LEC Models
(Limited Edition Castings Models)

Schwimmwagen Typ 129 Radiocontrolled Explosives Carrier

Kit #: Preview by Marko Mäkinen - mtm66pz(at)yahoo(dot)com
Edited by Al Magnus

Everybody knows the Schwimmwagen, but how many know that there was a radio controlled explosives carrier variant, too? No, me neither, but that is exactly what this model kit depicts.

This from reference [1] below:

On 8 April 1942 personnel of the Panzer-Abteilung 300 took delivery of two VW Schimmwagen from the Porsche company in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. They were a variant of the Type 128 which was designated Sondertype 129 (Special Type 129).

On these vehicles the crew compartment was completely covered with sheet metal. An explosive charge was to be accommodated in the rear of the interior. The exhaust system was modified. Two vertically-arranged mufflers were shielded by rectangular metal casings. Takeoff-assist rockets could be attached on the left and right sides of the rear metal shield. These were supposed to be ignited shortly before the vehicle reached the river bank in order to provide it with the necessary impetus when it touched ground.

The Schwimmwagen Sondertype 129 was tested on the River Spree, in the course of which one vehicle was written off. The idea of employing the Schwimmwagen as an amphibious demolition vehicle was not pursued. The second vehicle was issued to Panzer-Versuchs und Ersatz-Abteilung 300, where it was used for other purposes.

This is a complete resin kit from a small cottage manufacturer called LEC Models, and a fine kit it is. The information on this rare subject is very scarce to begin with, making reviewing somewhat tricky in the accuracy department. I will not comment on the measures or dimensions, but eyeballed, the main forms and shapes look to be in place, and it looks like the old Hasegawa Schwimmwagen kit possibly having been used as the master for this conversion. The details are satisfactory and the casting is faultless, no bubbles or serious indeficiencies can be found. Very minor flash is present on some parts, though.

This is a simple kit, so there is only a small number of parts, and since their breakdown is logical, putting the kit together should be very straightforward. The instructions are very basic, but will definitely do their job. Unfortunately no mention is made on the painting options, so the decision on the finishing touch is left completely with the modeller. Some liberties will most likely have to be allowed in this respect. No decals are included with the kit, and I believe that no markings would even be needed.

This kit can be hard to find coming from a small manufacturer. All in all, a very good representation of a highly exotic subject, which should give interesting modelling possibilities especially when placed into a diorama setting.

[1] Funklenkpanzer, Marcus Jaugitz, J.J. Federowicz Publishing, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 2001 ISBN 0-921991-58-4

A big thank you for Bram Corts for the sample kit.

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Article Last Updated: 02 May 2012