The Horch 108 Typ 1a Heavy Personnel Carrier had a 4-wheel drive, and four wheels were steerable for better control on off-road surfaces. It was intended to provide cross-country transport to a crew of six, as well as tow the 37mm PAK 36, the standard anti-tank gun of the Wehrmacht of the time. Later modified to the Typ 40 (with flat sides and spare tires inside the vehicle body), the 108 served on all fronts till the end of the war. Production totaled over 8,000 units of various models.
The 2cm FlaK 38 was introduced as a standard AA gun in 1939, and served till the end of the war. It was transported on a single-axle trailer, mounted on a wide variety of vehicles, and even served in the fleet as the C/38. Dragon has released a 1/72nd scale offering of the Horch 108 with FlaK 38 (see my in-box review here
This Dragon offering includes an open-topped version of the Horch 108 Typ 1a, and a complete kit of the 2cm FlaK 38, plus its transportation trailer. Fifty-four parts make up the kit, including 2 PE floor plates and two options for the windscreen. And there are 37 further parts to build the gun. Decals provide license plates for two field-grey vehicles of unidentified units. There is also a choice of generic numbers, Wehrmacht and SS codes.
Instructions are typical Dragon with nine exploded-view construction steps.
I started by adding the lower engine compartment/radiator face and the firewall to the vehicle body. Other than filling the seam line in the front wheel arches, these fit fine.
Next step was the suspension. After carefully studying reference images, I glued parts B9 and B10 first, and then proceeded to add the suspension arms. Please note that all 4 parts are labeled B7, but the parts intended for the rear axle have an extra pair of locating pins. With these fixed in place, I glued the eight springs (parts B8) to parts B10 and B11. So far fit has been very good. I cut off the representation of the rubber mudguards and replaced them with thick aluminum foil.
As a colleague noted in his comments under the in-box review, the rear doors of the Horch 108 must be rectangular rather than trapezoidal (as molded), so I filled the diagonal line on each door with CA. I also made a recess for the door handle. I didn’t attempt to correct the thick body sides, and simply scribed the door outlines on the inside.
I then added the two PE floorplates to the floor of the cargo and troop compartments– under a coat of primer, the pattern is a pretty good match for the plastic part. Next I cut off the supports of the seats and benches, and fabricated new ones from copper wire. After the seats were glued, I added the folded tarpaulin, front bumper and the rest of the small details, then moved on to the gun.
The little FlaK is a real gem– excellent details on every part (even a drilled flash-suppressor!), and perfect fit. Dragon has cleverly provided a provision for adjusting the barrel elevation angle: you can change the angle while gluing the barrel assembly (part A22) to the gun frame (parts A24 and A25)– that is step 5 in the instructions. Just remember that the gun sight moved together with the gun barrel, and you will need to reposition its support accordingly.
I elected to model my gun dismounted and with a bit of horizontal traverse, so the trailer is a separate affair here. Its frame, suspension and fenders are a single, nicely-detailed slide-molded part. I suggest adding the handles atop the mudguards (parts A30 and A31) last, as they are very tiny and can be easily broken while handling the trailer.
paint & markings
I painted the entire composition with Revell enamels– 79 being the main color, and 57, as well as mixes of the two used to vary the shades in different places. I also added the white rectangles on both the Horch and trailer fenders, but these almost disappeared under the dust I applied later.
Seats were brushed with Revell 381 and given a thin acrylic wash to accentuate the molded-on uneven surface (again, a nice touch by Dragon). Tires were sprayed Revell 78 to simulate a bleached/dusty effect, and then added to the vehicle body and the trailer. The exhaust pipes and muffler were base-coated with Revell 37 to simulate rust and glued onto the vehicle. I then proceeded to add some metal chips by dry-brushing Tamiya’s X11.
MM Gun Metal covers the pintle-mounted machine gun, the FLAK barrel and ammo magazines. The MG 34’s grip and buttstock, as well as the steering wheel, were painted Revell 06 black. Dry pigments were used for the dirt and dust, and the whole affair was sealed with Vallejo acrylic matt varnish.
Based on my experience with the build, I’d say that the construction sequence is logical and easy to follow, the fit is good, and external details are nicely-reproduced. The thick vehicle body walls have been the only real letdown of the kit. About eight hours were needed to complete this combo as shown, and the build could have been even quicker if I built it straight OOB.