Monday, June 28, 2010 - 08:10 AM UTC
Alliance Modelworks provide news of an exciting new 1:35 scale conversion kit for German Armour fans.

The 8.8 cm FlaK 37 (Sf) auf Fgst Zgkw 18t conversion requires both Tamiya's FAMO kit (35239) and Dragon's 8.8cm Flak37 (6287). The Flak36 kit will fit, but as no photographic sample of the vehicle with that weapon had been found, the Type-18 barrel should be used.

The conversion kit utilizes parts included in Tamiya's kit, with the full interior presented for the driver's cabin. Doors can be constructed to be movable, however this is not recommended as using the photo etched hinges provided in the set would result in alteration in the appearances untrue to photo references. Since A Fu5 or Fu2 radio was used on these vehicles an antenna base is provided in this set for the exterior.

There are 2 fold-up raisers, one on the cabin back door, and one in front of the ammo container. These are to prevent hot spent shells from hitting gunners' feet. These two raisers are provided in resin with photo etched hinges and are movable.

The truck bed rests on resin frames, ladders and the stabilizers are also provided in resin. Ladders are movable of course combined with etched hinges. The stabilizers can be constructed for firing position or retracted, and are not movable.

On the real vehicle, the sidings aren't mesh. The vertical and horizontal bars are separate (vertical ones round, and flat horizontal pieces). Alliance Modelworks siding is designed to replicate this appearance. Each side is made of 4 pieces, one is a bracket, and the other 3 lay on top of each other inside this bracket. There are special fold line designs so the long edges of the bracket remain flat after folding.

The hinges are of the "plug in plastic rod and melt both ends" type of construction to ensure durability. AM Works found that total time spent constructing the bed was ~ 2 hours in testing, and a little quicker if soldering.

The ammo box holds the correct amount, and would take Dragon's plastic and brass ammo. However Tamiya's turned 88 ammo are out of scale and will not fit.

On this prototype, you only see 1 layer of ammo box door. There are actually 2 layers, inner doors are omitted when building this example. Inner door with cushions to protect the primers of the stored rounds, that will be featured in the product, and also movable just like the outside doors. There are two wheel stoppers also included in the set, that are not presented in the photos.

All the handles are provided in resin, other than that, the engine cover is made of etched and can be constructed open or closed. The front shield is 0.4mm brass which is ~14mm in scale, should be closed to the real thickness. There are some last minute alterations to its shape and dimensions. The shield will be a little taller in the actual product. The lamp mounts are provided in both resin and etch. Resin ones were used on the photo example.

Gun shield (and mounting) are not constructed in the example. According to AM Works the bed is designed to accommodate the shield, which is 70mm when it's closed. (the bed is 73mm not including the sidewalls). In other words, the shield must be closed for the sidewalls to retract. AM Works will provide photo etched chains in the set. Modelers can also use real chain, and cut to length using the etched as reference.

The entire bed will be approx. 1mm lower in the real production and the back wall will be a little wider and taller. According to AM Works with these final alterations, this is the most accurate Famo 88 conversion on the market and should offer the best fit and details. This set will retail for $150. and can be pre-ordered from their website till July 20th for $125. It will be shipped once the pre-order period has passed.

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No, I wasn't expecting it cheap. I could only find one old price, which was about $70, and said it was retail $94. When e-bay prices are significantly higher than street price, it usually means it a rare item. These guys also want big bucks for shipping (often $30 or so, which is ridiculous). The "cheap" Flak notion came from HLJ which says they are selling the kit for $15 vs. $40 or so from everyone else. I assumed there was a version without the metal barrels and such. Maybe they just goofed.
JUL 07, 2010 - 07:03 AM
Yes I assume they sell the kit cheap and split the profit between kit price and charged shipping price. I never worry about what someone want to charge for shipping on ebay, only what the price would be with both added together, the overall price. If it's a lot less than what it costs retail I'll go with it. Bear in mind ebay takes a percentage of the selling price of the item, nothing from the postage charged, so you can see why some charge very high shipping with minimal item price. Ebay frown on this, naturally, and will take action against accounts if complaints are made about excessive shipping charges. As regards cheap pricing. Yes, I've seen kits that are being sold at the "old" price which I guess are items that are old stock. Once this sells out and the new stock comes in it goes up to the much higher prices seen elsewhere. Alan
JUL 07, 2010 - 07:18 AM
The Tamiya Sd.Kfz. 9 "FAMO" isn't out of production. Most HK based retailers like LuckyModel or Hobbyeasy will have it for around $45 USD plus $20 USD shipping. The kit you want is Tamiya 35239 and shouldn't be confused with Tamiya 35246 which includes the recover trailer and generally won't be found anywhere for under $100-120USD which is about the usual retail. What you DON'T want is any of the Sd.Kfz. 7 variants as though they look similar they're a smaller vehicle. The gun you want is Dragon 6287 which you can pick up at online HK retailers for around $35USD and $10USD shipping ( give or take a few bucks ). Note that it is the 8.8cm FlaK 37 and shouldn't be confused with the 3.7cm FlaK 37 which is again a much smaller gun which is why you will find it for around $15 USD normally. As for TMD versus AMW at least the AMW one is avaialble. TMD only says his is and he's been saying that since June 2008 so I would wait to actually see a complete kit before I would take that as gospel.( unfortunately due to personal problems with TMD I'm a little skeptical of accepting anything at face value ). But I would agree that the quality of TMDs stuff is very good.
JUL 07, 2010 - 10:44 AM
I was able to order the FAMO from Luckey Model for a reasonable price, including shipping. They shipped already, which is nice. I ordered the flak from a guy on e-bay. I'll let y'all know how it all turns out.
JUL 08, 2010 - 06:57 AM
Try posting a query on the BST forum. I have seen them available there. My LHS has it in-stock, too. The kit is officially OOP but is widely available. The FlaK 37 is harder to come by. The differences between it and the FlaK 36 are mostly in the electronics (the 36 uses azimuth lights while the 37 has dials). Again, if you can't find it from Hong Kong, try the BST forum. There's always a modeler affected by one of the three D's" Death Divorce Debt
JUL 08, 2010 - 07:10 AM
I have ordered both the Alliance and Tiger FAMO Flak 88 conversions, and have two sets of the base kits needed. I'd love to try a comparison type review, and maybe a build log for one or the other (maybe both to a certain extent, to continue the comaprison). What do you think?
JUL 14, 2010 - 09:20 AM
I'd be interested in a side by side. I have the AMWorks set and it's much more PE oriented than what I've seen of the TMD one so far. But I'm uber impressed with the quality of it all. From what I've seen of the kits so far compared to photos both the AMWorks conversion and the TMD conversion have the same error in the engine cover panels. TMD only has up photos of the cab so can't comment on the back end. I'm just waiting on an F3 conversion for the Sd.Kfz.9 from Real Model before I start the build but from the preplanning it looks to be relatively straight forward.
AUG 08, 2010 - 12:52 AM
Sorry haven't discovered this thread till today.... My name is Brian and I'm one of the people participated in designing the AM-Works conversion. Could you elaborate on the error on the engine cover panels? I assume you're talking about the side vents. Compared to the above image, you can see that our design featured these 2 horizontal stripes marked blue. This is for ease of installation of the vent covers. To display the model with vents open, these 2 stripes need to be cut off. This photo is a late version famo, and there are quite a few other differences apart from the changes to the chassis. Hinges of the sidings for example. It's in our opinion that TMD had mixed up some of these details with those of the "normal" version of this gun truck. Those hinges are the sd.kfz 7/1 / RSO type only on this late version, and quite different on the normal version. We have a late version conversion coming out [/quote] Hi Brian, The error is that the engine cover panels aren't flat and don't hinge in and out. In fact it's clearest on the above photo but evident on most of them. The covers are flat for two thirds of their length and then the final third flares out at about a 30% angle. You can see that on your photo by the shadow under the remaining panel but on many of the other photos you can see the sharp change in shade at the fold line together with the shadow beneath. As far as I cab tell these engine covers don't move, the handle is simply used to lock them into place ( also supported by other vehicles using similar covers where the covers never move but rather are designed to be removed ). It would appear on this vehicle that they simply flared the last third to aid in ventilation. I'm 3/4 of the way through a review of the AMW conversion and the other two areas that strike me as incorrect are the travel lock ( most photos show it on the rear of the cab rather than on the rear of the ammo locker where it would be impossible for it to be used without someone climing up onto the ammo locker ) and the interior of the ammo locker doors which are missing the vertical strips ( possibly wooden strips ) used to sit against the shell bases and ensure firm seating of the shells. There are other areas where I believe both conversions are inaccurate but those are my own interpretations so certainly open to debate. Mainly in the bench seat behind the cab which appears to be there in one photo and which would appear to be a logical addition similar to the Sd.Kfz.7/2 simply due to the fact that they went to the effort of extending the armoured cab sides back and adding the folding flaps which suggests an area intended to provide protection to the crew whilst in transit. Other than that I think it's a great conversion and certainly from what I've seen of the TMD version it has a significant advantage in the side screens which on the TMD one look like generic sheets of mesh without even the benefit of an exterior frame. On the flip side the TMD one DOES have the travel lock in the right position and the detail on the interior of the ammo locker doors as well as the mirrors and indicators which do appear on many of the early photos.
SEP 26, 2010 - 09:48 AM
Hi Brian, I agree the handles are for locking them in place, on other vehicles with a similar setup they rotate 90 degrees to lock the panels into place, but none that I have seen are hinged so that they pull in and out. The photo you've used unfortunatley has the light directly in front which offers no shadows, these three below show what I'm talking about much more clearly ( these are provided for discussion only but are readily found online ), particularly the third oe which has the shadows below showing the profile. The first has been over exposed to show the three clear areas of shadow on the panels showing where the surface angle changes. I also agree that the area behind the cab is open to a lot of conjecture, my own interpretation is based soley on practicalities and the set up in the Sd.Kfz.72 which has a small bench seat. I doubt there is ammo stowed. For the travel lock there's only one photo showing it on the rear which is closer inboard and is on a vehicle generally considered to be a prototype that was changed to allow the gun to fire forward. There's more photos showing it forward than at the back ( the three above show it clearly in two plus the third shows the marks on the barrel where it has been sitting in it ) and as I pointed out where AMW have located it it would be impossible for a crew member to reach without climbing onto the ammo locker. None of that should be taken as a criticism of the kit, those are my own interpretations based on cleaning up the 15 photos I've been able to find online, and it's up to the builder to decide for themself which is correct. I'm more than happy to provide any input for the purposes of getting the most accurate kit available on the market as the Sd.Kfz.8 and Sd.Kfz.9 mounted FlaK 37s have always been a personal favourite.
SEP 26, 2010 - 03:43 PM

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