KdF VW Type 87 (4x4) Kabrio
From Faustnik - jmqtv(at)iol.pt
Manufacturer: Military Wheels (Kit #7202)
Like their cousin KdF VW Type 60, this is a Limited Edition model, from this Ukranian producer, and its appearance looks more like a second rate resin kit. My first experience with this material indicates that perhaps I should use Epoxy glue or Super-Glue, as the plastic is not of the best quality. A lot of cleaning is needed in almost all pieces. Also some warping is visible, particular in the floor piece. In the end I will also spend a lot of putty to fill all those gaps between the pieces.
Several options are presented, because they offer you not only the wheels set from the KdF 60 kit and its roof, but also the balloon sand wheels (for a D.A.K. model) and also the Kabrio (open top) version. The interior and the clear plastic parts are a little rough, so perhaps you should remake then. A nice touch is the inclusion of diagrams, and also tips for cutting some of the parts in the rear, so that the engine compartment could be seen - totally empty, unless you get an Academy Kubel engine and use it in this area.
After the introduction of the first version of the Beetle, the Type 60 (some 650 produced in 1938-45), this was very soon adapted for a military use, and in 1939 the Type 82, better know as Kubelwagen, appears. In 1941, the off-road chassis from the Kubelwagen were married with the Type 60 body, producing the first military beetle, the Type 82 E (or Type 92SS in the case of the units made for the Waffen-SS) with some 546 produced, which was used by all German organisations. Some of them even manage to reach the warfront, especially in Tunisia, with the D.A.K. and the Ostfront, in this case in the hands of the Waffen-SS. Both units used then as commander's car or messenger's vehicle.
Later, the chassis from the Schwimmwagen were also crossed with the beetle body, resulting in the Type 87, with some 564 produced. Most of them were used by the DAK in Tunisia, as messenger's cars, but small numbers were sent to the Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe and Waffen-SS units, in all fronts.
The KdF was a camera shy vehicle so very few photos are available, but this shouldn't deter you from using any painting system in use by the German Army. Useful bibliography: MAYER-STEIN, Hans-Georg - VW Beetle at War, Schiffer Military Hist. Vol. 54; MAYER-STEIN, Volkswagen of the Wehrmacht: A Photo Chronicle, Schiffer Military History.
If you want to model a Type 87 in European livery, just use the original wheels used in the KdF, filed down so that their diameter is at 9,5mm. One could improve these parts, by replacing the hubs with the ones from a Kubel - Academy or Hasegawa - but do not use the complete wheel, as later were not correct in terms of dimensions. You could also improve the suspension, in this model, using the available data.
As far as scale is concern, using the available data the overall dimensions are around the 1:72-1:70.
Highly recommended - after all is the only KdF beetle in our scale.
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