by: Vinnie Branigan [ ]
introductionThe 3cm Flak 38/103 Jaboschreck was Germany's answer to Allied air supremacy. The 2cm Flak 38 was no longer of much use unless multiplied by four in a quad mount, and so Germany turned to Rheinmetall in 1944 to produce the 3cm Flak 38/103 based on existing aircraft cannon. It only went into production in small numbers before the end of hostilities, but it was actually planned to use it in the Panzer IV Kugelblitz, which never materialized.
the kitThe kit is obviously based on the recent Flak 38 kit, with appropriate changes and some new sprues. The Flak 38 kit was a beautiful kit, and included some fine and accurate detail, and this kit is no different.
Sprue A which contained the base of the gun, is again included, with the unnecessary parts still supplied but obviously not to be used and indicated as such on the instructions. Sprue B the same, so there are lots of 2cm magazines for the spares box!
The photo etched frets supplied with this one are similar, but not the same, there are some subtle differences. Those gorgeous pre-formed baskets are still supplied, as are the pre-bent brass shields, but there are now parts included for the assembly of the 103 muzzle brake, which would have been nigh on impossible to present as injection moulded parts anyway.
The main parts of the gun are supplied on two new sprues, both named as D, with the moulding of course, being up to the standards we've now come to expect from Dragon. The moulding of the barrel itself is of note, Dragon having used slide moulds again to achieve the sophisticated, complicated shape of the 103, designed at it was to minimize recoil. Of course the barrel is pre-drilled as well, thanks again to slide moulds!
Plenty of 3cm ammunition is provided, which will look stunning painted up in the appropriate colours. The trailer supplied to mount the gun, can of course be depicted in transport or firing mode, and can also be depicted with or without the fenders. There are new ammunition boxes as well.
Like the Flak 38 kit, the gun can be modelled at one of four different elevations, with parts being provided for each.
Marking optionsAs usual, a small cartograf decal sheet is included for the one option provided in the kit, of an piece attached to an unidentified unit on the Eastern Front in 1945.
in conclusionI raved about the Flak 38 when I saw that. This is even better. The complicated muzzle brake and flash suppressor lends an air of power to the finished piece, and will look superb when finished. Highly recommended.