Dragon 1/35 Flakpanzer IV (3cm) ‘Kugelblitz’ (6889)

Based on the chassis of a Panzer IV, the Flakpanzer IV ‘Kugelblitz’ (‘Ball Lightning’) self-propelled anti-aircraft gun was an impressive piece of kit, however only five were built before the war ended in Europe. The Flakpanzer’s main armament was a pair of Zwillingsflak 30mm Mk.103 anti-aircraft guns which were capable of putting up 450 rounds a minute per gun. From the ground up, to the upper hull, the Kugelblitz was all Panzer IV, the main difference being the completely new turret containing to the two 30mm cannon.

This latest from Dragon is a ‘Smart Kit’ and joins the companies ’39-’45 Series of military vehicles. This is the first time Dragon has taken on the Kugelblitz, but the heavy Panzer IV connection gives the basis for this a kit a lineage which can be traced back to Gunze Sangyo back in 1991.

Inside the box there are 19 main sprues, the lower hull, a pair of one-piece tracks, a PE sheet, two metal cables, a small decal sheet and an unusually shaped instruction booklet. On looking at the front of the 345mm x 190mm instruction booklet you will see the traditional method of showing all of the sprues/parts in the kit and as this is a Smart Kit, you will see a number highlighted in blue. Smart Kits tend to have a higher part count (although they still give an impression that this would be more like a starter or basic kit however the retail price should have made a different impression by now), but a large number will not be needed for this particular build and in this case it looks like approximately a third of parts will join the spares bucket. There are only 18 stages to this build, which on first impression appears more complicated than it actually is, which I would blame on a slightly chaotic instruction layout. Take your time before embarking on this build to soak up the logic of what goes where and why and you’ll be just fine. Not surprisingly the first dozen or so stages are all Panzer IV but the final five will be the most enjoyable if this is the machine you have been looking forward to putting together.

As the Kugelblitz never entered service, the ‘colour guide’, which is produced in various shades of blue and grey, is literally that.

If this machine had entered service earlier in the war, the havoc those 30mm cannons would have caused to Allied aircraft is not worth thinking about. The is excellent kit will give you a good idea and even though considerable less than the 440+ parts are employed for this build, I would still only recommend it to the more serious modeller and at over £60, that is the market that this Kugelblitz will most likely attract.       

Thanks to The Hobby Company who are the UK distributor for this kit. www.hobbyco.net.


Product: Plastic kit

Ref: 6889

Scale: 1/35

Parts: 440+

Price: £62.99 (eModels)

Manufacturer: Dragon

Website: www.dragon-models.com