RB Model have joined the long list of manufacturers to release a replacement metal barrel 2cm Flak 38 barrel with this set like the others able to be used with any available kit featuring the 2cm FlaK 38 which these days is quite a few.
As with all RB Model sets there are no instructions or fancy packaging, just the parts in a zip lock plastic bag and a simple B&W label which is not really a problem with this barrel as assembly is very straightforward. The RB Model website has colour assembly photos of the barrels if need be.
The set is very similar to the armorscale 2cm Flak 38 (set #B35047) barrel consisting of aluminium barrel tube and front section of the receiver with a separate brass flash suppressor and three small etched brass parts but with some improvements included with the flash suppressor detail.
Close up of flash suppressor
The flash suppressor includes three rows of six small holes with the collar section having five larger holes and one half sized hole, although there should be two half sized holes on opposite sides of the neck and not just the one. 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 barrel tube is plain without the two textured hand grip sections for changing the barrel which are seen on all 2cm Flak38 barrels and also included the front section of the gun housing/receiver. The muzzel is not drilled out but this is not really noticable with the flash suppressor in place and a small pin at the base to fit the barrel to the donor gun.
The flash suppressor and barrel length matches the data in the Panzer Tracks No.22-1 Leichter Zugkraftwagen 1t (Sd.kfz.10) Ausf.A and B and Variants which includes new accurate 1:35 plans of the 2cm Flak 30 and 2cm Flak 38 early and late types as well as the 1:35 plans in the Nuts and Bolts Vol.13 Flakpanzer IV book.
The actual measurements are the full length of the gun (housing and visible barrel including flash suppressor) of 2252.5mm which equals 64.357mm in 1:35 scale and the visible length of the barrel with flash suppressor of 995mm equalling 28.429mm (rounded to 28.5mm) in 1:35 scale. The set barrel measures out exactly 28.5mm making the length accurate with the size of the flash suppressor also matching the plans.Added the housing are two small etched fittings with the standard of etching not a refined as with other barrels but are adequate for the job as the parts are quite small, with a small indentation in the housing to locate the parts correctly.
For this review I have test fitted the barrel to the Dragon and Tristar 2cm Flak 38 guns as these are the better of the plastic 2cm Flak 38 guns available today.
Fitting the barrel to any of the applicable Dragon 2cm FlaK38 kits such as #6220, #6288, #6292, #6293, #6395 or #6469 is
quite straight forward as the kit gun is the correct proportions and all that is
needed is to cut the barrel/receiver from the Dragon gun, drill
a small 1.1mm locating hole and attach the RB Model barrel, all very easy.
To fit the barrel to the Tristar 2cm FlaK38 gun is just as simple and I have used here the gun from the latest Flak38 kit #35037 as this has the correct gun dimensions. The plastic kit barrel is separate from the receiver but you just remove the end of the receiver, drill a small 1.1mm hole for the metal barrel the same as with the Dragon gun.
This 2cm FlaK38 barrel from RB Model has the correct length barrel and flash suppressor size with the holes correctly depicted apart from only one shorter hole instead of the two but also lacks the textured hand grip sections.
The barrel has very fine details with absolutely no cleanup, easy assembly and fitting and despite the minor detail issues will add considerable detail to whatever 2cm FlaK38 kit you use it on.
See a full comparison of available FlaK38 barrels which has been updated to include this barrel set.
Muzzle Reference images
20mm FlaK in WWII
By Werner Müller
Schiffer Military History
Leichter Zugkraftwagen 1t
Panzer Tracts No.22-1
Includes accurate 1:35 plans of the 2cm Flak 30
Photo Album 4
Tamiya Plastic Model Co.
FlaK 30/38 Sfl
Wydawnictwo Militaria 172