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  1. Ok, I hadn't planned to start this but things happen. This is my first RFM build. I have a couple more of their kits in the stash. This will be mostly an OOB box build except for the additional tracks that Firefly crews were known to add as applique armour.
  2. 1:35 German Staff Car Type 82E Ryefield Model (RFM) Catalogue # 5023 Three main versions were developed from the beetle chassis. The Kommandeurswagen (commander’s car), Kubelwagen (bucket car), and Schwimmwagen (amphibious car). The beetle was designed in 1932 in a response to the succesfull model T Ford. As a matter of fact Hitler wanted to go head to head in trying to out-perform Ford in producing cars in numbers. In 1938 the Beetle was militarized in response to produce a light vehicle that would weigh no more than 950 kg, including 4 fully dressed soldiers. This became the Kübelwagen (type 82). Also it had to run 2.5 mph in first gear: the speed of a marching soldier, fully equipped with backpack. The type 82E beetle was delivered to the Wehrmacht and SS in matte black, so they could be painted tan or in camo by the units they were delivered to. I myself was surprised to find photo’s online on the type 82E in a light tan glossy colour and chrome bumpers and doorhandles. After some searching I found that this Beetle belonged to a special order by the Office of Colonial Policies and delivered to Afghanistan in June 1942. These Beetles also had auxiliary air vents in front of the windshield for ventilation, as well as extra louvers in the bulkhead between interior and engine for better cooling. Special air filters and off-road tires were also part of the equipment. The Office of Colonial Policies wanted to equip civil administrations with these types of vehicles. I won’t spend too much time in talking about the history of the VW Beetle, but rather look at the choice of subject, the model and how it performs against older kits. The kit So! Did we need another VW Type 82E kit? Whereas there are many, many different releases of the Type 82 (Kübelwagen) in 35thscale, there are not so many offerings in this scale of the Type 82E Beetle. Dragon, Testors, Revell, Tamiya, Cyber Hobby, Hero Hobby Kits. All have released their version of the Kübelwagen. The Beetle has also been done, and quite well too. CMK released theirs in 1998 and upgraded this kit various time by adding resin parts. RPM, Italeri and Revell released Beetles too. In my honest opinion CMK has always been the way to go. The Revell kit is kind of nice, but lacks detail and features closed doors. A missed opportunity. Also: many aftermarket sets have been released over the years for the CMK kit. Resin wheels, engine and full interior set. But… this will cost you serious cash in total at the end of the day. So! Yes! We needed this kit. It is very complete, straight out of the box and knowing RFM, the fit will be sweet as well. With complete I mean that this kit comes with: - Full chassis, suspension and underside detail - Two types of tyres (desert and normal) - Engine - Full interior - Detail under the hood (no, that’s not where the engine is at) - Separate doors that can be posed open - Photo etch details - Three colour schemes I have sourced some nice reference photo’s from (supposedly) Hermann Göring’s Beetle. This shows well how much effort RFM has put in this kit. Following the instructions the first page let’s you choose between the type of tyres. Desert or normal pattern. The Type 82E performed (and even outperformed armour and softskins) in the hot desert climate with only minimal alterations, like these tyres. As a matter of fact the Beetle also proved to perform really well in winter climate as well. The desert tyres are offered in plastic, whereas the normal pattern tyres are offered in rubber. Personally I don’t like rubber (or nylon) tyres. Never have. The material is more difficult to work with. To trim, sand or flatten. If this really is a problem for you, there are enough aftermarket sets available for the venerable CMK kit, that will also fit this kit. Except for the window masks and resin doors. I’m sure these won’t fit. First off. I love the one piece produced body: At step 4 we get to assemble the engine is made up from 10 parts. Enough for a solid platform to add more details. Step 5 and 6 show the installment of the interior. I love the dashboard with the wartime VW logo on the glove compartment. I like the creases in the seats less. Just like the Revell kit, these seats show the exact same creases on all seats. When weathering these seats, the repeated pattern will become more obvious. I myself would smooth them over with putty and form my own. Instrument details: Look at these decals. The instrument dial is lovely and detailed. The license plates are generic. This will be fiddly, but it lets you make any plate! Step 8 and 9 show the installment on the windows. The transparent parts and very clear and nicely molded, but I would not use them in the open door. The transparent tab on the bottom of the doorwindow will be visible when the door is open. I would replace these parts with thin plastic transparency (from packaging) and maybe pose them halfway open. Step 12 shows the hood. If you look at reference pics, you’ll see a large VW logo on top of the hood. And what do you know?! It’s included in this kit, in photo etch. Lovely. But the instructions don’t tell you to mount it. I can imagine that not all wartime Beetles carried this ornament, so check your references. Step 13 deals with the booth cover. This is the first time this part is done right. I’m talking about the trapezium shaped flat surface on the back for the number plate. Painting schemes Three different schemes are offered and apparently researched by MIG. That’s re-assuring. • Standard Wehrmacht grey (Ral 7021, Dunkelgrau) • Mid war camo pattern (Dunkelgelb and Olivgrün) • Desert scheme (Gelbbraun) The seats with repeated pattern. Other than that: sharp and crisp: The plastic desert tyres and separate hubs for the nylon tyres: Seperate doors: Chassis detail. Very complete, straight from the box: Underside detail of the real thing. Conclusion So. What do we think? This kit exceeds the Revell kit. The Revell kit lacks detail, has some inaccuracies and a large moulding pin, right on top of the roof. It does however feature plastic tyres J. The CMK kit is nice, but outdated and outperformed. All three kits have approximately the same part count, but RFM is far more complete. In underside detail, interior detail, it has the full engine, detail under the hood (including fuel can and spare wheel) and lots of delicate accurate details. The price of this kit is about two times of that of Revell and CMK, but if you buy just one after market set for the CMK kit, that difference is gone. Our sincere thanks to Ryefield Model RFM for this sample. Jeroen Peters
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