AFV Club
German 8.8cm Flak 18 Anti-aircraft gun
AFV Club 1:35 sacle Kit #AF 35088
Review by Terry Ashley

AFV Club

The kit:
AFV Club have released this kit of the FlaK 18 which is the first injected plastic kit of this version and while similar to the FlaK 36 it has numerous important differences such as the cruciform platform, barrel, cradle details and the totally different carriage bogies and wheels, enough for this to treated as a different model altogether.

The kit contains 367 parts in olive drab plastic with four metal parts for the barrel and cylinders, two short lengths of chain, an etched fret with twenty five parts plus six rubber tyres plus the decal and instruction sheets.

Standard of moulding is again excellent with fine crisp parts and excellent detail definition with most parts cleanly moulded although there are some pin ejector marks and plastic nodes on the inside of some parts which will require careful removal especially inside the gun cradle halves and there are a few small sink marks in annoying places. Careful cleanup is also needed on some of the smaller parts as the sprue attachment points are quite large in relation to the part and you will have to be careful so as not to damage the part or details while cleaning up the excess sprue plastic.

Metal and Etched parts
AFV Club
AFV Club
Vinyl tubing
AFV Club
Rubber tyres
AFV Club

The main barrel as mentioned is in aluminium with fine rifling included inside the muzzle and this is trapped between a two part breech with separate three part breech block. There are other smaller details added to the breech assembly and the lower gun support has separate bolt strips either side of the front support for good definition.

The recuperator cylinder supports are in two halves with again separate bolt strips for the support base for good definition while the main recuperator is a metal tube ensuring it is perfectly round and the barrel assembly is slid into the lower cradle without glue to enable this is recoil back and forth after assembly.

The lower gun cradle is in two halves with nice details on the outside and inside rib details at the rear but there are a few shallow pin marks and quite large plastic nodes to be removed for the inside which can be quite awkward and care will be needed not to damage the rib details.

At the rear of the cradle is a delicate folding ammo loading tray which you have the choice of fitting raised or lowered or you could choose to leave this off completely as was often the case when used in the anti-tank role as it slowed down the loading sequence during action.

The large detailed rammer guard is supplied in two parts for an extended or folded rammer and the rear section can be left off if the loading tray is not used.

The two large carriage sides having nice bolt head details on the outsides but there are some pin ejector marks to be removed from the inside faces while all of the carriage accessories are separate parts for excellent detail definition and there are separate shield supports for fitting the large shield.

On the left side is the large fuse setter assembly made up of multiple parts with the fuse setters in the closed position but unfortunately a small sink mark on the top of one of the shell holders. The detail on the top fuse scale is superb with a separate etched part for the dial face which does look excellent and there is a small length of chain supplied as fitted to the side of the carriage as well as other small detail items and the forward crew seat.

The right carriage side has multiple details including the traverse and elevation hand wheels with the two data transmission indicators also having etched dial faces for excellent details and the quadrant elevation pointer incorporates the direct sight elevation pointer and lower half moon quadrant scale which has fine gradients included on the part. The very small traverse limit indicator which is located low down on the carriage side between the traverse hand wheel and carriage has the small needle indicator included but the sprue gate is right next to this needle and extreme care is needed when cleaning up the part not to remove the needle detail.

The gunner’s seat can be fixed folded up or down depending if you choose firing or transport mode and the whole assembly is attached to the lower cradle support box made up of multiple parts which include the small elevation sprocket.

The two large balancing equilibrator cylinders that extend out the front of the lower carriage are made up of plastic and metal parts and when assembled using glue sparingly will move back and forth allowing the model to be elevated with realistic cylinder movement.

The large one piece gun shield has nice details on both sides including hinge detail on the outer shield joins which also include very small separate wing nuts that will have you reaching for the tweezers and magnifier as they are impressively small and fine. The shield is moulded quite thin with slightly bevelling around the edges to simulate the thinner shield although the bevelling isn’t around the inner openings and sight opening which does show the slightly thicker edges but overall the shield looks quite adequate.

Cruciform base:
The central base and fixed legs are moulded in one piece with very well defined details including the many bolt heads on the centre of the base. The oval and round inspection plates are separate parts as well as other small details. The undersides of the legs have inserts that fit exactly without any trimming needed or gaps to be filled and also include bolt head details and separate circular and square “feet”.
The underside of the central base is also a separate part with bolt head details on both sides which also form part of the two side hand wheel recesses once fitted for excellent detail definition.

The two folding outrigger legs are in two parts each with separate inner fixed sections and rotating hinge which allows the legs to fold up or down as per the real legs if the hinge is not glued. The many small fittings added to the legs are all included as well as the correct round “feet” of the FlaK 18. The upper pedestal has excellent lower bolt details and a separate upper disc as well as the two small fittings under the upper disc.

The notable feature of the legs are the ground securing stakes which have plastic centre spikes with etched outer ribs which when assembled look superb and fit exactly through the locating holes in the legs, the stakes can also be stowed on the sides of the legs in travelling mode.

The large travel lock has alternate sections of plastic “chain” sections to use if the barrel is in travel or firing mode and as mentioned the outrigger legs can also be positioned in the travel or firing mode.

Gun Carriage:
The carriage bogies are far more tubular in design than on the Flak36/37 bogies with the main bogie frames to which are added the springs, axle and brake units and distinctive fenders with the whole assemblies being quite busy and nicely detailed.

The rear bogies have twin wheels while the front bogies have single wheels and the front bogie also includes the winch unit used to attach the gun to the bogie unit and incorporates a length of chain for good detail definition.

The wheels have good spoke details while the tyres are in a rubber compound which have very well defined tread pattern but also include the characteristic moulding seam around the middle which is the bane of this medium and will take a bit of effort to remove.

Additional vinyl tubing is supplied for the cabling as well as a selection of pioneer tools carried on these bogies and the tow bar hitch to attaching to the Sd.Kfz.7 towing vehicle to finish the assemblies.

The quite large decal sheet includes data and kill markings predominantly in white with kill rings for the barrel in black, white and yellow with markings for six 88s but no unit info is given apart from scheme D.
AFV Club

No additional parts are included such as ammo or ammo containers but AFV Club has also released a set of turned brass shells and shell cases for the FlaK 18 as set #AF 35087.

This is an extremely well detailed kit of the FlaK 18 with finely rendered details but a bit of cleanup work is needed on some parts but the etched faces of the dials are especially well done and look excellent. The details on the cruciform base are also very well done and capture the distinctive look of the bolted Flak 18 carriage very well and it is very easy to change the gun from the travelling to firing position.

Highly recommended

The Sprues:

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Detail Images

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Easy 1 Productions

WWII US War Department
Technical Manual CD-ROM

TM E9-369A German 88mm Anti-aircraft Gun

Easy 1 Productions #T001

This CD has 77 colour images a museum 88 plus 219 black and white images of the manual pages to provide plenty of details.


The German 88 Gun in Combat
The Scourge of Allied Armor

Janusz Piekalkiewicz

Schiffer Military History
ISBN 0-88740-341-7


88mm Flak 18/36/37/41 & Pak 43 1936-45
John Norris

Osprey New Vanguard 46
Osprey Publishing

ISBN 1 84176 341 1


88mm FLAK 18/36/37 L/56 in Detail
Militaria in detail 11
Wydawnictwo Militaria

Soft cover, 50 pages illustrated with 118 color and b/w photographs

book Dreaded Threat
The 8.8cm Flak 18/36/37
In the Anti-Tank Role

By Thomas L. Jentz

Panzer Tracts
ISBN 0-9708407-0-5


The 88 Flak
in the First and Second World Wars
Werner Müller

Schiffer Military History
ISBN 0-7643-0393-7


The 88mm Flak
Werner Müller

Schiffer Military History
ISBN: 0-88740-360-3

Thanks to AFV Club for the review kit.

Page created January 28, 2008

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