KIT: Italeri 1/35 Kubelwagen
KIT #: 312
PRICE: $ I got mine 'used'
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


Dr. Ferdinand Porsche began design of the Volkswagen under Adoph Hitler's 'People's Car'  project in the years just before WWII. With a growing demand for a military vehicle, the Volkswagen was soon transformed to the Pzkw K1 Kubelwagen type 82, with the prototype first completed in 1938. The Kubelwagen featured a lightweight monocoque body, four wheel independent torsion bar suspension and a 23.5 hp, 985cc air cooled engine. Possessing excellent handling and maneuverability, it served as a liason, reconnaissance, and transportation vehicle for all forces in the army as well as the Luftwaffe. When including all the different variations, over 50,000 were built by the end of the war. In the late 1960s, the vehicle was reintroduced to the buying public as the Volkswagen 'Thing'. Any old German soldier who saw it would immediately recognize it!


Italeri has been doing 1/35 armor kits for quite some time and many of their older kits are still quite nice and often quite accurate as well. I'm not sure who else besides Tamiya might do this vehicle in this scale, but the kit is nicely done. Now with these older kits, one often finds that there are ejector pin marks in places you'd rather not see them. That is the case here with quite a few of them on the underside of the body and on the inside of the doors and such. I also found quite a few sink areas, again, on the underside of the chassis and on the thick portions of the figures. Sort of makes the figures less than useful as filling holes in the belly and back will effectively ruin any detail.

The rest of the kit is nicely detailed and once the molding glitches are fixed (which includes finding replacement figures), it is a simple kit. One could easily cut a door or two open. This is a curbside with no engine. One does get the choice of raised or lowered top and there are diorama accessories. In this case, a tent, table, radio and chair.

The reason I bought this kit was because it also had some aftermarket bits in with it. Those include a set of resin sand tires and a cast metal engine. Now whether I'll actually build it is another thing, but having this additional stuff is encouragement. Instructions are well done with nicely drawn construction steps and generic color information. markings are for one of three vehicles. One in sand with the DAK in 1942, one in panzer grey in the Ukraine during 1944 and one in green when in italy during 1944. Though the decal scan doesn't show it, there are white markings on there besides the usual license plates.


Yeah, it isn't brand new and it does have more mold flaws than most of us would be happy with, but it is easily available and seems to be a pretty simple build.

October 2006

Thanks to me and my dwindling funds for this one.

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