|Steyr Type 1500 cargo truck, kit #: 7003||Preview by Jeff Hamblen - jhamblen(at)nkjo.opole.pl|
|A new Czech company, Profiline, released three versions of the Steyr
type 1500 - a cargo truck, radio car and ambulance - all with the
late-war wooden "Einheitsfuhrerhaus" cab. The back of the boxart
shows the next two releases from this company, another ambulance and
cargo version with a different bed, both with the earlier steel cab.
It's a short-run kit but a huge improvement on the MAC Steyr. Some pieces are very nicely-detailed, like the grills on the hood sides. Other pieces, like the headlights, are chunky and soft on details. All the pieces have very large attachment points and will probably require a razor saw and some careful clean-up. Some pieces have a small amount of flash but nothing too bad except for part of the exhaust, typical for this kind of kit. The molds must have been polished because many pieces have a mirror-like finish on them. Normally I don't prime my models, but I might use some Mr. Surfacer on this one to make sure the paint sticks.
The interior of the cab is adequate, with a dashboard and steering wheel. The floor has some pedals molded in, but no gearshift. The doors are molded together with the side walls, similar to the Academy and MAC Opels, making it difficult to open the cab up. Probably pieces would have to be scratchbuilt, since the doors are so thick and have no interior detail. Another minor problem are the knockout pins on the doors. They are on the inside and will be easy to remove with an Xacto, but the exterior sides have dimples. The jerrycan mounted on the right front fender also has a large sinkhole that pretty much destroys the piece. Better to replace it and scratch a new mount. There are a few other sinkholes, but are so minor that a drop of Mr. Dissolved Putty with take care of them. The truck bed is scribed but doesn't have any wood grain detail which is usually too heavy in 1/72 anyways.
A small clear acetate sheet is included, preprinted with the outlines of the windows. Strangely no plastic is included for the round "porthole" in the back.
The decals only have one option - unknown unit, Berlin 1945 - in overall dunkelgelb. The license plates are do it yourself, with WH, WL and WM(!) prefixes. Also included is a loading label which doesn't seem to have any data and three white circles, outlined in black, with a black silhouette of a tank in the center. Two are for the doors and another for the left front fender.
About references, I had a hard time finding any information at all on this version of the Steyr 1500. There is nothing in Frank's "Trucks of the Wehrmacht" and a search on Google only turned up a couple of pictures of a similar vehicle, the Steyr 2000A. A German website, zuckerfabrik24.de, has information about an improved and lengthened version of the 1500A that was produced in 1944 and 1945. There are two photos of this truck with the Einheits cab that look very similar to this model, but the bed is much longer in one of the photos. Because of this, I can't comment on the accuracy of model. This late in the war, few photos were taken and even fewer of a regular truck. The photo that the decal option is based on can be found in Militaria's "Berlin 1945" book. It identifies the unit as the "Ferdinand Von Schill" Infantry Division, formed in late April 1945. Unfortunately, the two Steyr vehicles in the picture were photographed from the front, so you can't really see if they are type 1500 or have the longer bed of the 2000A. I don't have a copy of the WWP book on the Steyr. Maybe there are photos of a restored vehicle in it.
Overall, I think with a little bit of work, this model will build into a very nice late-war truck. I haven't seen the MAC model version, but from reviews I have read, this one seems light years ahead.