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1/48 WW2 Aircraft Diorama Figures and AC

3 - Vehicles and accessories kits available from mainstream manufacturers.
With the recent release of 1/48 scale Armour kits, we can hope to have more injected vehicles and accessories to go with our beloved WW2 plane models in the future. But today, the choice is limited! Only Revell/Monogram and Tamiya have produced mainstream kits that are easily available.

Revell Monogram's WW2 Ground Support Equipment (ref.04511 for Revell) (picture 19) This is, to my knowledge, the only kit of his kind available today and therefore a "must have" for anyone wanting to build WW2 Aircraft dioramas. I think it is available as a Monogram or Revell boxing. The set includes 6 nicely rendered pieces of airfield equipment: a German Oil Cart, a German Bomb Lift Trolley, an USAAF Tractor, an USAAF Bomb Trolley, a British Oil Bowser and a British Accumulator Trolley (picture 20). Fortunately this kit is available almost everywhere for a good price. Definitely recommended as a starting point!

Tamiya's Kübelwagen (ref. 32501 and 32503) and Citroën Traction (ref.32517) kits (picture 21) When it comes to injected vehicles, the only choice right now is Tamiya! Other kits are exist (Bandai), but they are old and not easy to find. Of course everybody knows Tamiya's excellent Kübelwagen and Traction kits. You can find reviews of all these kits here at Armorama: Kübelwagen and Citroën Traction. Other vehicles are available (Schwimmwagen, Universal Carrier, Sherman, Tiger, T-34 etc...) but aren't really suitable for Aircraft dioramas as such so I won't talk about them.

Tamiya's Brick Wall, Road Sign and Jerry Can sets (ref.32508, 32509 and 32510) (picture 22) These sets have been designed to go with the 1/48 Armour range of kits but can be used for Aircraft dioramas as well. In the Brick Wall for example, you have sandbags that could be placed near a plane. The Road Sign set also provides you various useful items and the Jerry Can set has many fuel drums that were used on every airfield (picture 23).

Tamiya's "Special Edition" kits. Sometimes, you can find additional diorama vehicles and accessories in Tamiya kits. The Kettenkraftrad (picture 24), for example, is available in "Special Edition" Me 262 and Do335 kits while a Moto Tug can be found in a limited F4U-1D Corsair kit (picture 25). Lately, a sprue from the Jerry Can set was added as "bonus" in their "new" Hs 123 kit. This is a nice idea from Tamiya but only gives you a limited choice of subjects.
With injected plastic accessories kits and ground crew sets, you can make nice dioramas... if you like German and US subjects! Kübelwagen, Kettenkraftrad, US Tractors, Moto Tug and a lot of figures and accessories are available if you like Messerchmitts and Mustangs. For British and Russian projects you might find something: some figures of course and smaller equipment. For Japanese or, even worse, French, Italian or Polish figures and accessories, you will have to go another way to get what you want: resin and white metal aftermarket stuff! That will be the content of part 2 of this article.
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About the Author

About Jean-Luc Formery (TedMamere)

I'm mainly interested in WW2 aircraft and I build them in 1/48 scale.


Hi Rowan and Jean-Luc really nice. I like the article. One comment though: I can't agree on the eduard figures. Mine are far inferior to the Dragon and ICM figures. Most have severe sink marks and the plastic material is "rubber like". Even the Preisers are better, though the material is similar. best wishes Steffen
FEB 22, 2006 - 12:43 AM
Hi Steffen! Thanks for your comments! You are right about the quality of the Eduard figures, they do have sink marks. This has been pointed out by Rowan (Merlin) in his review of the kit. Fortunately, they are almost all in the back of the figures an easy to fill. I still think they look as good as the Dragon ones and better than the Preiser ones "anatomically" speaking. The best, in my opinion, beeing ICM's RAF and Luftwaffe sets... the sculptor of these figures was a real artist! Jean-Luc
FEB 22, 2006 - 01:09 PM
Thanks for the interesting article Jean-Luc I think you are right regarding the anatomy, but I like the Preiser ideas and poses (eating soldier, canvas chair e.g.). A pity there is only two chairs in it. I also rate the ICM very high and I'm glad there will be two new boxes this year (one German and one Soviet WW2) see their catalogue at http://www.icm.com.ua/Catalogue_RUS_2006.zip I'm also hoping for this to appear: cheers Steffen
FEB 22, 2006 - 01:41 PM
Another hint I'm not sure if I overread it or if you missed it. Some Dragon kits also had figures in it. Ba 349A Natter with 2 ground crew and a table (and a nice Walther rocket engine) Me 262 (with the big nose gun, version escapes me now as I do not have it) has some (?) figures in it and a ladder. 1 1/2 figures are in the Revell re-boxing. I also believe the Bomber Version had one or two crew members .... (also do not have it) I will look for the Natter later and make some pictures ... cheers Steffen
FEB 22, 2006 - 02:08 PM
Hi Steffen The best ICM figures are really superb aren't they! I'm also really looking forward to their new Aircraft releases - a Lagg 3 at last !) - and their Bf 109F has been a long time coming... exciting stuff! All the best Rowan
FEB 22, 2006 - 02:11 PM
Thanks for a great review, Jean-Luc! I will try to write one later this year regarding figures and accessories in 1/72. Everyone that has good info in this regard are welcome to contact me. Cheers!
FEB 22, 2006 - 02:41 PM
Hi all! Björn that's the way to go! Unfortunately (or fortunately for my wallet) I can't do reviews for 1/72 or modern subjects as I don't have any kits in that scale or era... so someone else has to jump in for these! If you plan to do a features about 1/72 stuff (there are more available than in 1/48) you can start a thread to discuss this with Armorama members. I did so a few month ago and was pointed to many kits I didn't knew! This helped me a lot for the feature. Steffen, thanks for all the infos! I hope the Soviet set won't be the one they already placed as bonus in some kits! Not that it's a bad one but a NEW one would be better! Of course I don't have all the kits with additional bonus figures and accessories. The feature was meant as a starting point for beginners wanting to do aircraft dioramas... like me at the moment! So I would be interested in every info about figures and accessories available in mainstream kits. Maybe one day I could update the feature... Thanks for your interest! Jean-Luc
FEB 22, 2006 - 08:23 PM