The kit has 42 parts in light beige plastic with a clear plastic windscreen and small decal sheet with the standard of moulding being excellent as we have come to expect from Tamiya.
There are numerous very fine parts in this kit such as the steering wheel, gear levers and tow hooks that will require care when removing from the sprues and in handling.
The lower tub is just that a tub as per the real vehicle with the top hull is a single piece except for the separate engine bay hood although there is no engine to go inside. The detailing and contours of the upper hull are very well done and the hull join seam which runs down either side of the front section on the real vehicle is portrayed by making use of the actual kit moulding seam and is quite a nifty trick.
The front and rear suspension is fairly simple but perfectly adequate for the model as there wasn't a lot visible on the real Schwimmwagen and you get a set of thin Kübelwagen style wheels with nicely detailed rims and tyres.
The interior has the lower tub with duckboards included and separate seats with nice cushion texture and separate gear levels and hand brake but there are no driver's foot pedals and a separate small instrument panel with very finely moulded steering wheel that portrays the real thing nicely along with the rear engine bulkhead which has subtle mesh pattern on the central grill.
The exterior has separate fuel filler caps, front head lights with separate front sections or an optional NOTEK light for the left fender, if you don't fit the NOTEK light you will need to remove the moulded on mount and if not fitting the headlights the locating holes will need filling in the fenders.
The top exhaust is finely done with separate heat guard and the rear propeller assembly is in four parts and again is finely done for good scale appearance with the lowering rod also very finely moulded. The two side mounted tow hooks don't have any locating points and you will have to refer to the painting illustrations to determine the correct location for these.
The two side reinforcing strips are included as separate parts but the windscreen is in clear plastic with the screen frame included and is quite thick and would look better in thinner clear sheet. The side mounted shovel and paddle are also separate parts and as with any kit tools will look better with the clips replaced with etched items which I'm sure will come for these kits.
The small decal sheet has the usual Tamiya decals with good colour register but thickish carrier film with markings for seven Schwimmwagens, two are illustrated in the instruction sheet with decal placement diagrams while the others are shown in colour illustrations around the edges of the kit box without any exact decal placement notes or units identified.
The units shown are:
Decal sheet and clear part
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This is a very finely done kit with many small delicate parts that look the part in this small scale, there are a few small things missing like the driver’s foot pedals, windscreen clips on the hood and the small drains pipes on the lower hull tub sides but this is getting really picky with the overall kit being very well done and is a welcome addition to the 1:48 range.
Now if we can have a 1:48 Jeep with the same fine details, we’ll all be happy.
VW at War
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
VW at War (2)
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
Schwimmwagen in detail
Special Museum Line No.19
Wings & Wheels Publications.
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Page created 10 December 2004