Model No. 727
MSRP: $21.00 US
The German Wehrmacht commissioned VOMAG to build a very special type of vehicle in 1940 designed to transport the 8.8cm Flak gun as a mobile self-propelled mount. The vehicle’s purpose was to provide mobile anti-aircraft protection as part of Adolf Hitler’s personal security detachments. VOMAG selected a triple-axle bus chassis with a 9-ton capacity and delivered the first units in the Spring of 1940 to the 1st Battalion of the 42nd Anti-Aircraft Regiment based in Dresden. The unit received a total of 20 vehicles that included the gun transporters as well as customized vehicles equipped with special sights and range finder/fire-control equipment to support the batteries with three gun carriers and two range finder vehicles per battery. The guns saw service in various places on the Eastern Front between 1942 and 1944 and most were lost in Romania. None of the vehicles survived the war. Roden’s kit #727 Selbstfahrlafette auf Fahrgestell VOMAG 7 or 660 mit 8,8cm Flak seeks to replicate one of these vehicles in 1/72 scale and is the first kit of its kind to appear in styrene.
The kit is packaged in the standard slip top cardboard box with all of the sprues packaged together in one single bag. The kit instruction booklet, decal sheet, plastic mesh, and clear acetate sheet for the windows are packaged together in their own sealed bag. The kit consists of 148 styrene parts molded in medium grey on 5 separate sprues.
At first glance the kit appears to be relatively straightforward and has an adequate level of detail for a kit in this scale. Closer examination of the sprues reveals the presence of some flash in different areas and many of the smaller/more delicate parts have relatively large attachment points that will require some care when removing them from the sprues to avoid damaging them in the process.
Sprue A consists of 32 parts and provides all the parts for the 8.8cm gun and includes a one-piece barrel that has a solid muzzle, so careful drilling out will be required to give it an accurate look. My particular sample had a couple of sunken/incomplete molded areas towards the rear of the barrel that would need filling and sanding to correct. The same is also true on the breech block with sunken areas on other side that will require filling.
Sprue B consists of 40 parts and contains the chassis frame, the engine, and various parts for the vehicle and cab. The engine compartment side panels have some nicely molded rib detail for the cooling vents to simulate the detail there. The engine itself also has separate detail parts to increase its level of detail and provides a nice foundation should you wish to super-detail this area. There are no markings/decals provided for the driver’s instrument panel although it does have the various gauges molded as recessed areas should you choose to paint in your own gauges or use aftermarket items to address.
Sprue C consists of 24 parts and provides all the foundation parts for the vehicle that build up over the chassis and include the panels for the cab area as well as the rear ammunition storage lockers. The panels include some nicely molded door/hatch details but all of them are molded in place and closed. To create the side open-grid panels that the crew would use as a fighting platform, the kit provides a square of nylon mesh that must be cut to size and fitted to the platform components.
Sprues E and G are joined together and there are two of each, totaling 52 parts and containing the wheels, suspension springs, and various other detail components. The wheels, which are a prominent feature, have pattern detail molded into their sides but not onto their faces. The wheels assemble from two halves and hub detail is provided on both the inner and outer halves as a nice touch.
The kit includes some options along the way that allow for the vehicle to be built in either the transport or deployed modes. If choosing the transport option, some of the outrigger parts must be cut down to accommodate them in the stowed positions vs. deployed.
The kit instructions are somewhat involved for a 1/72 kit with 28 different steps outlined using standard black-and-white exploded diagram-type guides to assemble the kit. Some of the steps serve as sub-steps to later assemblies so careful study is always recommended prior to beginning construction, especially as there are some key modifications required such as shortening the chassis base or modifying the exhaust parts that must be done at various steps and can be missed if you’re not paying attention. The finishing guide includes markings/painting guides for three different vehicles/units:
• WL19492, 1st Abteilung 42 Flak Regiment, Poland, Summer 1940, panzer grey
• WL19574, 42 Flak Regiment, Dresden Anti-Aircraft Defense, Autumn 1941, panzer grey
• Unknown Vehicle, 42 Flak Regiment, Budapest Hungary, Spring 1945, three-tone/ambush
Enthusiasts of 1/72 vehicles will no doubt be thrilled to see such a subject available in styrene for their preferred scale and the vehicle is certainly an interesting one in its own right. Overall the kit has a nice level of detail in certain areas such as the engine and gun while in others, like the tires, it’s a little disappointing that Roden didn’t go just a little further with the parts design. While there is some flash present and sunken areas that will have to be dealt with that will make it a kit requiring some TLC and/or experience to complete, the kit looks like it should build up into a solid representation of the 8.8cm VOMAG for anyone looking to add this to their particular collection or use in a dio setting.
We wish to thank Bill Plunk for this review and Roden scale models for the review sample