KIT: Tamiya 1/48 Kubelwagen type 82
KIT #: 32501
PRICE: $15.00 MSRP
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: This is the one that started it all


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!


Molded in tan plastic, there are two sprues for what is really a very simple kit. Detail is everything you'd expect from a modern Tamiya kit, which is to say it is excellent. This is a curbside with the only engine detail that which you'd see from the bottom. These Kubelwagens had dual exhaust and that is provided in superb detail. The body is done in multiple bits and pieces. Probably to increase the parts count, but perhaps because Tamiya wants to do several variants in the future. It has standard tires instead of the balloon type used in the desert and over soft ground. Two standing figures are included; a pilot and another man. They are posed as if looking over a map and one is included on the instruction sheet for you to cut out and add to the pair. The only option I could find was to have the front doors open or closed.

Instructions are the long fold-out type that Tamiya uses for its smaller kits. All the appropriate colors are given; in Tamiya references with generic names. Basically these are in Panzer Yellow. There is one from JG 3 in June 1944 that has brown and green patches, but the ones from JG 53 and two other unknown units are in the Panzer Yellow scheme. The small decal sheet provides basically license plates and a few data markings.


A Kubelwagen and Schwimmwagen are things I expected in this series. The Citroen I did not and hope that Tamiya will consider more of these smaller support vehicles. I would think that an Open Blitz truck would be a great addition.


Tamiya kit instructions.

March 2006

Thanks to me for popping for the bucks to get this one.

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