Despite having being manufactured for approximately 65 years, and having gone through a number of mostly cosmetic design changes, there are relatively few scale models of the Volkswagen Beetle still in production. One of those is Tamiya’s 1/24 scale “Volkswagen 1300 Beetle 1966”.1x Instruction sheet.
Generally the parts appear well detailed, and the casting very good. While there are the virtually unavoidable pin marks these are very shallow, and almost not worth mentioning. Mould seams are minimal and there is practically no flash.
The body, cast in white plastic, includes the fenders and driver and passenger doors (obviously in the closed position). Due to the simple design of the vehicle, there is not much exterior detail to mention, however Tamiya have included such details as the external door hinges and rubber spacers which are fitted between the fenders and body. The running boards are supplied as separate parts.
The casting is generally very good. While what flash is present is barely worth mentioning, two casting seams run parallel over the top of the body, from front to rear. These will have to be carefully removed and then the areas sanded smooth.
The bonnet and engine hood are supplied as separate hinged parts and open to reveal the detail below, namely petrol tank and spare tyre and engine respectively.
The windows are not supplied as a clear tub, as with some kits, but rather as four (4) sections: windscreen; rear window; and the two left and right sections with the front and rear windows being cast as one piece. The window wipers are supplied as individual parts in black plastic.
Chrome parts include the bumpers, headlight housings, indicators, side view mirrors and door handles (including the handles for the bonnet and engine hood). The chrome beading for the bonnet, sides and running boards is not supplied separately, with Tamiya electing to rather cast this moulded onto the appropriate areas.
Other external details include mud flaps and number plates, all cast in white plastic. The tail lights are cast with the lenses attached to the housing in clear plastic. Personally I would have preferred the housing and lenses cast separately.
Tamiya have provided a fairly complete interior to the kit. The interior is essentially a tub constructed using three main sub-assemblies, namely the floor pan, dashboard/under-bonnet detail (for lack of a better term), and rear bench seat/firewall/engine housing, and the two door interior panels.
The dashboard/under-bonnet detail consists of two main parts, those being the nicely detailed dashboard and the under bonnet detail, which includes the fuel tank and spare wheel well. Additional parts for this assembly are the steering column, steering wheel, chrome fuel cap and passenger grab handle. It is worth mentioning that the model can only be assembled as a left-hand drive vehicle, and thus only a left-hand drive dashboard is supplied. It is, in my opinion, disappointing that Tamiya have not provided the option for either a left- or right-hand drive vehicle to be assembled.
The rear bench seat/firewall/engine housing assembly is made up by three parts, namely the rear interior with rear seat bench and engine housing, rear seat back and firewall. Strangely Tamiya have neglected to supply a backing to the rear seat back, and modellers will have to create one using plastic card.
The main component of the interior is the floor pan, upon which the other two sub-assemblies and the door panels are attached. In addition to these the front seats, floor pedals (accelerator/brake/clutch), hand brake and heating controls complete the sub-assembly. Each seat consists of two parts, namely the seat proper and the back. The seat backs are positioned in the upright position, and cannot be moved forward (out the box) without a bit of cutting and modification.
The interior tub is completed with the two door panels, which featured moulded on details such as door handles, window winders and an arm rest for the passenger (no arm rest is provided for the driver side).
Detail is above average, with most of the interior features and details present. While negligible details such as the foot level heating vents are not present, one may argue that details such as these would not be seen anyway given that most of the interior details cannot be seen anyway due to the closed doors.
A full engine is provided with the kit, albeit fairly simple (as is the real VW air-cooled engine). Most of the engine is assembled prior to fitment to the chassis, and should modellers decide to wire and plumb the engine, it is suggested they do so during this phase. Once fitted the engine will prove extremely difficult to work on due to the confined space in which it is housed.
Detail is satisfactory; although not spectacular the detail of the engine is passable.
Under the bonnet
In addition to a full engine, the Tamiya 1/24 scale Volkswagen Beetle also features under the bonnet details. These include a full spare tyre and chrome capped fuel tank.
Wheels & Tyres
Tamiya supply five rubber tyres, four and the spare, with the kit. The tyres are cleanly cast rubber, with only a casting seam running the circumference of the tyre – something quite common with rubber tyre castings. Four chromed hubcaps, the flatter type (as opposed to the more domed hubcap), are supplied for the road wheels.
As with most Tamiya kits the instructions are easy to follow, and nothing is left to interpretation; the instructions for this kit are well enough laid out that even someone with limited modelling experience could follow them with ease.
Modellers are presented with eight suggested paint schemes, namely: