login   |    register

In-Box Review
Volkswagen Type 82E Staff Car

by: Jean-Luc Formery [ TEDMAMERE ]

Originally published on:

Entering production just prior to the start of WW2, more than 20 million models of the Volkswagen "Beetle" had been built by 2003! Adolf Hitler himself commissioned Dr. Ferdinand Porsche to develop a simple motor car that could be mass produced and made available to the German population. But upon the outbreak of war in 1939, production of military vehicles took precedence, with only a small number of civilian Beetles produced throughout the duration of the conflict. The car did not become widely available to the civilian public until the 1950s.

The VW "Kšfer" was designed as a compact car that featured an air cooled, flat-four cylinder engine mounted at the rear. Four wheel independent suspension employed high performance torsion bar system for precise control and handling. The distinctive round-shaped body was designed by Porsche's chief engineer, Erwin Komenda. A prototype was completed in 1938 and the type 82E was used as a staff car by many German military and government officials. It shared the chassis with the Kubelwagen and featured a higher road clearance (75 mm) than the civil version. The military version offered the improved driving performance of the Kubelwagen combined with the comfort of a closed interior. Nearly 500 models of the type 82E were built during WW2.

The Kit
The kit comes in a small top opening cardboard box with a simple but effective cover artwork (picture 1).
The packaging is top quality and each sprue is protected within it's own plastic bag (picture 2). The clear parts have also their own protection bag.

The first impression about the kit is that it should be easy to build. The main part (picture 3) is an exemple of the quality that Tamiya is able to achieve nowadays. Almost no work will be necessary other than removing a small sprue at the back and barely noticable molding lines on the forward fenders (see arrows on picture 4) and on the roof. The sink mark you can see on picture 4 won't be visible, unless you want to display the luggage compartment open. Remember, there is no engine here, it is located at the rear. In all, the molding is top class, hats up Tamiya!

The chassis, the interior and the detail parts are located on a single sprue (picture 5). Here also I don't expect to much work and the build should be straightforward. The details on the underside are basic (engine area), but this should not be a problem unless you want to display your car on the roof (picture 6). There are two options for the wheels, one for a military car and the other one, with caps, for a civil version (picture 7). A driver is also provided, and even if he appears under alimented, it's not important in my opinion since he will be mostly hidden inside the car. There a no options for open doors without doing some major surgery on the main body part. You would also have to scratchbuild the inside of the doors and probably other noticable details if you do so. Beware of the "Pendora Box effect!"

The clear parts are... cristal clear and designed so to fit easily inside the body shell. The windscreen is separate and has moulded-on wipers. Two separate headlamps are also provided (picture 8).

The instructions are printed on a "panoramic" paper sheet (picture 9). I already said I didn't found this format to be very practical. I would have prefered the instructions to be horizontal rather than vertical . Other than that they are nicely done in the typical Tamiya style. Three options are shown on the instructions (picture 10):

A - Wehrmacht Herr, Berlin 1945
B - Reich Traffic Administration, Minsk 1944
C - German Civil Car

But there is a fourth one on the decal sheet (picture 7) for a Luftwaffe car (number plate WL-132715).

What a nice little kit! I think it can be built in an afternoon and it will look nice in a "last days of the Luftwaffe" diorama but also in a post war scene with allied aircraft based in Germany...
I hope Tamiya will release other vehicles like a "Follow Me" Jeep or an Ambulance. Anyway, for now we have this one and it's a good thing. I highly recommend this "Beetle"!

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AeroScale.
After the release of a CitroŽn 11CV Traction last year, Tamiya are adding another Staff Car to their new range of 1/48 scale kits. The Volkswagen Type 82E, better know as Beetle, can be used in a Luftwaffe late war diorama or a post war scene with allied aircraft based in Germany.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 32531
  Suggested Retail: 13,50Ä (LHS)
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 25, 2006

Click image to enlarge
  • VWcar08
  • VWcar09
  • VWcar10
About Jean-Luc Formery (TedMamere)

I'm mainly interested in WW2 aircraft and I build them in 1/48 scale.

Copyright ©2020 text by Jean-Luc Formery [ TEDMAMERE ]. All rights reserved.


Nice review Jean-Luc you did not answer my question in another thread about how the staff is thinking about posting links to other sites. I will do it now to be subject to your veto. There are two threads in Track 48 forum with some nice information on the Kšfer: VW Typ 82E ... (do not be shocked, the question is from me, but there's plenty of information .. especially from Bruce culver) and VW Off-road Buggy furthe rlinks in those threads. best wishes Steffen
AUG 24, 2006 - 03:24 PM
Hi Steffen There's no problem as far as I'm concerned. Links to informative articles and discussions elsewhere are to everyone's benefit. And yes - neat review Jean-Luc! I just popped out in my lunchbreak to see if I could get one of these, but ModelZone didn't have either this or the Luftwaffe ground equipment. I obviously couldn't come back to work empty-handed, so I went crazy bought a new kit I'd promised myself I wouldn't buy, because I've just got no room for it! - Hint: it's big, black and Wellington-shaped... All the best Rowan
AUG 24, 2006 - 04:47 PM

What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
  • VWcar01
  • VWcar02
  • VWcar03
  • VWcar04
  • VWcar05
  • VWcar06
  • VWcar07