Tamiya first released this kit of the 3.7cm Flak 37 back in 1989 (kit #35145) and this re-issue is the exact same kit without alteration including the original decal sheet but now including a set of five crew figures and a selection of personal equipment.
The kit has 88 parts in the usual Tamiya light beige plastic for the gun, another 59 parts in grey plastic for the equipment and a further 30 beige plastic parts for the figures. The standard of moulding is still good overall but some of the parts are showing their age with a bit of fine flash or larger mould seams than normally attributed to Tamiya kits. The figures being newer are cleanly moulded overall with any noticeable pin or sink marks.
The 3.7cm gun itself matches available plans in size and barrel length apart from the flash suppressor which has no detail at all on the flash suppressor cone other than being hollowed out. The only real option is to replace the barrel with any of the available 3.7cm Flak 37 metal barrels and for this exercise I have used the ABER aluminium/brass barrel (set # 35 L-12) as this has the correct sized flash suppressor with fully opened up neck and cone holes.
The main gun cradle is in two halves and you will need to remove the mould seam from the edges but other than that there is no other cleanup needed and this has additional parts added on the insides with the cradle trapping the assembled gun between them to allow full elevation. The two recuperator cylinders are in two halves each resulting in a small join seam to be eliminated with a separate piston rod fixed into the cylinders. These cylinders are not designed to operate but are fixed to the gun cradle and so don’t move when the gun is elevated, this being a sign of the kits age compared to more recent kits.
Additional details added to the cradle are the gunner’s controls with two hand wheels, three part gunner’s seat and foot rest as well as a three part a Flakvisier 40 sight. The details on Flakvisier 40 are quite basic and it also lacks the eye guard or the additional telescopic sight used for sighting ground targets. The sight has to be glued to align with the gun barrel which sort of negates the ability of the gun to elevate.
The gunner’s armoured shield is a little on the thick side with heavily bevelled edges to thin them a bit and you may want to reduce thickness of the whole shield for a better appearance.
On the left side is the ammo feed slide for two 6 round clips provided as well as the loader’s platform which can be modified by cutting the hinges to fit in the travel position if required.
The tricycle base again has details best described as basic but adequate with a separate workable travel lock and also separate round “feet” for the legs and locking levers for a fairly simply assembly.
Also included in the kit is the option to add a Type 42 stick projectile to the muzzle in place of the flash suppressor but this didn’t see a lot of use from what I can ascertain. There is a problem in fitting this as the flash suppressor cone is separate from the suppressor neck on the kit barrel and the instructions just show to replace the cone with the projectile which is incorrect. The complete flash suppressor would have been unscrewed if the projectile was used resulting in a bit of cutting required if you use this option?
The kit also gives you the Sd.Ah.52 Trailer which was the standard transport trailer for the 3.7cm Flak as well as used as a chassis for ammo trailers for the supply of additional ammunition.
The large U shaped frame is moulded in one piece including the forward triangular bracket. There is a large mould seam around the frame that will need to be eliminated with this being the only cleanup needed. The suspension springs, wheel fenders, fender storage boxes and the two rear mounting assemblies are then added to the frame.
The main wheels have the tyre and rim in one piece with a small rear insert that traps the axle stub designed to allow the wheels to rotate after fitting to the axles.
Assembly here was straightforward with good part fit not requiring any trimming or filling making for a quick and easy job.
The five crew figures included are by ICM and are all wearing the standard issue Luftwaffe blue-gray “Fliegerbluse” tunic with open neck and no breast pockets, just the two on the lower tunic flaps. The blue-gray trousers are worn with black leather boots and the steel helmet worn by all five figures is from the Tamiya equipment sprue.
The figure poses provide for the Commander with binoculars, Spotter with Em R1m rangefinder, a seated gunner and two loaders for a nice spread of crew figures.
Detail on the uniforms is subtle but quite well defined with nice fabric folds and creases as well as the various seams and collar lapels. The chest Luftwaffe Eagle as well as the collar rank patches and shoulder tabs are all nicely defined requiring just careful painting to highlight.
Each figure is broken down into five parts plus the steel helmet with the only cleanup required being the fairly prominent moulding seams on the parts, this is quite easy to deal with due the softish plastic used for the figures.
Assembly is trouble free with very good fit of the parts and just the odd small gap to deal with, the biggest issue is with the steel helmet. As this made by Tamiya and the heads by ICM the helmet appears slightly oversized from some angles, also there is a small gap between the forehead and helmet that will have to be filled. This is hidden on the figures with the rangefinder and binoculars but noticeable on the other three.
The fit of the rangefinder, binoculars and ammo clip into the hands is very good and provides a natural sit without any modifications required but if planning to use the loader figure you should not glue the two gun hand wheels until fitting the figure to ensure the wheel handle mates with the hands properly.
The equipment sprue includes a selection of personal gear such as meal tins, water bottles, gas mask canisters, bread bags, trenching tool and bedrolls with five of each. There is also an individual map case, P38 and Luger P08 holster Kar98 with ammo pouches, MP40 with ammo pouches, MG34 and MG42 with bipod and ammo pouch.
All the weapons are dimensionally accurate compared to the actual sizes and one can assume the other gear is accordingly.
These are the usual Tamiya exploded view drawings that are very clear and easy to follow but as with any instructions you should study these before any assembly to avoid any mistakes or misinterpretation.
This is a fairly workman like kit from Tamiya with the usual excellent fit of parts but shows it’s age in some of the details and minor flash compared to more recent kits.
But if just want an easy to assembly kit you can put together in a few hours for a basically sound representation of the 3.7cm Flak 37 then this will fit the bill.
The inclusion of the crew figures and additional equipment adds more value to the kit for creating a small diorama scene.
|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
|Flak Selbstfahrlafetten and Flakpanzer
Panzer Tracts No.12
|Allied & Axis
KM m 11 halftrack
Waldemar Trojca, Karlheinz Münch
|Halftrack Vehicles of the
German Army 1395-1945
Schiffer Military History
Ground Power Special Feb '08
|Ground Power Magazine
#66 - 11/1999
GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd.