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Modelcollect 1/72 Flak 40 128mm Zwillingsflak


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OK, let's do this.

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The close up on the platform is a bit brutal in exposing stuff that still needs working up. Out with the loupe...

The Modelcollect parts are very well moulded, but they're short on locating pins, tabs etc to hold things together. The gunner's platform and the separate rail are butt jointed and rather fragile. The seat with footplate has a large block tab that sits in a square recess, but it's a very sloppy fit and I had to use some CA, then zap it when I was happy that the angles were all OK. Next up, the other side!

 

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Whilst waiting for my eyes to normalise, a little bit of background on the Flak 40. They were used as single or zwilling (twin) AAA, most commonly on the huge flak towers (flakturm)  constructed at Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna. The gun had a maximum firing range of almost 50,000' and with the ability to elevate to -3° were also used as anti tank weapons in 1945 during the Battle of Berlin. The Zwilling had a firing rate of 20 rounds per minute and when firing at this rate during an air raid the shock and awe inside a flakturm fitted with four Zwillings must have been impressive. A prototype mobile Pak 40 version was constructed, but was not put into production. With a muzzle velocity of almost 3000'/sec the destructive power when used horizontally must have been ferocious at relatively short ranges. The flakturm themselves were huge reinforced concrete structures capable of sheltering several thousand people during an air raid. They were self-contained with food supplies a hospital and dispensary facilities. They were so immense and solidly constructed they were almost impossible to demolish post war. 

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A Flak 40 Zwilling, probably mounted on one of the immense flakturm.

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The Hamburg flakturm.

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The Heiligengeistfeld (Holy Ghost Field) flakturm, converted to accommodation post war.

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Yes, I'm tempted!

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Been waiting for it to turn up, but despite Scalemates advising us it was released in 2019 I've never seen anyone actually holding a kit in stock. Plus if you want a complete flakturm you need to buy four - assuming you can find any at all. If you did assemble four kits into one tower you'd then need a square metre of space somewhere in your abode to store it! 

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Progress update. One barrel assembly sans hydraulic rams complete, another still a pile of parts.

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I know this is anathema to many, but it's essential to follow the instructions because whilst a lot of the parts are common, some of them are handed. Except that (you might have guessed) I've found a typo where they match the wrong parts to the wrong assembly!  doh.gif.4ab1a59e38b75e22cb96cc97f8d20267.gif Fortunately the diagrams appear to be correct, so just make sure your gun assembly matches the diagram and it should be OK.

Notwithstanding instructions with typos, I'm finding this a bit of a hoot.

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A smidge of progress. I was wondering if it might be possible to have some arrangement whereby the guns could be switchable for either mounting on the 'trager, or on the base plate. There is a spare hull top for the 'trager and I thought if I cut out the turret retaining ring parts they might fit inside the base plant circular mount. Probably non-prototypical, but practicable. The answer is yes, they do. After cutting them out they were glued in place and let to set for a good while. The gun platform can now be transferred to whatever display arrangements I might fancy at any given time. I've also finally got around to assembling the second gun. 

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Now I need to have a think about a diorama setting for the base plate. Maybe part of a flakturm upper platform?  hmmm.gif.1ceaf522a17907d9f7b2a5153d4e1a41.gif

 

 

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The guns are now mostly assembled, there's just a couple of control wheels and ammunition in the loaders to add. The first pic shows the guns with the rams added and the side panels with various gubbins glued on. Final assembly was, um, challenging, due to fragile bits breaking off and it being a bit of a job to get the guns in place relative to each other. The fact that there are no keys for the small cogs on the platform is not helpful and my guns have slightly different degrees of elevation, but I just have to live with that. Next up will be some paint, obvs.

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Could really use a figure or two to provide some scale.

 

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I've been doing a few bits and bobs in between other stuff going on, so it's not great progress. I've assembled a couple of figures from the Flak 36/37 set that I bought and these are exactly what I was looking for. The seated figure has had some adjustments, the legs were bent a bit more at the knees to fit the Flak 40 seats and the moulded on wheel removed from one hand. This has left him with a disfigured hand, but it's mostly out of sight, although I might make some more adjustments. The joints in the figures were sealed with custom gloop - bits of polystyrene that I dropped into to extra thin. This is less viscous than Mr Dissolved Putty and sets more rapidly.

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I thought I'd try a test run with the figures and gun.

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Quite pleased with this outcome, they add a bit of life and scale to the gun. I felt a need to do some sticking, so decided to assemble the 'trager hull. Looks like I'll be building the 'trager!

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On 18/04/2022 at 18:11, Paul Brown said:

Been waiting for it to turn up, but despite Scalemates advising us it was released in 2019 I've never seen anyone actually holding a kit in stock. Plus if you want a complete flakturm you need to buy four - assuming you can find any at all. If you did assemble four kits into one tower you'd then need a square metre of space somewhere in your abode to store it! 

Or you could forget about the kits and use the money to book a room in the real thing.

NH Hotel Group to launch new bunker hotel in Hamburg by 2021 [Construction Report] (tophotel.news)

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A coat of primer and everything starts to look like it's pulling together. Only one little spot that needed some attantion on the nearer gun barrel. Next up will be a coat of Mr Surfacer Black 1200 for some forced shading. I couldn't resist a trial mount to the 'trager hull. I didn't position the locking tabs very well on the gun, attempts to get it on were testing the gunners platform to near destruction, so I cut some new slots. Nobody is the wiser with the gun on, but I might fill the vacant slots 'just because'.

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Thinking ahead, I've decided to do the guns in dark grey and the 'trager in dark yellow as per one of the kit schemes, maybe with some odd coloured wheels. In case you're wondering a flakturm parapet is still on the cards, but I need to find some references.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been a while since I posted, mostly because Mrs B went down with bat flu and bench time went out of the window. She is mostly recovered, but is still suffering with fatigue. One upside is that she is now a lady of leisure having retired after fifty years nursing. It's possible that having her at home during the day time might drive me mad, but one day at a time, eh?!

Back to the plot, the guns are now coated with the black shading coat and I also have loadsa liddle wheels, sprockets 'n stuff. Half the wheels are assembled, the other half awaiting gluing. One advantage of owning an unfeasibly expensive pair of DSPIAE nippers is that they actual do work as advertised and if you're crafty with the cutting then gate clean up is minimal.

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Dinner is nearly ready and I'm very hungry. Assuming I don't imbibe too much vino with my meal I may attempt to make some more progress afterward.

 

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29 minutes ago, Paul Brown said:

It's possible that having her at home during the day time might drive me mad, but one day at a time, eh?!

I feel it too, the madness is real :) 

I do hope the good lady recovers quickly.

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