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The Flakpanzer 38(t) (Sd.Kfz.140), officially signed into existence on October 15 1943, served as an interim anti-aircraft platform before the Flakpanzer IV was fielded. Based on the Czech-designed 38(t) Ausf.M chassis with mid-mounted engine, the fighting compartment was mounted at the rear of the vehicle. The Flakpanzer was armed with a single 2cm FlaK38 cannon of L/112.5 caliber, and was supplied with 1040 ammunition rounds onboard. As an interim Flakpanzer design, it had obvious inadequacies such as limited armor protection for the crew and a lack of firepower from the small main armament. Thus, BMM only produced 141 such vehicles between November 1943 and February 1944. Many of them saw combat on the Western Front in units like the 12th SS Panzer Division “Hitlerjugend.” The top armored sections could fold down to allow 360º traverse of the cannon at low elevations. This also meant the weapon could be used against ground targets.
Dragon has created a Late Production model of the Flakpanzer 38(t) auf Selbstfahrlafette 38(t) Ausf.M in 1/35 scale. This tracked kit has some stunning detail, and features a highly accurate miniature replica of the FlaK38 cannon. The cannon can be displayed with the gun elevated at 0 º, 20 º, 40 º or 60º, and it also features new hand wheels and gun-sight bracket. The gun barrel is slide molded, which enables incorporation of a hollow muzzle. Just like the real vehicle, modelers can depict the fighting compartment armored shields raised or lowered. The spent-shell case is made from photo-etched metal, and Dragon’s patented Magic Tracks take the bore out of assembling the track runs. This is a fine model of a late-production version of the Flakpanzer 38(t), and it will look impressive in any vignette or diorama.