Griffon Model have followed their initial release of the 2cm Flak38 barrel (set #LB35005) back in 2007 with this new set that features revised barrel and flash suppressor details to bring it up to par with other recent 2cm barrel releases.
The set has the single turned aluminium barrel with a machined brass flash suppressor plus an etched fret with barrel fittings, receiver magazine housing and two 20 round magazines.
The only cleanup required is the small attachment burs on the etched parts prior to assembly with the barrel and flash suppressor blemish free.
The aluminium barrel includes the front section of the gun receiver and small pin for attaching the barrel to the donor gun. This has the two textured barrel changing handgrips included on the barrel tube which are correctly placed according the available images of the 2cm barrels.
This barrel also includes a raised rib around the front of the gun housing which is a feature of some 2cm barrels while others don’t have this raised rib, both configurations are seen on different 2cm barrels and therefore correctly depicted.
The separate brass flash suppressor includes four larger holes and two half size holes around the collar section and three rows of six smaller holes in the suppressor cone. Images available of the actual suppressor collar show six or eight holes around the collar and three or four rows of smaller holes in the suppressor cone making the suppressor features in this set correct for the type depicted. The only minor issues with the suppressor are it appears to be slightly undersized compared to the available data as well as the suppressor cone being a little thick, but this is probably getting rather picky after seeing as many 2cm Flak38 barrels as I’ve looked at over the years.
Two very small etched brackets are added to the suppressor neck and extreme care is needed fitting these, especially part A17 which is about 0.5mm long and has to be bent to an L shape. Thankfully Griffon gives you 3 of these in case of loss which can easily happen.
The flash suppressor and barrel length matches well to the 1:35 plans in Panzer Tracks No.12 Flakpanzer and Nuts and Bolts Vol.13 Flakpanzer IV with the actual measurements being; full length of the gun (housing and visible barrel including flash suppressor) 2252.5mm which equals 64.357mm in 1:35 scale and the visible length of the barrel with flash suppressor is 995mm equalling 28.429mm (rounded to 28.5mm) in 1:35 scale.
The Griffon barrel measures out to 28.0mm making it about 0.5mm short, this is mostly due to the flash suppressor being slightly undersized when compared to the plans and photos. Normally any discrepancy under 1mm is not really worth worrying about and if using this barrel on its own would be the case here, it’s only when comparing to the other barrels available does this become more evident.
Additional detail include a small etched fitting for the top of the gun housing section and another small ‘plate’ on the underside of the plastic gun housing, this is added to whatever kit gun you are using.
As mentioned there are additional etched parts to detail up the gun receiver, the largest being the magazine mounting bracket and this requires you to carefully cut away the moulded on mounting bracket from the kit gun to ensure the sides of the receiver are level after removing the bracket.
The bracket is easily bent to shape with fine engraved bending lines where required and this can be glued to the gun receiver using cyanoacrylate, there are also three very small parts added to the bracket that require due care in handling.
Additionally there are a few small parts for the receiver to add detail missing from the DML 2cm receiver but is present on the newer Tristar 2cm receiver and you can choose to replace the moulded on detail with the etched parts or leave as is when using the barrel on the Tristar gun.
There are two different style of 20 round magazines included in the set, the early type with the five small inspection holes on one side of the magazine and the later type with a single inspection hole as well as alternate spines with and without inspection holes so check the instructions to match the appropriate sides and spine parts.
Each magazine is made up of five parts each with well defined details on the separate side sections that include the raised ribs and inspection holes with the assembly basically the same as with previous magazine sets.
The base and spines (part A1 & A2) have small side sections that need to be bent upward and it is very important to bend these as tight as possible to the width of the two spine sections to minimise any gaps after bending (Pic 1).
The two spine sections form the ends of the magazine and require subtle curves added to correspond to the curvature of the magazine sides and you will need to use the magazine sides as guides as no other indication is given (Pic 1).
The two magazine sides require a small curve added inwards at the top edge and these were added by laying the part across a small drill bit and curved around with a small rod to give a smooth bend (Pic 2).
When attaching the two embossed side faces it is very important they are glued (or soldered) perfectly square with the base to make sure the two sides line up correctly (Pic 2).
This will have a marked effect on the final appearance if the two sides are not lined up correctly at this point.
The two spine sections are then attached and it is probably best to solder these to fill in any small gaps that are present but using thick cyanoacrylate can be sanded after curing (Pic 2).
Finally the base and larger spine rib is added and again it is important this is lined up perfectly square on the base to ensure the rib sits evenly along the magazine spine (Pic 3).
The small “U” section at the top shorter magazine side is bent around to secure the join to the sides (Pic 2).
As mentioned soldering would be the preferred assembly method allowing any gaps to be filled and filed smooth easily and giving stronger joins (Pic 4-6).
The assembled magazines certainly look excellent with very well defined details but will require careful positioning and bending of the parts during assembly for best results.
The assembled magazines fit perfectly into the etched mounting brackets as you would hope which makes for easy fitting to the kit guns.
Note small gaps that can be eliminated with careful bending and filed smooth after soldering.
To fit the barrel to any of the DML 2cm Flak38 guns is very straightforward with you just cutting off the plastic housing as indicated, drill a small 1mm hole and insert the metal barrel pin, all very easy.
As mentioned you also cut off the magazine mounting bracket to be replaced with the etched assembly as well as the other smaller details.
Assembled barrel on the DML kit, note additional etched details for the magazine and mounting bracket
Fitting the barrel to the later Tristar 2cm Flak38 guns is basically the same as for the DML guns, but there is one issue when fitting the magazine to the gun.
With the DML gun there is a recess in the side of the receiver for the magazine after cutting off the mounting bracket but the side of the Tristar receiver is flat after removing the mounting bracket. This results in the magazine not sitting into the mounting bracket as far as it should but this may not be that noticeable on the assembled gun but is there.
The small spacing difference due to the lack of recess in the Tristar gun when adding the magazine
This latest 2cm Flak38 barrel for Griffon Models brings it into line with other current generation barrels by including the textured barrel hand grips as well as providing additional etched details for the flash suppressor.
The inclusion of the replacement gun receiver housing and the two 20 round magazines adds further value to the set.
The only minor issues are the slightly thickish flash suppressor cone undersized flash suppressor which sees the barrel length fractionally short, but as mentioned if the barrel is used on its own this would be hard to notice.
There is also the minor issue when fitting the magazine to the Tristar gun due the lack of recess in the gun for the magazine.
Otherwise this barrel will add considerable detail enhancements to whichever gun it is used on without too much work involved.
See a full comparison of available FlaK38 barrels. (this will be updated shortly to reflect this new barrel)
Muzzle Reference images
|Halbketten Zugkraftwagen 8t Sd.Kfz.7/1/2
AFV Super Detail Photo Vol.9
Published by Model Art Co.Ltd.
|Sd.Kfz.7 in detail
Special Museum Line No.36
Wings & Wheels Publications
|Flak Auf Sd.Kfz.7
Kagero Photosniper No.9
Waldemar Trojca, Karlheinz Münch
|Ground Power Magazine
#66 - 11/1999
GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd.
20mm FlaK in WWII
By Werner Müller
Schiffer Military History