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Tamiya 1/48 German Steyr Type 1500A Kommandeurwagen Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2007 Manufacturer Tamiya
Subject German Steyr Type 1500A Kommandeurwagen Scale 1/48
Kit Number 32553 Primary Media Styrene, metal
Pros Very nicely detailed, die-cast chassis Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $28.95

First Look


The Steyr 1500 was a versatile light truck chassis that was adapted to several roles within the German Wehrmacht. The basic Steyr 1500 was a light duty pick-up truck, the 1500A/01 was a personnel transport (up to eight people), and the 1500A/02 was a spacious staff car.

Initially produced in Austria, additional production lines were established for the vehicle in Germany. Since many roads in Europe at that time were not paved, getting from one place to another sometimes required four wheel drive, and the Steyr was so equipped. With its 85 horsepower engine, it was definitely a light duty vehicle, but it was rugged and reliable.

Some Steyers were refitted with a different body and were pressed into service as field ambulances. For a look at the Steyr as a staff car, check out our photo walk around of one nice example here.

The market for 1/48 scale armor continues to grow as Tamiya continues to turn out cool subjects that not only resonates with space-conscious armor modelers, but also aircraft modelers looking to add dimension to their aircraft vignettes. Tamiya has dedicated much of its energies on this new market and with the wide variety of engineering data they've developed for their huge 1/35 armor catalog, jumping into 1/48 made perfect sense.

My interest in 1/48 armor kits really centers around the support vehicles, not the armor. I prefer building my tanks in 1/35 or even 1/16, but when I am doing a diorama in 1/48 scale with an Me 262 or Fw 190 on the base, you really wouldn't expect to see a Panther or Tiger parked near the aircraft. On the other hand, a Kubelwagen or Steyr would not be uncommon as a maintenance vehicle or crew transport.

This kit is molded in desert yellow styrene and presented on three parts trees, plus a clear styrene windshield. Interestingly enough, the chassis is die-cast metal.

This release renders the A/02 variant, the staff car. In service, you'd see this vehicle moving senior staff members around the countryside to visit their field commanders and assess the state of readiness, morale, etc.

The kit features a detailed drive train, nice interior, one optional driver figure, one optional staff officer figure, and your choice of a convertible top in the up or stowed positions as well as optional side windows.

Tamiya has produced a nice array of combat vehicles in 1/48 to date, and I am really happy to see this new addition in the support vehicle line-up.

If you'd like to see the Steyr 1500A/01 version, look here.

My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample!