Soviet Model 52K M1939

85-mm Anti Aircraft Gun

[German 8.5-cm FlaK39(r)]

Kit : #7250

Review by Stephen 'Tank Whisperer' Brezinski sbrez1(at)comcast(dot)net
Edited by Marc Mercier

This model was released by AER Moldova in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s and at the time was the only detailed small scale model kit of this Soviet anti aircraft weapon of WW2. Used by the Soviets, and captured and used by the Germans (as the 8.5-cm FlaK39(r)), I suspect they were also likely used by Romanians, Hungarians and Finns. After WW2 the Soviets distributed them to their Soviet Block allies.

The box art shows an unpainted model with the wheels up and the gun elevated for firing. The gun has a shield which I understand is for use when combating ground targets. I’ve read that like the German 8.8-cm Flak, the 85-mm m1939 weapon could be and was also put into use in an anti tank role.

Color in Soviet use should be an olive green. There are no crew figures included. There are no decal markings included with the model and it does not appear any were used on the real weapon based on photos I have examined.

This gun could be converted to a Soviet 76-mm AA gun with little effort. The 85-mm was in many ways a scaled up version of the 76.2-mm AA gun and was indistinguishable at distance except for the 85-mm gun’s slotted muzzle break.

As of 2009 this kit may no longer be in production and available possibly because of the availability of the more builder-friendly ACE kits of this same gun. You may find it on eBay and at model shows though. This AA gun is the same version as that marketed as ACE’s kit 72274 though the shield is somewhat different.

The kit instructions include a simple but adequate exploded-view diagram and a parts key at lower right.

For assembly, use cyanoacrylate glue after washing well with detergent and then drying. Dry fit all parts before gluing and sand or file as needed to fit. Bent resin parts such as the gun barrel can usually be bent straight after immersing the part in hot water first.

Acrylic or enamel paints should work well.

There are about 45 cast resin parts on either pour blocks or pancakes for the thin parts like the gun shield (right side of the photo). You may wish to drill out the muzzle for greater realism. The four tires are molded in black soft rubber with flash and poor detail. No ammunition is included.

Overall I found the resin molding to be not bad, about equal to TP Models, but not up to MarS or Modelkrak resin quality. AER resin models have not been known to be of high quality compared to MarS and AlBy but at the time they were released, they were unique subjects produced by no one else so I did not hesitate to purchase them if I liked the subject.

With a little tender loving care and experience I believe this can be made into a decent display model.


(1) ANTI-AIRCRAFT ARTILLERY, by Ian V. Hogg, The Crowood Press (2002); another great hardcover artillery reference book by Mr. Hogg. Many black & white photos in 186 pages.



The photos below were taken at Aberdeen Proving Grounds located in Aberdeen, Maryland, USA. Feel free to copy them just please give credit where credit is due.

Here and below are several reference photos of three m1939/52-K guns in travel mode, and with and without shields, that were on display during a visit to Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, USA.

Do not trust the colors, the Aberdeen displays have been over-painted several times in 50+ years and may not reflect the original color. I also would not trust the tires to be original.

Here we can see the two-part shield, the slotted muzzle brake, the travel brace for the gun barrel, and the round groundpads.

This second photo is of the left side of a second 85-mm 52-K gun at Aberdeen, but with the gun barrel in full recoil.

The round ground pads have holes around them like with the ACE and AER kits, and we see the slotted muzzle brake at right and the gun breach at far right.

There is a traverse or elevation hand wheel visible and just behind and below it we see the 85-mm AA round fuse-setting apparatus. I find it interesting that the apparatus looks to be painted Panzer Yellow color (Dunkelgelb).

The side outriggers are swung forward during travel mode rather than lifted up like with the Flak 18 guns. There is a nice circular walkway around the pedestal.

The wheels are singular, rather than doubled like with the Flak 36, and the wheels appear to be permanently affixed to the cruciform mount rather than as trailers that are removed.

Another photo of an M1939 without shield at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

On top of the gun recuperator is a vertical rod just like that seen on the German Flak 18 and Flak 36 used for mounting an indirect artillery gunsight.

On the left side we see a large German-like fuse setting apparatus suggesting to me that perhaps this is a gun that was used by the Germans and possibly converted to fire 88-mm German ammunition?

One of the groundpads appears to have fallen off the folded outrigger; this groundpad does not have holes around the edge.

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Article Last Updated: 25 March 2014