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Kubelwagen Radio Car

DML 1/35 Kubelwagen Radio Car Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review May 2007 Manufacturer DML
Subject Kubelwagen Radio Car Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6337 Primary Media 215 parts (163 parts in grey styrene, 49 etched brass, 2 turned aluminum, 1 pre-bent steel wire)
Pros Another useful variant of the Bego VW kit Cons You need to know German radios to figure out what it is and what it does
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $19.95

First Look

Since acquiring the Hasegawa/Bego VW DML has been using it for a number of functions, and after recent efforts as an ambulance and a desert model it appears here in the guise of a field communications center.

The sprues for the Bego VW are here intact, which means it comes with a crew of two for the vehicle (listed as "not used" in the directions) as well as other things. The vehicle has a rack made of etched brass (this is a "boutique" kit, so no styrene alternative parts) for two radio sets, a power supply, and antenna mounts. The kit also provides a field switchboard but like the crew that is condemned to the parts box. I suspect the radios – as there is now a generic DML "German radio set" sprue - are from the field command post set, which would explain the switchboard.

Based on my copy of "Communications Equipment of the German Army 1933-1945" by Charles Barger I suspect one is a Torn. Fu. d2. a VHF AM radio in the 33-38 Mhz range, and the other is a 100 W.S. HF AM model in the 200-1200 Khz range. That is a pretty good mix for a command vehicle, but don't quote me on the idents. I also can not identify a receiver, which since most German equipment was single function (e.g. not a transceiver) this would be incorrect. The unused field switchboard looks to be a 10 line box, which would be for echelons around regiment or higher (if it was used.)

Unfortunately provides not a whit of which radios are provided nor do they show how to wire them up correctly. This is kind of a shame, as with such an open mount and antennas the vehicle most certainly would have visible cabling. Model manufacturers that make biplanes and those who make sailing ships all provide rigging diagrams (and often materials as well) so one could expect the manufacturer – especially of a niche "boutique" kit – to provide them here as well.

The Bego kit is pretty well known by now, and most modelers either like it or prefer the Tamiya kit to it based on personal predilections. It is quite a detailed kit, with separate floor boards, engine and driveline, as well as a minimum of ejection pin marks.

A small sheet of decals is included, once again from Cartograf, but while it claims "unidentified unit" in grey the helmet of "Grossdeutschland" is on the rear engine hatch. Nobody is credited with either research or technical assistance on this kit.

Overall this is a bit of a disappointment as for a "boutique" kit with an expectation that the modeler will use the brass it should have come with cabling directions. But at least DML will run with the molds; I wish that Tamiya had done the same with its excellent CCKW (e.g. short wheel base, dump truck, shop van. etc.)

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Breakout:

  • A 23 VW body parts (Bego)
  • B 45 VW top parts and seat details (Bego)
  • C 15 VW details (Bego)
  • D 4 VW floorboards (Bego)
  • E 23 VW wheels and two figures (Bego)
  • E 21 German radio sets
  • G 8 clear styrene (Bego)
  • L 20 German radio sets and field switchboard
  • N 12 German "jerry" cans
  • MA 14 etched brass
  • MB 30 etched brass radio mounts
  • MC 5 etched brass "jerry" can details
  • MD 2 turned aluminum
  • MD 1 pre-bent steel wire