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CMK 1/35 Volkswagen Typ 230 Gas Generator 'Beetle' Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review February 2008 Manufacturer Czech Model
Subject Volkswagen Typ 230 Gas Generator 'Beetle' Scale 1/35
Kit Number T35017 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Neat German WWII soft-skin subject Cons  
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $22.00

First Look


At the beginning of WWII, though the production of the civilian car KdF-Wagen was reduced, it was not quite stopped in the years 1938-40, Fifty four vehicles of the sedan version were produced. From 1942 to 1944, 630 cars were manufactured. All these cars were fitted with shadings of the front headlights. Some of them were equipped with the Notek light.

The first “Beetle” destined for the German army was produced in 1941. It was a sedan that was modified for off-the-road drive, and designated as Typ 92. After May 1943 it was re-designated as the Typ 82E (subject of another CMK kit of the VW). This had the chassis of the Kubelwagen and a two-door KdF body. The layout of this car was spartan, with only the bare essentials needed. The floor was like the Kubelwagen, made of wood.

The chronic shortage of fuel in Germany during WWII led to tests of alternate domestic fuels, like wood gas. For this, the car was adapted to use these fuels. The VW cars that were driven by wood gas generators were designated Type 230. In contrast to other VW cars, the wood generator in Volkswagen and Kubelwagen cars was installed in the front of the vehicle. The car also had a roof luggage carrier specially developed for it too. The maintenance of these cars was very demanding.

Like other three kits of variants of the VW Beetle that CMK markets, this kit comes in an end-opening type box. All the boxes in this series of 4 Beetles are too long, with about a 5” void down one end. The boxes could have been much shorter.

The box art on this one shows a VW Typ 230 parked on a country road. It is overall gloss black and has the license number IIIA-0046. Side panels of the box have 6 single paragraph histories of the car in that many languages, including English. These paragraphs are marked with images of the flags of the countries that the languages are spoken in.

Inside the box is a large sealed cello bag that holds one large medium gray tree of parts, the single body shell part, a tree of clear parts, the decal sheet, tan resin parts and a fret of PE parts. The decal and PE fret are in a smaller cello together, resin parts are in their own small cello and so are the clear parts

The instructions complete the kit’s contents.

The instructions consist of a sheet folded in the center into 4 pages of 8 ¼” x 11 ¾” format. A second sheet, also folded in the center, is sandwiched into the center which creates a unstapled booklet of 8 pages.

Page 1 begins with a side-profile line drawing of the VW Typ 230 Gas Generator. This is followed by the history of the car in Czech, English, German and French.

Page 2 begins with the parts trees illustrations. Like the other 3 kits instructions sheets, these drawings have no part numbers on them and neither do the parts trees. Only the resin parts pictured are numbered. Bad move CMK! This makes for tedious work to identify the parts needed as you build the kit. The part trees illustrations are followed by some international assembly symbol explanations, a listing of Humbrol and Tamiya paint colors (suggested to complete the kit) and the first 2 assembly steps.

Page 3 through 7 gives a total of 10 assembly steps.

Page 8 has a three view illustration for the paint scheme shown on the box art (already described above. Below this are side views of 2 other versions of the VW beetle that CMK markets and their kit numbers.

The largest medium gray parts tree is common to all the other 3 variants of the VW Beetle that CMK markets. It holds: the floor with fenders attached, wheel discs, steering wheel, dashboard, shift levers, seats and their legs, axles, front and rear bumpers, inner door panels, door handles, hood handle, notek lamp, windshield wipers, trunk handle, transmission hump and 2 styles of wheels and tires (one style has baby-moon hubcaps, the other does not) etc. (50 parts)

The medium gray body shell part is common to this kit and CMK’s kit of the Typ 82E.

The clear parts are common to all the other 3 VW Beetle variants that CMK markets. It holds the windows and headlight and taillight lenses. The headlights are both the slitted covered ones or uncovered type. (13 parts)

The light tan resin parts are for the bulged hood over the gas generator, 2 parts of the generator itself, piping for the generator and the fuel tank (6 parts). In assembly step3 you have to carve away part of the undercarriage floor to place the bottom of the gas generator there and in step 6 you have to notch the front hood to allow a pipe from the gas generator to protrude out.

The steel PE parts hold 10 parts to assembly the roof cargo rack from and mechanical turn signals.

The decal sheet holds just license plate numbers: IIIA-9846 (shown on the box art painting), IIIA-43065 and some blank white license plates and black letters IIIA and numerals zero to 9 to create your own number.

This is one neat version of the VW Beetle. I wish I had more info about how that gas generator worked. With the bulged hood and the roof rack this is one salty looking vehicle. Highly recommended to both novices and advanced modelers.