1:48 Scale - Kit No.32501
First Look by Terry Ashley

This is the first of what could be a series of 1:48 vehicles from Tamiya and is the third scale they have produced the Kübelwagen in after the 1:35th and 1:16th kits.

This kit isn’t a direct downscaling of the 1:35th kit as the breakdown of the parts is quite different in places while similar in others. Also included in the kit are two figures in flight gear which can be posed with the vehicle if you wish?

Consisting of 55 parts in light beige plastic and another in clear for the windscreen plus a small decal sheet the quality of the mouldings is as we have come to expect from Tamiya with clean crisp details and virtually no pin ejector marks evident.

There are quite a few small detail parts which are also well moulded and appear nicely in scale which adds the final effect of the kit.

The lower body is broken in two with the forward section having the central floor pan, front fenders and rear suspension parts while the separate rear section has the rear fenders and lower parts of the engine moulded on.
The two fit firmly together with the suspension intermeshing with the engine and with the addition of the separate exhausts and pipes makes for a good representation of the rear end.

On the upper side there is the rear engine compartment and seat in one piece which has excellent details on the rear panels and good texture on the seat leather.
The floor has the duckboards moulded on as well as the seat mounting posts and a separate central hump with gear lever and hand brake included.

The two front seats have details on the back and there is also the fuel tank and nicely detailed instrument panel and steering wheel for the interior, strangely there is no driver’s foot pedals something missing from the recent HMMWV kit as well.

The two side panels have the front doors separate and feature excellent details on both sides and any pin marks are very minor and will be easy to eliminate. You also get the rifle racks for behind the front seats with the clips a little on the chunky side but are fairly well defined.

On the front there are separate two part head lights, Notek light, horn, side mounted shovel and fuel filler cap plus side mounted traffic indicators and mirror. For the rear there is a separate rear bumper, tail light and licence plate placard all of which are finely moulded and look quite good with most looking very much to scale but some of the details are basic such as the shovel mountings while others like the head lights and Notek light are very well done.

The detail on the front spare tyre mount is also very well done while the clear windscreen is a bit chunky but does include moulded on wipers and wiper blade motors while on the rear is a very nicely moulded folded canvas roof with the tilt frame having excellent details included.

The wheels have excellent hub and tread pattern details with the different hub detail on the front and rear wheels as they should be.

The two Luftwaffe figures are very nice and have some very fine details included for 1/48 figures with separate heads and arms plus a separate parachute for the pilot figure.

The decals have the usual thickish carrier film with markings for four Kübelwagens, one from JG3, France, June 1944, one from JG53, Italy, May 1944 plus two from unknown Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht units in Italy and the Eastern front during 1944 while the box side has some printed road signs and a flight map included to use in any diorama setting.

Decal sheet and clear part
Map and Road Signs on box side

The Sprues
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Detail Images
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In all a very nice little kit with details on a par with the larger 1:35th kit, there are few areas where the detail can be refined but will build into an excellent Kübelwagen.
It will be interesting to see where Tamiya takes this series but if the detail in this kit is an indication then things look promising.

VW Kübelwagen in detail
Special Museum Line No.8
Wings & Wheels Publications.
ISBN 80-902677-3-4
Kübelwagen in detail
Special Museum Line No.35
Wings & Wheels Publications.
ISBN 80-96416-53-4
VW at War
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
ISBN 0-88740-401-4
VW at War (2)
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
ISBN 0-88740-308-5

Page created 31 October 2003

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