm Flak 37.

Though both guns used the same tri-lobed carriage (refer to the Flak 36 picture above left), I have found a few photos of the 3.7cm Flak 37 mounted on the same carriage as used for the 150cm Flakscheinwerfer & Kommandogerät 36 and transported using the Sonderanhänger 104 (Sd. Ah. 104) trailer (refer to picture below and to the Flak 37 picture above right).

I haven't been able to find any documentation on whether this was an adhoc arrangement or a standardized carriage.

The kit

Inside the box is the same Sd.Kfz.7 half-track and trailer combination as found in Revell's earlier release of the Sd.Kfz.7/1 kit with the 2cm Flakvierling 38 gun. This release reuses the same sprues (A, B, D & E) and substitutes the 7/1 kit's Sprue F (parts for the 2cm Flakvierling 38 & side panels for the gun bed) for a new Sprue G containing parts for the 3.7cm Flak 37 gun and different side panels for the gun bed. Decals and instructions round out the packaging. The plastic is of a medium-hard consistency and nice to work with. Parts count for the gun is a modest 32. Detail is quite good and the parts are well molded. Seam lines are minimal. For the most part fit is excellent.

The construction sequence for the gun is found on page 9 of the manual and covers 12 steps (Steps 24-35). The instructions direct the modeller to add the barrel & cradle subassembly to the previously completed mount. This doesn't work. The trunnion pins are wider than the opening. I had to cut most of lenght from the pins to allow the barrel/cradle to squeeze into place.

At this point I also ran into an odd situation. The trunnion pins and their associated holes on the frame don't align well, and when the barrel/cradle was snapped into place the gun was skewed off center. Not sure if this was caused during construction or is a design flaw. Some trimming of the pins' width allowed me to adjust the alignment and fixed the problem.



Modifications & Detailing

  1. Added extra detail to the base (part G121).

  2. Thinned gunner's protective shield (part G143).

  3. Filled the hollow backside of the small box located on the lower rear of the right side support (part G126).

  4. The cross brace (part G128) is incorrect and should be a two-part piece. I used the flat front piece and replaced the round bar with plastic rod.

  5. Take care in aligning the equilibrators (parts G135).

  6. Part G123 is molded as a featureless box. In reality it is a spare ammo box so a line for the top needs to be engraved. I also added latches from spare etched parts found in my spares box.

  7. The kit's barrel is quite nice with a well molded flash suppressor. I would have used it except that I liked the taper on the RB Models (72B58) replacement barrel better even though it was approximately 1mm shorter in length.

  8. The instructions show the aiming wheels with handles but in my example they were missing (looks like they were short shot). I added handles using small lengths thin plastic rod.

  9. Drilled three holes in the gunner's seat. The kit has them as indistinct dimples in the plastic.

  10. Added latching handle to loader's platform and hook to left side of gun mount.

  11. Added the firing pedal to gunner's foot rest.

  12. Added the missing handle to the rear panel.

  13. Added charging handle to gun.

  14. Added braces to the underside of the platform.

  15. This attachment point to the shield replaced the kit's incorrectly molded on bar that ran widthwise across the underside of the gunner's shield.

  16. Modified this handle. The kit has it as a simple bar when it is actually a ring. The ring was made from the smallest tow cable eye that I could find in my spares box.

  17. Not sure what the purpose of this knob on the real gun is. It was fashioned from guitar wire with the knob formed from dipping the end of the wire into cyano glue and building up layers and then sanded to shape.

  18. Not shown in any of the in-progress build pix to the left is the sights. The eyepiece openings were drilled out and extra knobs added from thin slices of plastic rod (changes can be seen on the finished model).

  19. The slots on the barrel were left as is even though they should be filled for a Flak 37.

Conclusion

It's about time the 1/72 scale crowd got an accurate injected plastic 3.7cm Flak 37 gun. It looks the part and makes into a nice representation of the real thing. True, it's not perfect, but more than acceptable. All those old Hasegawa guns are now completely obsolete and only good for the trash bin. It's a pity that Revell doesn't offered the gun as a separate kit for those like me who would rather build the gun without having to also get the half-track.

References

[1] German Medium Flak in Combat, Werner Müller, Schiffer Military History, Westchester 1991 ISBN: 0-88740-351-4
[2] German 20mm Flak in World War II 1935-1945, Werner Müller, Schiffer Military History, Atglen 1995, ISBN: 0-88740-758-7
[3] Wehrmacht Support Vehicles, Robert Michulec, Concord Publications, Hong Kong 1999 ISBN: 962-361-647-3
[4] Photosniper 09: Flak auf Sd.Kfz.7 Part 1, George Parada, Mariusz Suliga, Miroslav Zelechowski, Kagero, Lublin 2001 ISBN: 83-914824-3-X
[5] German Artillery at War 1939-45 Vol.1, Frank V. De Sisto, Concord Publications, Hong Kong 2007, ISBN: 962-361-143-9
[6] German Artillery at War 1939-45 Vol.2, Frank V. De Sisto, Concord Publications, Hong Kong 2008, ISBN: 962-361-144-7
[7] axishistory.com
[8] modelbouwpakketten.nl (downloadable .pdf file of Dragon 1/35 scale kit reviews)
[9] Perth Military Modelling (comparison of 1/35 scale Flak guns in the Trumpeter and Bronco Sd.Kfz.7/2 kits)
[10] regimentals.jugem.jp (Flakvisier 37)
[11] missing-lynx.com (Flak 36/37 differences discussion)
[12] wehrmacht-awards.com (Flakvisier and gun combinations discussion)
[13] militarymodels.co.nz (Sd.Kfz. 7/2 walkaround)
[14] forum.valka.cz (in Czech)
[15] militarymodelling.com (forum post)

Review sample purchased by the author.





Remaining pages from the instructions & the decals


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Article Last Updated: 09 March 2015

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