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In-Box Review
Flakpanzer T-34
Cyberhobby #42 Flakpanzer T-34 kit
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by: Andy Renshaw [ SKYHAWK ]

Originally published on:


World War Two German armor is filled with one of a kind conversions and field expedient vehicles. The variations of flak panzer and self propelled mounts abound and leave the modeler with endless possibilities. Oddly enough, some of the most bizarre conversions one could think of are actually true conversions with photographic evidence to verify their existence!

One of these oddities is the T-34 flakpanzer fielded by s.Pz.Jg.Abt 653 during 1943. There are several pictures of these vehicles. Basically captured early model T-34s (1941 or 1942 mods) had a 20mm flakverling quad mounted in a static superstructure that appears to be a turret, however they could not traverse. Moving the gun meant moving the tank. According to some sources, the plates for the “turret” came from damaged halftracks.


Cyberhobby is known for releasing some interesting subjects and being an adjunct of Dragon, uses various sprues from dragon kits along with a few new parts to provide unique subjects. This kit comes in the standard size box with simple box art, usual Dragon style instructions, and is packed with twenty-five sprues. Also included is
1 nice size photo-etch fret, and the instruction sheet in Dragons traditional style.

Here is a breakdown of the sprues (some are doubled):
- Suspension parts
- T-34/SU-85 road wheels
- Spring covers
- 2 cm Flakverling mount and details from Sd.Kfz. 7/1
- 2cm Flakverling guns from Sd.Kfz. 7/1 kit (slide molded barrels)
-20mm ammo cans and details
-T-34 1940/41 turret roof and hull parts
-T-34 1940/41 upper hull and parts
-T-34-85 gun barrel, details
-Flakpanzer T-34 turret and details (only new sprue in kit!)
-Tie-downs and brackets
-Model 1942 hull details
-driver’s hatch and engine vents,
-Pzkw. 38(t) Ausf. Parts
-Clear parts
-Model 1942 hull and fender details
-95L round external fuel tanks
-Krasnoye Sormovo hull details
- T-34 Krasnoye Sormovo drivers, idlers, road wheel arms
-T-34 lower hull pan
-"Magic Track" track links - plate and “toothed” links

Sprues are a mix of T-34 parts from Dragons T-34 1940 and 1941 kits, plus items from T-34/85 sprues, and more sprues from 1942 versions. Some hull details and drivers, idlers, road wheel arms are provided from the T-34 Krasnoye Sormovo kit. The Flakverling comes from the Sd.Kfz 7/1 kit, which has excellent detail. There is also a sprue from the Pzkw 38(t) kit. With this large mix of sprues from various kits, there are also a lot of parts not used, so the spares box will be well stocked. This does however make it necessary to pay extra attention to part callouts and numbers to be sure you are using the correct part.

The fixed “turret” is all new, as are a few other smaller items (19 total parts). The edges of the turret are very thin, and will look excellent when done. Tracks are “magic track” type, so assembly easily but will need some clean up to remove ejector pin marks that are on each link. This might be easier done after assembly as the tracks are plates and a whole run can be sanded smooth at once. You also get a choice between a fully screened (solid plastic) engine deck, or a nice deck cover with the screens cut out which will require the use of the PE parts provided to make the louvers and deck screen.

A few items of note. A glance at the few photos that are available, we may need to lengthen the turret sides a bit as the kit parts look just a bit short, but this may be due to the angle of the very few photos available. Also the T-34 hulls are known to be slightly twisted and sometimes warped, so double check your sample before getting too far into construction.

Only one color scheme is provided, for s.Pz.Jg.Abt 653 during 1943 on the Eastern Front, as they were the only unit to construct and operate these unique flak panzers. A simple scheme of dark yellow with green/brown cammo above the fenders, and Russian dark green on the lower hull.


Overall, a nice kit up to the Cyberhobby/ Dragon standard, and an interesting subject for all those who are into flakpanzers. I’ll be adding this one to my collection of German AA vehicles very shortly!

Highs: Usual Dragon quaility of kits, odd subject in plastic form
Lows: Lots of parts; only going to appeal to small crowd; very little references on type
Verdict: Great kit for the subject. Must for all flakpanzer fans
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6569
  Suggested Retail: $42.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Apr 03, 2010

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Andy Renshaw (skyhawk)

I started modeling around 8 years old when my dad bought me a Monogram 1/48 A-7. We built that together, and after that he turned me loose. Along with armor and figures, I also enjoy building aircraft and trains (model railroading), and tend to cycle between the genres. Recently married, I have...

Copyright ©2020 text by Andy Renshaw [ SKYHAWK ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


Good review Andy. Just looking at the instruction sheet and the highlighted blue areas. Lots of stuff for the spares box.
APR 02, 2010 - 11:51 PM
You hit the nail there, Pat. I ordered two of these flakpanzer kits and imagine, how good start I got for my spare part box.. It´s surely a nice kit for all german AA fans and for those, who are starting to collect spares box. I´m thinking to make a "What if" scheme for one of my two kits.
APR 03, 2010 - 01:23 AM
Thanks Pat.....and showing all the extra parts is exactly why I scaned that first sheet. I thought it was crazy how much "blue" there was! T-34 fans would love this kit just to get the parts, then the Flakverling could be mounted on a truck, or used in some other conversion.
APR 05, 2010 - 01:49 AM
I think I pulled that from some online source after googleing flakpanzer T-34. There was several sites (and one in particualr) that has some good info on s.Pz.Jg.Abt 653 T-34 conversions. Now as obscure a subject this is, I also wonder the "origional " source and if its not a myth passed around untill somebody finds that one photo of a Flakpanzer T-34 with the "turret" turned. Seems that all the pics available have it fixed forward. also I seem to recal somebody posting a picture with at least 2 of these in line ..so there may have been more than one converted. thanks for the comments! Andy
APR 05, 2010 - 01:58 AM
The History of the 653rd says that there were two T-34s converted one with the armor shield and one without. Logical if the turret was fixed like the Panzer IV turret on the Bergpanther it would be useless for AA use ontly against limited ground targets. So, I can't see the maintenance section wasting time on a second one if it could not traverse.
APR 05, 2010 - 03:10 AM
Right. Since the Flakvierling *already* had a full 360-degree travering mount, it would be easier to build this conversion retaining that mount than it would be to cobble together a suitable mount that did not traverse. A fixed turret would be completely useless as an air defense system. I like the kit, but I'm going to pose it with the turret turned
APR 05, 2010 - 11:45 AM
Hi the only pictures I know of this variant. I to find it hard to believe the "turret" was fixed. If it was why create the gap that clearly exists between turret and T-34 chassis with its potential to get a stray shot coming through it. Surely that's there for clearance when the turret rotates. If not the armour would extend down to touch the chassis. http://beute.narod.ru/Beutepanzer/su/t-34/t-34flak/t-34-flak.htm Alan
APR 05, 2010 - 12:43 PM
Looks fantastic. As I'm trying to build all the different vehicles the sPA 653 used, I've come over all clammy. Now if only I could find a supplier somewhere who has it in stock. Not at cyberhobby, hannants, great models, sprue bros. Anyone know of anywhere that stocks it? Lucien
APR 21, 2010 - 12:34 AM
Gents: One more Opinion on the nature of that Flak mount: I think the kit and its instructions do include the mount turn-table base. And lots of good argument has been made above in terms of the whole mount being available at that field shop, so why not put the whole thing on as versus cobbling a partial mount... - Which sounds completely reasonable to me! But, just for some "what-if" fun... Here's a wacky idea! First, let's admit we DON'T KNOW their actual intent for this vehicle - we ARE assuming that the Germans were thinking of using this as a FLAK gun or tank... (Not that I am saying in any way that anyone is wrong in this! ) So... Bear with (laugh OL, but gently!), please: The Germans had a long track-record of creating "assault guns" by lashing weapons onto any vehicle - with rather limited or even "nil" traverse. I offer for your amusement the thought that maybe the Germans created this thing as a sort of urban assault vehicle! It is well-known that they used flak guns as infantry fire-support against ground targets- and the T-34 chassis was substantially agile enough for this to be effective in the "let's swamp those guys in a storm of lead (steel)" approach where a gun could be trotted up and used as a fire-hose against a building or emplacement. Precision aiming wouldn't be required in this suppression mode... That silliness offered... That gap between the gun armour and the hull... Certes, if YOU were doing a field lash-on of this, wouldn't you find it a heck of a lot easier - and MUCH more stable (more robust weld-on), to simply "park" the add-on armour like a fixed casement on that hull? IF that mount was intended to be "fixed", I can see NO good reason for not doing this. I take that gap to be a pretty compelling argument for a traversable mount. I would suggest also that pics taken of vehicles on road- such as forming up for or in convoy, etc., will almost always show guns trained fore-and-aft. It's been the way of armies around the world to travel thusly. (Putting aside those cases where a convoy flak vehicle MIGHT be trained out toward a presumed likely attacker... of course, predicting the direction enemy planes may actually attack from is fraught with risk...! ). Likewise for "shop", depot and factory yard pics. One could as reasonably argue from these pics that typical tanks actually came with fixed guns! As to where you might buy that kit... If you don't find it on any e-shelf at Squadron, SprueBro's, HobbyBuy, etc. (but there are many more e-sites to visit...), there is always EVILBAY! That, and I have seen at least one of these at each of the past 6 model shows I've been at... They are out there! PS: This-all has peaked my interest in this one, too, so I'll be looking to spend more money I really shouldn't! It could be a really cool build!
APR 21, 2010 - 02:15 AM

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