A tale of three Kübelwagen
Kit #: WES 72084.1 (or .a)
|Review by Rob Haelterman|
1. The Wespe kit
Wespe from Romania makes this resin rendition of the ubiquitous Kübelwagen.
The kit is packaged in a small cardboard box with the illustration glued to it.
The one-page, one-sided instruction sheet is shown on the right. It is hand-drawn, and not always evenly copied. As this is a simple vehicle, most parts naturally go to their correct place. Unfortunately the part of the manual that is least clear is where the workshop-specific parts are installed. Fortunately the image on the boxtop can help.
Here is the layout of the parts for this kit. The way the kit is packed is original: all resin parts are individual pieces (i.e. not attached to molding carrots) and glued to a paper backing with a silhouette of the part. This makes it easy to check whether all parts are there. At first I thought some parts were missing, but they had simply detached from the backing and were found in the corner of the sheet. The plastic wrapping ensures that pieces are not easily lost. A big advantage of this method (and I have no idea how Wespe does it) is that there is next to no clean-up of molding carrots to be done. While this necessary evil is mostly a wild bore in most kits, here it is limited to an occasional film that protects fragile parts (e.g. the open area in the sidewalls where the doors will come). A minor disadvantage is the need to carefully remove the glue that is used to secure the parts to the backing.
fragile) windshield is provided, but not the glass for it. (I promptly
broke the part in multiple little shards that the carpet monster used
to pick his teeth with.)
Note that the kit actually (partially) represents a tropical Kübel. Give-aways are
tyres are not included, however. Wespe actually offers a DAK version
of this kit, which includes the balloon tyres; I believe this is the
that the doors are of equal size, which is correct and something Academy
The parts are very fine (the walls of the hull are much thinner than the available plastic kits) and with nice and abundant detail. Unfortunately warping and pinholes are present, while the ribs on one of the doors doesn't line up with the rest. While this can be taken care of with a certain amount of TLC, what finally made me relegate the kit to the status of shelf queen, was the roughness of some of the parts, which became blatantly apparent after priming. Sanding is an option, but with the corrugated nature of the walls of the hull and around some of the finer details, I felt unworthy of the task at hand.
Some time after having promoted the kit to shelf-queen status I was in need of a wrecked vehicle to fill a void in a diorama. Given the roughness of the kit, I felt that it would be a good basis for a burnt-out vehicle. A couple of bullet holes were added, a fender bent and the upholstery of the front seat replaced by springs made from copper rod. Wheels from an Academy Kübelwagen (which are too small) were sanded down to serve as burnt-out hubs.
2. The Academy kits
The Academy Kübelwagen either comes as part of the WWII Ground Vehicle Set #1 or with the FW190A-8 "Heinz Bär" kit. I built both and as far as I can tell, both sprues are the same.
Today (2009) this is the only injection plastic kit of this vehicle that includes an engine block. The engine louvres are present but only vaguely. The reinforcement ribs are present on the floorboard, laterally on the bottom (correct) and longitudinally on the top (incorrect as such, but they might represent floormats that were sometimes seen). The wheels are underscale and the nose too fat. The front and rear doors have different sizes, which is not correct.
I built two copies of the kit. I replaced the wheels with two different types of replacement wheels from MK72 which can be seen here and here. As these are bigger than the Academy wheels (and they should), they interfere a little with the mudguards. Slightly bending the axles will resolve the matter.
Further construction comments:
Overview of features
Review samples bought by the author.