by: Peter Ganchev [ ]
The actual prototype of the vehicle is the Horch 108. Its chassis served as the basis of numerous vehicles, ranging from the represented infantry transport and up to the Sd.Kfz. 221/222/223/260/261 family.
The initial version – the Typ 1a – was produced between 1938 and 1941 by Horch and Ford. It featured 4 wheel drive, 4 steerable wheels and a 3,5l V8 75 hp engine, allowing it to tow an anti-tank gun.
The Typ 40 with 3,8l V8 90hp engine took over in 1941 and was built until 1943. The various Horch 108-based vehicles saw service on all fronts throughout the WW II, and despite being underpowered proved a valuable asset to the Wehrmacht.
I doubt that there’s a reader that’s not familiar with the second part of this offering. The 20mm ack-ack has served everywhere a German soldier or sailor has set foot – from the Gebirgsjager version to the naval “C/38” mount that equipped surface vessels and U-boats of the Kriegsmarine alike.
This Dragon combo set is not the first time either the Horch or the 20mm FLAK 38 have been released in 1/72. The “tractor” has previously been kitted by MAC Distribution of the Czech Republic, and the 20 mm AA has seen numerous attempts. Armo, MAC Distribution, ESCI, ACE and most recently Zvezda (and probably many more) have all offered this important 20mm AA gun.
The kit contains 91 parts, including
• 88 plastic parts
• 2 photoetched parts on 1 fret
• 1 clear part for the windshield
A decal sheet with generic Wehrmacht/SS registration plates is also provided.
Looking at the box top the first thing you notice about it is that the vehicle depicted is the earlier type (Typ 1a) with the spare wheels exposed on the vehicle body sides. You can easily tell the Typ 40 version, for its flat side walls, as the spare wheels are located inside the vehicle body. The Dragon team has simply included one of the vehicles found in the Horch 1 1 combo (kit 7378) and added a towed 20mm AA gun.
There are 54 parts used for the vehicle itself. 50 of those are located on sprue B. Notable is the Horch body, most of which is molded as one part. Several other slide-molded components, including a pair of black-out headlights, are also included. Two options are available for the windshield: use the “covered” one (part B32) to represent it folded down, or the transparent detail (part D2). The two PE rifled floor plates are to be installed on the passenger deck floor. The very delicate AA machine gun in the passenger compartment is molded together with its pintle mount, so you cannot pose it unless you carve it out of the mount.
The FLAK 38 itself is a little gem, made up of 37 nicely detailed parts, with the trailer frame, suspension and fenders being a single slide-molded casting. There is a large sprue gate on the gun barrel, so separation from the sprue could prove tricky.
Instructions & painting guide
The instructions are a standard Dragon affair with 9 basic construction steps and multiple sub-assemblies tucked in.
Painting guide shows two Field Grey vehicles from unidentified units on the Eastern front in 1942, the only difference between them being the registration number.
All in all – a very nice combo kit with 2 complete pieces of equipment to build. The FLAK looks great, has a small parts count, will be very easy to build and will look fantastic when done.
I can relate to the pride Dragon takes in their slide-molding technology. It dramatically simplifies construction, but has a cost to itself – in this case the thickness of the body sidewalls of the Horch 108 and the lack of detail on their insides. Seats, despite having a nice texture, are also simplified. As you can only build the vehicle with an open top – these factors would greatly affect the appearance of the complete model.