by: Scott Lodder [ ]
This is a very intriguing kit. The subject is an expanded version of the venerable Ketternkraftrad Tamiya put out in 1/35th scale. They bring it down to the small scale and expand it by adding a Goliath Demolition vehicle and trailer. On top of the Goliath and trailer they include extra gear. This is a builders dream – extras – they are icing on a cake to add to the vehicle, or to round out a vignette or diorama.
The box has nice box art for painting reference. The small size presents a unique situation for a box. The large 1/35th scale boxes are two part boxes and the bottoms don’t ‘need’ any embellishment. The smaller 1/48th scale boxes are a ‘tube’ shaped where each end folds open. This style of box demands full coverage, something on every side. Tamiya doesn’t disappoint, the back is covered with a lot of information, history, alternate paint schemes, and color charts.
Inside you will find two sprues, instructions, and decals. The instructions are a long fan fold piece with multi-lingual text. There are eight steps and the diagrams are very clear and easy to understand. The steps do not deviate from traditional Tamiya. The most obvious tradition is color coding done with the infamous hexagon/dash icon. They do miss a couple of things; they don’t have instructions on the 2nd crewman. There are pieces for what look like a third crewman, but they are not mentioned in the instructions. You are left to decide if you swap them out for the other two figures or try to scratch a lower section or simply put them in your spare bin.
After examining the sprues I noticed that the attachment points are all placed as well as can be expected. Removing the parts shouldn’t present a problem because of connector location. You will need to be careful; there are some very delicate parts. Some ‘cutters’ will have a hard time getting in some of these tight spots.
The decals are small. They are nicely done and provide six different variations. And I actually did a ‘double take’ when examining the sheet. I saw “Military Police” in English on a German decal sheet. I looked at the decal placement portion of the instructions and there it was, a “Captured Vehicle” version. Historically, I don’t know if this happened, but I like it. When you tip the decal sheet under a light you can see how much excess material is on each decal. This material will potentially ‘silver’ after it dries. There is a little bit on every decal. This may become a problem with the small scale. In 1/35th scale you can cut it off with a nice sharp knife. I’m concerned it will be quite difficult in this small scale.
My first impression was the subject matter and the add-on details. The industry is moving to adding so much to each kit and this one didn’t disappoint. You will be able to make the main subject (a Kettenkrafrad) and a trailer with a Goliath, and a gear trailer. There is a crew of two. A driver and a seated figure who should fit on the back seat. The extra gear will build three accurate three handle jerry cans, a grenade carrying case, four ammunition boxes, an oil drum, two Mauser’s, and four Panzerfaust’s; two 60’s and two 30 klein. You get a ton of stuff in this kit.
Not only do you get a ton of stuff you get nicely detailed parts. Tamiya could have built the tracks and wheels as one piece for each side. They didn’t, there is a basic track piece and additional inside and outside road wheels. Tamiya nicely represents Germany’s multi road wheel design. Other details that you’ll notice are highly detail leaf springs on the trailers, leaf springs on the incredibly small suspension of the Goliath, and nicely detailed front forks.
Given Tamiya’s strong reputation and the detail on the parts, this kit should build into a nice complete kit. Based on the pictures I’ve seen the kit nicely represents the real thing. I don’t see where you would need to add much in the way of scratch or AM detailing. The additional trailers (gear or Goliath) enhance the character of this kit quit a bit. Aside from a few PAK’s there aren’t many German trailers or towed devices. To have these in 1/48th scale that’s an additional bonus. On top of this you get Three Handled Jerry Cans.
This is a nice kit I'm happy to have purchased it, I recommend it to anyone curious or serious about 1/48th scale ground based subjects.