by: Andy Renshaw [ ]
World War Two German armor is filled with one of a kind conversions and field expedient vehicles. The variations of flak panzer and self propelled mounts abound and leave the modeler with endless possibilities. Oddly enough, some of the most bizarre conversions one could think of are actually true conversions with photographic evidence to verify their existence!
One of these oddities is the T-34 flakpanzer fielded by s.Pz.Jg.Abt 653 during 1943. There are several pictures of these vehicles. Basically captured early model T-34s (1941 or 1942 mods) had a 20mm flakverling quad mounted in a static superstructure that appears to be a turret, however they could not traverse. Moving the gun meant moving the tank. According to some sources, the plates for the “turret” came from damaged halftracks.
Cyberhobby is known for releasing some interesting subjects and being an adjunct of Dragon, uses various sprues from dragon kits along with a few new parts to provide unique subjects. This kit comes in the standard size box with simple box art, usual Dragon style instructions, and is packed with twenty-five sprues. Also included is
1 nice size photo-etch fret, and the instruction sheet in Dragons traditional style.
Here is a breakdown of the sprues (some are doubled):
- Suspension parts
- T-34/SU-85 road wheels
- Spring covers
- 2 cm Flakverling mount and details from Sd.Kfz. 7/1
- 2cm Flakverling guns from Sd.Kfz. 7/1 kit (slide molded barrels)
-20mm ammo cans and details
-T-34 1940/41 turret roof and hull parts
-T-34 1940/41 upper hull and parts
-T-34-85 gun barrel, details
-Flakpanzer T-34 turret and details (only new sprue in kit!)
-Tie-downs and brackets
-Model 1942 hull details
-driver’s hatch and engine vents,
-Pzkw. 38(t) Ausf. Parts
-Model 1942 hull and fender details
-95L round external fuel tanks
-Krasnoye Sormovo hull details
- T-34 Krasnoye Sormovo drivers, idlers, road wheel arms
-T-34 lower hull pan
-"Magic Track" track links - plate and “toothed” links
Sprues are a mix of T-34 parts from Dragons T-34 1940 and 1941 kits, plus items from T-34/85 sprues, and more sprues from 1942 versions. Some hull details and drivers, idlers, road wheel arms are provided from the T-34 Krasnoye Sormovo kit. The Flakverling comes from the Sd.Kfz 7/1 kit, which has excellent detail. There is also a sprue from the Pzkw 38(t) kit. With this large mix of sprues from various kits, there are also a lot of parts not used, so the spares box will be well stocked. This does however make it necessary to pay extra attention to part callouts and numbers to be sure you are using the correct part.
The fixed “turret” is all new, as are a few other smaller items (19 total parts). The edges of the turret are very thin, and will look excellent when done. Tracks are “magic track” type, so assembly easily but will need some clean up to remove ejector pin marks that are on each link. This might be easier done after assembly as the tracks are plates and a whole run can be sanded smooth at once. You also get a choice between a fully screened (solid plastic) engine deck, or a nice deck cover with the screens cut out which will require the use of the PE parts provided to make the louvers and deck screen.
A few items of note. A glance at the few photos that are available, we may need to lengthen the turret sides a bit as the kit parts look just a bit short, but this may be due to the angle of the very few photos available. Also the T-34 hulls are known to be slightly twisted and sometimes warped, so double check your sample before getting too far into construction.
Only one color scheme is provided, for s.Pz.Jg.Abt 653 during 1943 on the Eastern Front, as they were the only unit to construct and operate these unique flak panzers. A simple scheme of dark yellow with green/brown cammo above the fenders, and Russian dark green on the lower hull.
Overall, a nice kit up to the Cyberhobby/ Dragon standard, and an interesting subject for all those who are into flakpanzers. I’ll be adding this one to my collection of German AA vehicles very shortly!