This review covers the recent (September 2013) release by MACO of this German, late-WW2 self-propelled antiaircraft gun.
The historical terminology and technical information I use is from Panzer Tracts No. 12, a series of books I have great confidence in. In the review I will use the
short nickname Moebelwagen which translates to "furniture van" because of its box-like shape, and I will use Panzer Tracts spelling of "Moebelwagen" rather
than that used by MACO and some other authors.
The vehicle appears to be a simple conversion of the Panzerkampwagen IV tank with an open top to carry a 3.7cm Flak 43 antiaircraft cannon. The Moebelwagen was also
produced mounting the 2cm Flakvierling AA gun which should be a reasonably easy conversion using this MACO kit. This kit is the later production Moebelwagen with
single 2.5-cm thick compartment (superstructure) sides. The initial production of 20 Moebelwagens were made with superstructure sides composed of two spaced 12mm
I very much appreciate this model release as it is the first one of these vehicles released in 1/72-scale plastic, though I have seen it offered as a resin model
A Look At The Box Art (What
is supposed to be in the box)
Above we see what appears to me to be a computer-generated box art of the Moebelwagen superimposed on a photograph. The
vehicle is in what MACO refers to as variation 2, with the 25mm thick Moebelwagen armor sides partially lowered for combat. In the assembly instructions
MACO describes variation 1 as with the sides up vertical for travel, and variation 3, as with the four sides fully lowered horizontal for all-round firing.
In this view of the right rear we can see the two spare roadwheels mounted on the upper rear, and see the cylindrical muffler like that used on the Panzer IV Ausf. H
At the left rear corner we see the copper rod antenna rising vertically. In plans and photographs the antenna is seen sticking back 45 degrees, with some sort of
rod connection to the crew compartment. I suspect this was a method to lower the antenna back out of the way unlike the Pz. IV tank, which appears to have a rigidly
mounted antenna base in this location.
MACO's Moebelwagen is painted in a three-color camouflage pattern of green and brown over dark (panzer) yellow. On the rear plate is a white ghost cartoon and the
kit directions describe this as a vehicle of the 11 Panzer Division serving in France, 1944.
The Kit Parts
All the parts are injection-molded styrene plastic, there are no etched brass or resin parts, and no crew figures. About 1/3 of the parts are supplied by
MACO in pale yellow styrene, and about 2/3 of the parts are from Revell's Pz IV Ausf. H kit. Within my kit I counted 34 MACO parts for the Flak 43 gun
and 37 parts for the Moebelwagen upper hull. Revell supplies about 96 parts for the suspension and lower hull, and 46 parts for the link & length
tracks. The parts supplied by both MACO and Revell are well molded.
Sprue C here from MACO includes the upper hull (part C29) with large open fighting compartment at far left. In the center are the many parts for the gun shield and the crew compartment shields. Many of the parts appear very fragile so cut them from the sprue very carefully.
This is the backside of Sprue C (photo above) to point out the many ejector pin marks on the back (inside) of the compartment sides (parts 16, 17, 18 and 19). For a good display model these round marks should be filled in and sanded smooth.
MACO's sprue D here is common to many other MACO kits. I suspect that MACO plans to release a kit of every vehicle that carried the 3.7-cm Flak 43. The parts look very well designed and rendered, and very delicate. The shield parts are very thin. The muzzle of the 3.7-cm gun barrel (part 14) should be drilled out. Six clips of 3.7-cm ammunition (parts 20) are included at lower right.
Above are the three sprues of Revell AG's PanzerKampfwagen IV parts that MACO included within their kit to use. This makes great sense: Revell sells more models and MACO does not have to duplicate a good Pz IV model already available. I will not cover these unused parts as they are already well reviewed in other Revell Pz IV kit reviews, such as here and here.
Many of these Revell parts are not used so we have them for the spare-parts box, such as some turret parts, turret side skirts and brackets, a nice MG34 machine gun, and some side skirt parts. I have marked many of these unused parts with a red X.
The Assembly Instructions
MACO supplies clear, black & white, 38-step assembly instructions. In steps 16 through 21, here, we see the assembly of the compartment sides and two of the three variations for deploying the sides.
As I already said, this is the later-production Moebelwagen with single 2.5-cm thick compartment (superstructure) sides. The initial production of 20 Moebelwagens were made with superstructure sides made of two spaced 12mm armor plates (according to my reference).
I do not see parts for the fine rod that lowers and raises the antenna mount located at the right rear corner of the engine deck. Using some references we should be able to scratchbuild this with wire.
MACO gives us a separate multi-color sheet with painting and marking guide. The drawings are a little small for me to copy the intricate camouflage squiggles but they are good enough to get the idea of what it should look like.
The water slide decal sheet contains markings for two Moebelwagens as well as markings for MACO's Ostwind and MACO's Kugelblitz model kits.
The back of the kit's box is great and I had to include it. At top are a series of photos of the built Moebelwagen kit clearly showing the three options, or variations, in deploying the superstructure plates. Seeing how exposed the crew was with option 3 I am not surprised they clamored for an enclosed turret.
A tip regarding the photo at lower left of the Revell lower hull and suspension: the bin with the two spare roadwheels is not to be installed or used when building the Moebelwagen.
I did not measure the parts but visually it looks proportionally correct and it is based on the Revell Pz IV model which others have reported is exactly 1/72-scale. My only real regret with this kit is that MACO did not include their injection-molded plastic, link & length tracks that I have heard good things about.
PANZER TRACTS No. 12 Flak Selstfahrlafetten and Flakpanzer, by Thomas Jentz and Hillary Doyle,
Darlington Productions (1998).
Flakpanzer, Wydawnictwo Militaria No. 18, by J. Ledwoch and H. Trojca (1995). ISBN 83-86209-26-7
German Medium Flak In Combat, by Werner Muller, Schiffer Military History (1991). ISBN 0-88740-351-4
Achtung Panzer website