Alliance Model Works
2cm FlaK38 (L65) barrel,
magazine and ammo box set

Alliance Model Works No. Lw3571
1:35 Scale

Review by Terry Ashley

The Set:
US company Alliance Model Works have joined the long list of manufacturers in releasing a replacement metal 2cm FlaK38 barrel for the numerious kits now available with this gun either as single mount FlaK 38 or as Flakvieling 38.

The set consists of a single turned aluminium barrel with a machined brass flash suppressor plus an etched fret with barrel fittings, receiver magazine housing, four 20 round magazines and two larger magazine storage boxes.

The ethced fret has the thin cling plastic protective coating which you peel off before use with the only cleanup required is the small attachment burs on the etched parts prior to assembly with the barrel and flash suppressor blemish free.

Metal and Etched parts
Alliance Model Works
Alliance Model Works
Alliance Model Works

The 2cm barrel is almost identical to that in the Voyager Models 2cm Flak38 barrel set (VBS0137/8) with the aluminium barrel tube that includes part of the gun housing as well as the two textured barrel changing grips on the tube with a separate brass flash suppressor cone along with the small etched securing bracket on the top of the housing section.
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 flash suppressor and barrel length matches well to the 1:35 plans in Panzer Tracks No.12-1 - Flakpanzerkampfwagen IV and other Flakpanzer projects development and production from 1942 to 1945 and Nuts and Bolts Vol.13 Flakpanzer IV & Vol.25 Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind (Sd.Kdz. 161/4), Ostwind & Kugelblitz with the actual measurements being; full length of the gun (receiver and visible barrel including flash suppressor) 2252.5mm which equals 64.357mm (rounded to 64.4mm) in 1:35 scale and the visible length of the barrel tube with flash suppressor is 995mm equalling 28.429mm (rounded to 28.5mm) in 1:35 scale.

The AMW barrel length is 28.5mm to be spot on. The flash suppressor has six small neck openings with two of these being half the length of the other four which is the actual configuration according to available references. There are also four rows of small holes in the suppressor cone which is one of the correct configurations for the cone holes and the outer edge of the suppressor cone is also quite thin for a good appearance.

Additional detail include a small etched fitting for the top of the gun housing section and the additional etched parts for the magazine mounting bracket to detail up the gun receiver, this requires you to carefully cut away the moulded on mounting bracket from the kit gun ensuring the sides of the receiver are level after removing the bracket. A quick note, the DML 2cm gun has an indentation on the side of the receiver for the magazine while the Tristar and Trumpeter guns have flush sides, this makes the fit of the magazine on the DML guns more accurate.

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 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.

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 have the side faces 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. The side faces are about .5mm shorter than the separate textured sides and this does create an issue after fitting together because you end up with a double thickness at the top of the magazine (See image below). This won't be a problem if fitting the magazine to the gun but otherwise it may be an idea to cut down the inner face before fitting the outer textured sides for a better appearance.

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. The spines should also have small inspection holes but these are not included. 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.

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. 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.

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.

The small “U” section at the top shorter magazine spine is bent around to secure the join to the sides. As mentioned soldering would be the preferred assembly method allowing any gaps to be filled and filed smooth easily and giving stronger joins.

Magazine assembly
Alliance Model Works

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 into the etched mounting brackets which are easily bent to shape but there is one issue with the rear outer bracket being too small which results in a gap when the magazine is fitted inside the bracket (see image). Adding another small section from spare etched fret cut to the correct size will fill this gap for a better appearance.

Detail image showing the assembled 2cm magazines, the flash supressor
and the embossed hand grips on the barrel tube.
Note the gap in the magazine bracket due to the rear section cover being too short.

Alliance Model Works

Fitting the barrels:
Fitting the barrel to any of the available 2cm Flak guns is quite straightforward by simply cutting off the plastic barrel, drilling a 1.5mm hole in the gun housing to take the pin on the metal barrel. There is one thing to watch during this process, the rear section of the gun housing on the AMW barrel is about 1mm shorter than it should be the same as with the Voyager barrel meaning you have to cut the DML and Tristar guns 1mm forward of the raised section on the housing and not flush with the rear of the raised section, see images below. This is required to maintain the correct overall length of the gun once the metal barrel is fitted.

On the Trumpeter gun the dimensions are all over the place, the top cover is too short and the raised section on the housing too far back and the barrel length too long. The cut has to go in front of the raised ridge to achieve the correct overall length as in the image below. It can be seen from the image the short top cover and gun housing, the barrel length and the flash suppressor way oversized resulting in the overall length being just over 1mm too long on the Trumpeter gun. Fitting the AMW barrel will solve some of the issues other than the short top cover and the raised ridge which can be shaved off if using this gun.

Alterations required to fit the AM Works barrel to the Tristar 2cm gun.
Additional image with the barrel and magazine bracket attached to the Tristar gun.

Alliance Model Works
Voyager Models

Ammo Boxes:
There are two of the larger square type magazine boxes made up of 5 parts each with the two main parts being the ammo box and the box lip both of which are bent to form the box shape with additional inner plates for the carry handles, latches and hinges.

The separate inner faces for the kid and box handles are best attached before bending the box/lid parts to shape for easier access and I soldered all the parts for a stronger join and also for easier filing of the joins should this be needed? There are small recesses for the plates to 'sit' into on the insides of the appropriate box panels and this makes for easy and precise alignment.

Two small extensions (arms) on the box and lid are bent to form the hinges and it's best to use 0.3mm wire or rod (not supplied) for the hinge pin. By bending the hinges arms around the wire will allow you to form the right diameter curve for the hinge pin. This works well for the box hinge bracket but the extensions on the lid are too short and don't join up to form a closed bracket which means you really can't make the hinges workable as they just bend out of shape and snap off in short order.

This and the fact the fine latch is in one piece so you really have to decide if you are going to assemble the box open or closed, if open you will need to cut the latch in two with part on the lid and the other part on the box.

Other than these small issues assembly of the boxes was quite straightforward and soldering allowed easy cleanup of the joins resulting in a blemish free finish. Note on the images below that I lost the small lid securing latch (something easy to do if not careful) and have used a latch from another ammo box set, it may have been better to leave this off for the purposes of the review to avoid any confusion, so please take note.

Ammo Box
Alliance Model WorksAlliance Model WorksAlliance Model Works

Dimension wise the boxes measure up very well with all dimensions being within 0.25mm of the actual scale dimensions. that's pretty much as spot on as you can get. The actual and AMW box dimensions are shown on the image above.

These 2cm Flak38 barrels from Alliance Model Works have excellent details on the barrel tube and flash suppressor including the textured barrel hand grips, the correct 4 larger and 2 smaller neck holes on the flash suppressor plus the inclusion of the replacement gun receiver housing, the 20 round magazines and ammo boxes that adds further value to the set.

The only minor issue is the rear gun housing section slightly short thereby not matching exactly with the detail on the newer DML and Tristar 2cm guns requiring a little care when cutting off the plastic kit barrel. Overall this barrel is very well done and will add considerable detail enhancements to whichever gun it is used on without too much trouble (other than the Trumpeter gun which needs more work).

The magazines are well done but the full sized inner face plates result in minor issues if not fitting to the gun receiver, the larger ammo boxes are very good dimensionally and well done overall but as mentioned the hinges can't be made workable as they come which may not be a problem if you want to fix the lip open or closed anyway.

Highly recommended overall.

See a full comparison of available FlaK38 barrels. (this will be updated shortly to reflect this new barrel)

FlaK382cm FlaK38
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
ISBN 80-86416-60-7
Flak Auf Sd.Kfz.7
Part 1

Kagero Photosniper No.9
ISBN: 83-914824-3-X
Flak at War
Trojca Publications
Waldemar Trojca, Karlheinz Münch
ISBN: 83-60041-15-6
Ground Power Magazine
#66 - 11/1999

GALILEO Publishing Co.,Ltd.
German 20mm FlaK in WWII 1395-1945
By Werner Müller
Schiffer Military History
ISBN: 0-88740-758-7

Thanks to my credit card for the review kit.

Page created June 1, 2010