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Kübel Kit

Hasegawa 1/24 Type 82 Kübelwagen Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2005 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject Type 82 Kübelwagen Scale 1/24
Kit Number 24503 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy build, nice details Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $38.00

First Look

Kübel Kit
Kübel Kit
Kübel Kit
Kübel Kit
Kübel Kit
Kübel Kit
Kübel Kit
Kübel Kit

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.

In 1973 and 1974, Volkswagen produced the 'Thing' - an updated Kübelwagen. If it was interesting to see Kübelwagens roaming the US, it was even more amazing to see the US Military Police in Berlin driving a variant of the 'Thing' in the late 1970s (then we adopted the German helmet design a decade or so later).

After reviewing the 1/24 Jeep from Hasegawa, I just had to pick up the Kübelwagen to go with it. This kit is molded in tan styrene and presented on seven parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts for the vehicle's windows and headlight lenses.

Construction begins with the engine, and it is a very familiar VW engine with air-cooled fan shroud. This engine is very nicely detailed and attaches to the transaxle (the Kübel is definitely a two-wheel-drive only vehicle). Anyone who has spent any time with a Volkswagen Beetle or Thing will recognize the familiar chassis/floorboard with rear engine mount and control tunnel. Ditto on the standard front end.

The body is assembled next, starting with the engine compartment, then adding the body side panels, and mounting this assembly to the chassis. The interior parts come next, followed by the front end.

The wheels are actually rubber tires on styrene rims. The tires are standard road tires, not the balloon desert tires. I believe there is another version of this Kübel in Afrika Korp/desert configuration.

This windshield is positionable, as are all four passenger doors and engine compartment. You have your choice of enclosed canvas top with or without the side windows, or the canvas top stowed on the rear deck.

A driver's figure is also included. What is interesting is that the decal sheet provides different shoulder boards and insignia for the uniform to match the variety of vehicle markings provided in the kit. In addition to the markings, a nice array of infantry weapons and tools are also included in the kit including an MG34, MP40, Mauser rifle, anti-tank grenade, hand grenade, fuel (Jerry) can, canteen and shovel.

Markings are provided for four examples:

  • 12 SS Panzer Division 'Hitler Jungend'
  • Sturm-Artillerie-Brigade 667
  • 4 Begleit-Grenadier-Kompanie
  • Generic Wehrmacht

This is an excellent offering of the Kübel in 1/24 (okay, so it is the only offering in 1/24) but it is better than any of the Kübels offered in any other scale, including the Tamiya 1/16 Kübel. The Tamiya kit is very similar to this one except that the wheel mountings to the axles are very fragile and easy to destroy.

If you want some ideas on how to finish or detail your Kübel, check out our Reference Section for an excellent museum example!