German 20 mm Quad FlaK 38

ESCI 1:72 Scale Artillery Review

German 20 mm Quad FlaK 38 with Luftwaffe crew, 1:72 Model Kit ESCI 8612.

This model of the FlaK-Vierling 38 has been upgraded, using 1:72 scale turned brass barrels available from Micro RealistiXX. Brass barrels are much thinner than the plastic barrels provided in the ESCI kit, and the muzzles are drilled open already. The model has been painted 7021 Schwarzgrau with 30 % white added for aerial perspective. The German airforce crew figures are wearing the blue Luftwaffe uniform and helmet. The FlaK position is part of the Atlantic Wall gun emplacement produced by Airfix. The model has been painted medium grey, and it was washed with diluted black paint to create the impression of weathered concrete.


  • 2 cm L.112.5 FlaK-Vierling 38
  • Sonderanhänger 52
  • Officer, Gunner, Rangetaker


Excellent choice of subject, the 2 cm FlaK-Vierling 38 was an important anti-aircraft weapon used to defend military installations and troops concentrations against ground-attack aircraft.

Easy to assemble, only 21 parts for the gun, and 8 parts for the crew figures.

The ESCI FlaK model may be modelled on the Sd.Ah. 52 trailer, or deployed for action.

Compatible with Hasegawa, Italeri, Revell, and CDC.

The barrels of the FlaK 38 model are not designed to be elevated, they are to be glued into a chosen position. This may work for diorama builders, but wargamers may want to add pivots and show the FlaK firing at air or ground targets.

The original FlaK barrels are not to scale, they are much too thick. It is well worth the additional expense to replace the plastic barrels with turned brass barrels available from Micro RealistiXX. Cut the plastic barrels off at the housing, drill holes into the housing and glue the brass barrels into position, making sure that they are properly aligned.

The gunner’s seat is actually part № 47, not № 49.

The gunner does not reach for the gun controls. His arms will have to be adjusted, and the shoulders reconstructed with putty or modelling wax.

There are no elevating screws at the ends of the Y-shaped gun platform. Drill holes for the elevating screws as indicated in the instructions, and insert a length of wire or sprue. The discs underneath the elevating screw should be approximately 3 mm in diameter, and they may be cut from thin plastic card.

The stereoscopic rangefinder Em 1m R36 is modelled as a simple plastic tube, missing the eye pieces at the rear, the forward-facing lenses at either end of the tube, and the harness and metal frame which allowed the operator to support the 6.5 kg weight of this heavy instrument on his shoulders. Serious modellers may want to add short sections of sprue to recreate the missing eye pieces and lenses at the very least.

There are no loaders provided in the kit. The FlaK 38 would be served by two loaders, one seated on each side of weapon. The seats are in place, and suitable miniatures may be scrounged from other model kits.

The ESCI model of the 2 cm FlaK 38 is a welcome addition to any collection of German artillery. Wargamers may want to keep the FlaK attached to the Sd.Ah. 52 trailer to be able to move the gun around on the miniature battlefield.

Sample from ESCI/ERTL
Brass barrels from Micro RealistiXX

2 cm Flak 38 Anti-Aircraft Gun