Necessity is of course, the mother of invention. And no genre provides more necessity than war. With allied air power controlling the skies, and conventional FlaK vehicles in short supply, an alternative was needed. Masterpiece Models has released a kit that represents one such alternative.
A “FlaK sled” was constructed using readily available materials, such as wooden planks from damaged buildings. The sled was designed to hold the very common 2cm FlaK 38, and was carried on a standard cargo truck such as the Opel Blitz.
The kit instructions have two pictures of an actual sled. One shows two guys removing a sled from the bed of a truck. What seems odd to me is the rollers are coming off first. The kit pictures show them toward the front of the bed, which makes sense to me. A few men could lift the sled slightly, and roll it off. Otherwise, what use are the rollers?
I purchased this kit some time ago when Masterpiece Models had it on sale. I joined the “Targets Shoot Back” campaign, and decided to use this and other kits I already had as my entry. Comments on the campaign forum led me to write a review of the sled kit.
The kit consists of:
a resin sled
several resin 4x4s to hold it in position
2 pieces of wire for the handles
2 lengths of plastic strip to fabricate the cross supports
2 resin rollers
A two-page instruction sheet with color photos of the completed kit, plus black and white wartime photos
As my photos show, this builds into a nice little model. However, I had my own moments of necessity as I built it.
I found the supplied wire and plastic strip unusable. The wire was way too heavy a gauge to be bent into the handles, and wasn’t enough to do all four handles anyway. So I used a much smaller wire I had on hand. I tried to soften the plastic strip to twist it, but without much luck. It would soften, then go limp, and finally become stiff before I could bend it (if only my love life worked that way). To replace these, I cut the edge off of a large photo etch sheet I had around my work bench. This proved easy to twist and bend as needed.
The resin sled and side boards have nice grain detail, and bolt heads on their upper surface. However, there is little or no detail on the sides. I thought the point of resin casting was to allow details on sides and such?
As I said above, this builds into a nice, interesting model. However, the need to replace supplied bits, and the lack of detail in some areas is disappointing. One puzzling thing is the cost: an online vendor has it listed at $40, while MM has it listed at $20. If you want to build a model that includes such a sled, I would suggest you scratch-build it. This could easily be done in a couple of hours using readily available model railroad “lumber.”
Highs: An interesting subject that builds into a nice model.Lows: Lack of detail on some parts. Supplied wire and plastic strip not usable. Verdict: You would be better-served scratch building this from scale lumber.