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Tamiya - SS-100 & 88mm Gun Flak 37 Set

Kit Number:
37027
Scale:
1:48
Published:
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Manufacturer:
Tamiya
Retail Price:
$46 USD
Reviewed By:
Chuck Aleshire

Tamiya / Italeri Series No. 27

German Heavy Tractor

SS-100 & 88mm Gun Flak 37 Set

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This new offering from Tamiya is a rebox pairing of 1/48 scale kits from two venerable kit manufacturers, Tamiya and Italeri. The Hanomag SS-100 by Tamiya is a recent 2017 effort from them, while the Italeri molds Flak 37 dates from 2010 originally, with new parts added when the kit was reboxed by Tamiya in 2012. Both kits have been previously boxed separately by Tamiya, with the original offering of the Flak 37 done by Italeri in 2010. Got all that?

The SS-100 heavy tractor was manufactured between 1936 and 1944 by Hanomag located in Hanover, Germany. This tractor served in all branches of the German Wehrmacht, towing guns, aircraft, cargo trailers and even V2 missiles. This versatile tractor was used on all fronts, from North Africa to Russia. 

The Flak 37 served on all World War II fronts in a variety of roles, and was an improved version of the Flak 36 88mm gun introduced in 1936. These antiaircraft guns were deadly when pressed in use as anti-tank weapons due to the high velocity, flat trajectory shells they fired.

The pairing of these two kits is a natural.

 What’s in the Box?

As this is a two kit from two different manufacturers, we’ll look at the sprues for each kit in turn. First, we will have a look at the Tamiya sprues for the SS-100 heavy tractor.

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Sprue A ( x2 )

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Sprue B

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Sprue C

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Sprue X

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Above - the SS-100 cab

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Window glass for the tractor

There do not appear to be any major ( or minor, for that matter ) flaws or issues with the SS-100 parts. The moldings appear to be very clean and crisp. There are no broken, mis-formed parts, no short shots. The moldings are flash free, and mold seams and sprue attachment points don’t appear to be a problem. The cab is molded with doors shut, short of surgery, you will not be showing off the interior of the tractor’s cab.

Next we move on to the sprues for the Flak 37 gun, remembering that these molds have a few more years on them than the molds for the tractor.

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Sprue A

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Sprue B ( x2 )

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Above - string provided for the gun’s cable reels

Despite the molds for the gun’s parts being a few years older than the tractor’s molds, the Flak 37 parts appear to be roughly equal to the overall quality of the SS-100 parts. No issues whatsoever here. The forward end of the gun tube is molded from a single piece, with a hollowed out business end. Very nice! 

Other stuff in the box;

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Above - kit decals, Flak gun to the left, SS-100 to the right

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The kit instructions follow the usual clean, easily followed Tamiya format.

The parts in this kit are of the typical Tamiya standard of very good quality, and the instructions look to be clearly written and easy to follow. This should be an enjoyable, low stress build.

Building the Kit(s)

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The lower frame and bodywork for the Hanomag tractor builds up very quickly, due to Tamiya’s typical efficient kit engineering. All parts fit perfectly, with solid, well designed mounting points.

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The chunky, brawny look to this tractor is captured perfectly and is immediately apparent as soon as you begin assembly. The muffler and exhaust piping can just be seen in the above picture, You will want to drill out the end of the exhaust pipe ( not seen above ).

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The tractor’s interior floor, seats and gear shift levers etc., all go together very quickly and smoothly. They are all rather basic, but will look nice after painting. I’ve left the steering wheel off at this point, it’ll be attached to the driver figure and the steering wheel column later.

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I decided that since I’d be leaving the driver’s window “open”, I’d better plan on at least a minimal bit of detailing to the interior. The interior side walls were totally featureless, so I scribed in the door frame center posts, and added very basic door handles with some styrene bits. These should at least give a semblance of interior detail, and were quick and easy to do.

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Above - some simple interior painting done; AK Interactive cremeweisse for the interior walls and floor, Scale 75 red leather for the seats, some black for the gear shift knobs, etc., and then some AK interior streaking effects to dirty things up a bit.

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Continuing on with adding some boxes and things to the running boards, and the dashboard decals have been applied. There are two individual decals for the dashboard, each with several gauges. The decals went on smoothly, and settled into the paint nicely with a bit of setting solution.

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Above - the tires are base coated in Tamiya NATO Black. I like that color for a starting point for worn tires.

The tractor tires are well detailed, with nicely defined tread. The tandem rear wheels mate up very positively. The spare tire has it’s mounting brackets molded on, and mates to to rear wall of the cab.

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Above - the SS 100 tractor ready for final assembly. I modified the figure slightly to have him looking out his open window, rather than straight ahead. I also raided another Tamiya 1/48 kit for the helmet and map case that I placed on the seat next to the driver.

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Placing the tractor cab onto the chassis is a bit tricky, as you have to clear the steering wheel with the dashboard, and the rear seat needs to be flexed forward a bit for the cab rear to slide down into place. The instructions do provide good guidance on how to do this.

Above - the preliminary painting and assembly of the SS-100 tractor is done, decaling and weathering will be done at same time as the Flak 37. 

Building the Flak 37

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The gun’s cruciform base builds up fairly quickly and simply once clean-up of the parts is completed. Note that the anchor stakes are molded to the two hinged legs of the base, you’d need to perform some surgery if you wish to depict the gun in unlimbered firing position with the anchor stakes in proper use.

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Above - cruciform gun base assembled

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Above - the two folding legs in travel position 

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Above we see the parts for the gun, which to me, completely illustrate the real value of a full build review versus a simple in-box review. I’d stated earlier in this review that the parts of the two kits ( original Italeri molds and the newer vintage Tamiya molds ) were roughly equivalent in quality. At first look, that was what I believed.

Well....when actually building the kits, this is clearly not the case, and moving onto the Flak 37 after building the Hanomag tractor really proved that to me. Compared to the newer Tamiya mold tractor parts, the Italeri gun parts need much more work to assemble. There is light flash in spots on many gun parts, not really bad, but still it does need to be cleaned carefully. And as can be very clearly seen in the parts photo above, the sprue attachment points are quite large ( especially in comparison to the just completed Tamiya molds tractor). Some of these large sprue attachment points are in bad spots too, on the rounded surfaces. VERY careful cleaning up of these areas will be needed.

All of the above said, the gun parts do appear to be more than acceptable, and should build into a nice looking model....you just need to work a bit harder to get there.

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 The gun parts build up into a nice representation of the Flak 37, once all the parts clean up work is done. Having a single piece final section of the gun barrel helps a bit. I still have some clean up of mating surfaces needing to be done at the gun’s breech area as seen above, but overall I am happy with this assembly.

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Above - the gun mounts are well detailed

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Above - gun dun...mounting the shield to the gun, and gun assembly to the pedestal on the base was a snap.

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As noted above, this gun kit is largely configured for travel configuration, and building it as in a firing condition would require additional work and some minor surgery. That said, this gun was capable of ( and sometimes did ) firing while still mounted on the travel bogies. 

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Above - each of the two bogies is a nice molding, but loads of seam cleaning is required.

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Above - cutting out the cable reel sides, and clean-up was a bit of a chore!

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Above - the sides of the cable reels are somewhat thick in my opinion. They still look good though.

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Above - the two bogies assembled ( less wheels )

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Above - FlaK 37 ready for paint

Painting and Initial Finishing

I opted for a simple mid - late war Dunklegelb paint scheme, using Tamiya acrylic Dark Yellow, after first pre-shading with Tamiya acrylic German Gray. The decals went down well, no issues.

I wanted to depict a veteran, well worn look to both the tractor and gun, so I did quite a bit of chipping to both, using Vallejo Model Color German black - brown. Next came some basic washes with Turpenoid and oil colors, and then some earth colored pigments on the tires.  Just basic stuff for the purposes of this review, and that’s about it. I’ll do more work on this project...but I’m happy with where this stands for review purposes.

 

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Conclusions

This review is definitely a tale of two kits..one really great, the other a bit less so, but still good.

The SS 100 Hanomag tractor is a fine example of what we’ve always expected ( and received) from the folks at Tamiya; namely first class kit engineering for easy, stress free assembly, outstanding parts quality and detail, flawless molding, and great, crystal clear instructions.

The FlaK 37 Gun which is originally an Italeri product isn’t quite as superb as the tractor, as noted in the review body. The parts require a good bit more effort to even come close to the Tamiya standard, requiring MUCH more clean-up. However, general fit of the gun parts was good, and again the instructions were well drawn and clear.

As whole, this kit was enjoyable to build, and the results are pretty nice in my opinion. 

Highly Recommended!

Thanks to Tamiya for the review sample!

Reviewed by Chuck Aleshire, AMPS Chicagoland

 

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