by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
The ubiquitous Kübelwagen, Germany's equivalent of the Jeep, was a common sight on Luftwaffe airfields. While armour modellers have long enjoyed modern, finely detailed kits of the Kübelwagen, anyone building 1/48 scale aircraft has been forced to make do with Bandai's 30 year old kit (currently available from Fuman). Tamiya has just changed all that with the release of a fantastic new model.
The KitThe parts are beautifully moulded in sand-coloured plastic and, as you'd expect from Tamiya, there isn't a trace of flash. The detail is quite amazing.; the corrugated skin of the body is represented inside and out. Unfortunately, there are some ejector-pin marks on the inner surfaces of the doors, which will be visible when the model's built. The marks are very light, so removing them shouldn't be difficult.
The seats and folded canvas roof are very convincing, but it's disappointing that a raised roof wasn't included too. Detail on the small parts such as the dashboard is really outstanding, and the windscreen is crystal clear.
FiguresAs a bonus, Tamiya include two Luftwaffe figures. The sculpting here is excellent and there are no sink-marks on them.
DecalsA small set of decals includes marking for 4 vehicles, plus arm rank-badges for the figures.
ConclusionThis is an oustanding model, which completely eclipses the old Bandai kit. True, Bandai include an engine plus a raised roof, but the overall quality pales in comparison with Tamiya's new kit. The box states this is "1/48 scale military miniature vehicle series No.1"; if future releases are up to this standard, aircraft modellers have a lot to look forward to.
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