by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
Eidai was a Japanese model company that ceased business in the mid 1980's. Amongst Eidai products were a series of 11 Wehrmacht vehicles and equipment sets in 1/76 scale, marketed as “20mm War Game Scale”. This scale was promoted as the standard by Airfix, Fujimi, Matchbox, and Revell (many are ex-Matchbox and incorrectly advertised as 1/72) as well as OO scale model railroading. Eidai models are simplified and some are toy-like. I have read that a few models, such as the 88mm FlaK36/37, make respectable wargaming models.
The kits included the primary subject, a secondary vehicle and/or crewed weapon, and one or two pieces of support equipment, e.g., a searchlight, radar, tent, etc. The V-2 was Eidai’s twelfth set. A thirteenth set, the “Combination Kit,” was a diorama set of several models, including palm trees. Finally a fourteenth model was (is?) the popular large diorama set German Secret Strong Point, featuring a subterranean bunker with detailed interior, a lift-off top, figures, and several of the vehicles and weapons.
For a time the military models were released under the name Grip. ARII obtained Eidai’s models and reissued the models with styrene diorama bases. The models are now said to be in poor shape. Apparently ARII released the German Secret Strongpoint into the mid-2000's.
The numbering of the kits changed somewhat depending on which company released them. Eidai numbering has a couple of anomalies. The Eidai kits are:
Kit 01 - Kubelwagen, BMW, tents, accessories
Kit 02 - SdKfz. 251 with Pak, 8-wheeler and Kubelwagen
Kit 03 - SdKfz. 7 Tractor
Kit 04 - SdKfz.7 tractor with 8.8 cm flak
Kit 05 - SdKfz. 7 with 20mm Flak
Kit 06 - Sturmpanzer IV
Kit 07 - Pz. IV Ausf. G
Kit 08 - Panzer IV "Wirbelwind"
Kit 09 - Panzer IV "Mobelwagen"
Kit 10 - Krupp Protz, kubelwagen with pak and BMW
Kit 11 - Krupp Protz, Kubelwagen, BMW
Kit 01 - Combination set
Kit ?? - German Secret Strong Point (see note below)
The V-2 set is not cataloged with a number, though “No.712-600" is on the box.
Garman V-2 * Heavy Tractor * Meiller Trailer * Launch Pad * 8T Half-track * Fire Guidance Censer
Yes, Eidai misspelled “German” as “Garman” and “Center” as “Censer” on their first release. This was later corrected. Not just for that reason was this an exciting kit at the time, featuring a Vergeltungswaffe 2 ("V2", technical name A4) missile in a mainstream scale with good detail and several supporting vehicle models. Despite the obvious diorama factor no base was included. Nor are there any figures.
The kit has six dark green sprues containing 111 total parts and several metal axles to build seven models:
• V2/A4 – eight pieces
• Abschussplattform (Firing Table) and its towing dolly – eight pieces
• Meillerwagen transporter and Brennstand – 50 pieces
• Hanomag SS-100 Schwerer Radschlepper (Heavy Tractor) – 18 pieces
• Feuerleitzugmaschine Sd.Kfz.7/3 (command vehicle) – 12 pieces
• Radar trailer – 15 pieces
Detail is simplified and mainly raised (The V2 was festooned with raised rivets), and fairly sharp. Flash, slight sink holes, and molding and ejector marks mar the pieces. The Brennstand raises and lowers on the Meillerwagen. Much of the detail is simplified: the front tires, running board, track, and overlapping and interleaved main roadwheels, the running gear of the Sd.Kfz.7/3 is molded as a single piece. The radar is molded as a solid bowl, while the real parabola was mesh.
Painting and Decals:
Typical of the era, the instructions are in Japanese. There appears to be basic painting suggestions. No paint brand is referenced. The missile is shown in three color schemes: the jagged multicolor camouflage, the black and white test pattern, and an unknown dark top/light bottom livery.
The decals are well printed and not yellowed after all these years.
The Eidai V2 kit is an adequate model in a standard scale. When this kit was released, it eclipsed the older Revell V2 by being in a mainstream scale with support equipment included. Wargamers should appreciate the subject and it can fit into a OO model railroad scene. The simplified Feuerleitzugmaschine Sd.Kfz.7/3 and radar are toy-like and probably beyond reasonable salvage. The Hanomag SS-100 is the only model of this vehicle I know of.
I knew nothing about this model when I found and bought it. With the many other V2 models now available in most scales, I do not find it having any value beyond collecting and wargaming.
My thanks to HenkofHolland for his kind permission to use content from his site!
Click here for additional images for this review.