Saturday, June 10

Preview: Border Models 1/35th scale Kugelblitz FlaKPanzer IV Mk 103 DoppelFlaK 30mm

The almost mythical Kugelblitz in 1/35th scale is in the July release slot from Border Models. We look a little at the story behind this machine & what to expect in the kit before it's release in our preview...

Preview: Border Models 1/35th scale Kugelblitz FlaKPanzer IV Mk 103 DoppelFlaK 30mm

Kugelblitz FlaKPanzer IV Mk 103 DoppelFlaK 30mm
From Border Models 
1/35th scale
Product No #BT-039
Plastic & Photo-etched kit.
Price: TBA
Expected: July
Border Models kits are available from the Hobbylink Japan Website
The subject: The "Kugelblitz" on the Panther hull...
Now, before we start, this is all speculative and a combination of "What-ifs". This turret combined with the Panzer IV hull was never put into production in real life or in a prototype. 

The Kugelblitz or "Ball Lightning" was a German self-propelled anti-aircraft gun developed during World War II. By the end of the war, only a pilot production of five units had been completed. Unlike earlier self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, it had a fully enclosed, rotating turret. the Kugelblitz used the 30 mm MK 103 cannon in a Zwillingsflak ("twin flak") 103/38 arrangement. The MK 103 had also been fitted in single mounts to such planes as the Henschel Hs 129 in a ventral gun pod, and to the twin-engine Dornier Do 335. Each 30mm gun could fire 450 rounds a minute.
It was decided to use a Panzer IV turret to try to marry the Kugelblitz turret to. By the end of the war, only a pilot production of five units had been completed. 
The Kugelblitz was not yet out of development when the war ended. Only five prototypes were built. It is unclear what happened to the few Kugelblitzes which were built.
One Kugelblitz was also involved in the fights near the town of Spichra, Thuringia, where it was destroyed and remained buried in the Spatenberg Hill until its excavation in 1999. Today, one complete Kugelblitz turret is exhibited at the Lehrsammlung der Heeresflugabwehrschule (collection of the German army anti-aircraft school), Rendsburg. An incomplete Kugelblitz cradle also exists (without the turret itself), but is in a private collection.

The kit from Border Models
The kit has been hiding in plain site of recent times, we saw it at Shizuoka in box art form on a poster, but heard nothing else about it until now. 
The boxart gives us a few clues about the contents, with the turret able to rotate, elevate and depress in the full range. the hatches on the tank can be posed opened or closed. There are two copper barrels for the intricate gun barrels which is a great bonus. The kit also has link and length tracks which speed up assembly.

As always with Border Models, they throw in a lot of stowage and storage, with Jerry cans, cloth stowage, a toolbox, helmets, spare armour in the shape of T-34 tracks and of course a water bucket!

More info as it comes to hand - You can check out the Border Models website for more information...