Hasegawa 1/24 Pkw.K1 Kübelwagen Type 82 'Claire Frost' w/Figure Kit First Look
|Date of Review||July 2017||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||Pkw.K1 Kübelwagen Type 82 'Claire Frost' w/Figure||Scale||1/24|
|Kit Number||52160||Primary Media||Styrene, Resin|
|Pros||Easy build||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$62.99|
Before the Second World War, Dr. Henry Porsche designed the 'people's car' that Hitler had promised would be affordable to any German family that wanted one. Of course in German, the 'people's car' translates into Volkswagen. The car was simple to build, easy to maintain, operates under virtually any conditions, and the design was adaptable to military use. When war came, the infamous 'Beetle' body was exchanged for a rugged utility body and thus the Kübelwagen was born. The Kübelwagen was used extensively throughout World War Two in all German theaters of operations. An amphibious version was created based on the chassis as the Schwimmwagen. After World War Two, the 'Beetle' body reappeared and the famous Volkswagen icon was reborn.
Volkswagen introduced the Type 181 'Thing' into the US market in 1973 which was an updated Kübelwagen. Thanks to Ralph Nader, the 'Thing' was discontinued in the US market in 1974, though it continued for a time in other markets around the globe. If it was interesting to see Kübelwagens roaming the US, it was even more amazing to see the US Military Police in Berlin operating the Type 181 in the late 1970s. I owned a Forest Green 1974 Thing in the mid-1970s but sold it before my assignment to Berlin. I miss that unique vehicle...
Hasegawa first released this Type 82 Kübelwagen in 1/24 scale back in 2004 and it remains the only kit of this subject in this scale. While it might seem odd to have this popular WWII subject outside of the common armor-building scales, Hasegawa provided car modelers with a kit of this iconic utility vehicle in their scale. In fact, they released two versions - the standard Kübel as used throughout Europe and the desert Kübel used in North Africa recognizable by the balloon sand tires. Hasegawa also produced the Willys MB Jeep in this scale as well.
This reissue is the desert Kübel with a twist. Out of the box, you can build the Afrika Korps Kübel complete with Wehrmacht driver, or you can build a desert Kübel in the 'Wild Egg Girls' theme using the special decals and resin figure also found in this box. Let's take a look at the basic kit first. The kit is molded in desert tan styrene and presented on six parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and one set of five balloon tires. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nicely detailed engine, transaxle, and chassis
- Nicely detailed interior
- Engine compartment door can be posed open or closed
- Windshield can be posed up or down
- Driver and passenger doors are positionable
- Canvas top can be posed up or stowed
- Side windows can be posed installed or stowed
- Optional Wehrmacht seated driver figure
- Optional anime standing figure (Claire Frost)
Markings are provided for two Wehrmacht Afrika Korps Kübels, one Luftwaffe in Afrika Kübel, and two variations of the Claire Frost Kübel. Speaking of Claire Frost, you will note in the images above that the Claire Frost figure is nicely sculpted and cast in tan resin. The figure is easy to paint and Hasegawa provides two eye options as decals to make your results look nicer.
Now about the Wild Egg Girls theme. Hasegawa has adopted an anime theme for marketing some of their kits under the banner of the 'Wild Egg Girls'. If you look closely at the decals, you'll note that they actually say 'Wild Tamago Girls', Tamago being the transliterated Japanese word for egg. Claire Frost is one of the characters in the Wild Egg Girls marketing theme for their Egg Planes series and she's been associated with the F-16, Su-33, and Space Shuttle egg plane releases. More recently, Hasegawa released their 1/24 VW van in the Wild Egg Girls theme with Rei Hazumi, Amy McDonnell (who was also featured in Hasegawa's 1/24 MB Jeep special edition), and Claire Frost. To the best of my knowledge, the Wild Tamago Girls are not part of an anime or manga series.
Having built the Tamiya 1/16 Kübel, this kit is laid out very similar in terms of details and assembly, the exceptions being that this kit does not have steerable front wheels nor the weak, easily broken wheel/axle connections of the Tamiya kit.
Whether you're interested in the real-world Kübel or the anime version, this kit provides the best of both worlds and will look great parked with your 1/24 VW Beetle, 1/24 VW Van, and the rest of your 1/24 and 1/25 vehicles.
My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!