Wednesday, January 25

Review - MasterBox kit 35101: 1/35th Polizei-Kubelsitzwagen ab 1937

PhotobucketSix months ago we had the privilege here at TMN to review and then to build and paint the excellent 100th kit from MasterBox from the Ukraine – the Tourenwagen 170V in 1/35th scale – and what a great little kit it was!
Since then the world of softskins has literally blown up with different model makers releasing their take on various German cars of WWII – In this – the Polizei-Kubelsitzwagen ab 1937 an updated version of that first kit of the 170V - can MasterBox bring something a little different with this release to the table? Let’s see…
Photobucket

MasterBox kit 35101: 1/35th Polizei-Kubelsitzwagen ab 1937, German Military Car, Type 170V
Kit No: 35101
Kit type: Injection Moulded (3 sprues in grey + 1 in clear + rubber tyres)
Scale: 1/35
Decal variants: 5 on the one sheetAvailable from: MasterBox Stockist Worldwide


Photobucket

Kit number 35101 from MasterBox is their new “German Military Car, Type 170V” For all of you that say it looks a little like a Mercedes-Benz 170V Tourenwagen with a funny hood and boot – well you would be right! It is the police car that Mercedes made called the madekübelsitzwagen (bucket seat car) this was a “less costly “utilitarian version of the Mercedes 170V with hard steel seats and tarpaulins instead of doors.

The boot of the Polizei-Kubelsitzwagen ab 1937 was removed to make room for an open storage area on which sat the spare tyre and two containers for small storage. There were handgrips on the fenders and the rear seats were separated by a partition as well. Why I have explained these extra additions to you is so you can see the main differences in the kits – basically this is the same kit as the MB 35100 170V until you get to the interior and the rear of the vehicle – speaking from my own experience it is a great kit to build as you can see here in this build and review of the earlier kit on this site.

The earlier MB35100 kit this is based on  but is different to...
Photobucket
On this review you can see all of the strengths and possible pit stops I had in construction of this kit – in this review ill highlight the differences between these kits.
Photobucket

MasterBox have opted for the large sheet of instructions again folded into four pages printed in black and white with CAD images showing the car in various stages of construction. The most important part of these instructions is the key on the front page which shows all of the five sprues and most importantly has the part numbers on them. To save plastic is the only reason I can come up with – the sprue numbers aren’t included on MasterBox kits (and several other kit makers as well) so keep this “key” close at all times!
Photobucket

The construction is divided up into three parts – Engine, Frame and Autobody. By far the hardest part of this kit is the frame part –it can be quite fiddly and often you could be tempted to forget about some parts that never get seen – but stick with it and the result will be some nicely detailed kit undersides. The instructions are easy to follow and the fact they are so clear they tend to help you through this harder stage.
minus the instructions this is what is in the box
Photobucket

The kit itself is made from light grey styrene in the most part – four parts of grey sprues are moulded with no real imperfections and sharp detail. There are some injector pin marks but those are in the undersides of areas that will not be seen – the only area that needs attention is under the bonnet – if you show it up it is just a simple process of trimming them off from underneath and all is ready to continue.
The engine and frame sprue…

Photobucket
There are ten steps to constructing the engine - the engine block is a four piece construction that glues together easily and fits into the gearbox around which the other parts of the engine are secured. It is a breeze to make and a few wires for the sparkplugs detail this up to an impressive recreation of the real thing.
The engine block fits together easily and is a cinch to detail

Photobucket
Nine steps to getting it all constructed - all in only a 20minute job

Photobucket
Here is an engine I had built previously from MB35100 kit – the same 4 cylinder shown here

Photobucket
The frame – well the twenty two steps look simple and they are – but it just takes some patience! There are several fiddly parts in the suspension and especially around the linkages of the wheels which are a little tricky to secure – I would recommend a few drops of superglue in these (you will find them) and don’t forget your accelerant! I know at least one high profile modeller who gave up at this point of the kit but all it takes to make something very nice is a deep breath, some fast drying glue and some patience and the result is a great chassis that leaves the older efforts like Tamiya’s white box kit cars in the dark. These are a 100% more complex than kits of yesteryear but the improved detail is worth it 100% as well
You will have to remove a seam running down the centre of the frame -  otherwise all good here
Photobucket
Clear instructions help a lot!

Photobucket
Another fine but delicate part the suspension
Photobucket
The driveshaft -  get it right  - you wouldn't want it to be too short!

Photobucket

The Autobody - well this is the main point of difference of this kit. The chopped down rear end is clear to see in these pictures as is the door-less construction – really this should be an even easier construction as all you have to do is to paint the tarps and decide whether you want the top up or down!
Photobucket

Photobucket
The bodywork is great and thin
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
The front firewall of the car which sits in behind the engine has a space for either the earlier smaller civilian round fuel tank or the larger military issue tank. Either of these is a good choice (though the instructions say to use only the smaller civvies tank) and a paint before they are secured into place makes them look great. These can be inserted at whatever time you like as long as the bonnet isn’t down.
Photobucket
Photobucket
The firewall and the two choices of fuel tank below

Photobucket

Photobucket

The front windscreen frame is very thin and must be handled with care otherwise it will break - it has happened to me twice now – once on both kits – but it is an easy straight glue back together fix. Also the mudguards are so thin that they can be easily mis-shaped as mine were by the postman – thanks mate! This was not the fault of the kit – they just need gentle care.
The front grille which looks great with the three pointed hubcaps
Photobucket
The front dash board looks just like the original with toggles in all of the right places and some decals which we’ll discuss later making up the dials of this instrument panel.
Photobucket

He went Zat-a-way!
Photobucket

The pedals and gear-stick are quite fine and will take some fiddly work but as long as they go in before the steering wheel you are doing well – otherwise the large diameter wheel somewhat blocks your progress – it is a lovely wheel though.
Photobucket

Photobucket

The main differences in this kit from the first MasterBox Tourenwagen comes into play around step six of the autobody construction. The large flat plate for the “boot” space goes in instead of the large rear boot on kit 35100.
Photobucket

At the rear end there is also a tow ball to be attached and the ammo container-like stowage bins for the police’s equipment. The spare tyre site on the deck and the larger police number plate sits at the rear on the left hand side of the vehicle. The rear bumper is omitted on this version of the 170.
Looks decidedly uncomfortable-
Photobucket

Next steps are the inclusion of the hard seating for jailers and prisoners alike which will look great as scratched metal seats with heaps of wear – the tarpaulin doors are here in a little bunch rolled up as well as is the choices of two versions of the hood.
From my previous experience with the sister kit I can say that these hoods paint up quite well and look great with some shading applied to them – try to weather them as the sun would hit them and include some fading and this adds great depth in a make it or break it phase of the model
The hood down
Photobucket
The hood up - part of it anyway
Photobucket
Underside of the rear quarter

Photobucket

The hood on this version looks equally good down or up – on the last kit the hood looked better up – but MasterBox have worked on the framing and thankfully this looks great when down as well as up.
The variations of making and displaying the kit are great to choose your preferred vehicle dressing

Photobucket


Of course you can display the car with the bonnet up or down – and on both sides – this shows of the engine and adds yet more depth to your kit and the diorama it sits in
The closed bonnet
Photobucket

Open option - note excellent hinges

Photobucket
Side doors – great detail
Photobucket
Fine details like the radiator are hidden unfortunately
The Tyres – well these are five vinyl tires – and like them or not they are sure quick to apply! Seriously the verdict is still and will forever be out on these – myself I like them as applying the sandwich type types layer by layer is a chore that bores me – they are easy to get finger prints on as well – where are the vinyl has sometimes extra material that is hard to remove. My last build’s tyres didn’t look too shabby and took pigments to weather them just fine. They  still look great six months later.
Photobucket
With the wheels inserted

Photobucket
These are the wheels from my last kit - they paint up and finish pretty will i think

Photobucket




The decals come on a single sheet and are mostly of the five different versions of the car’s number plates. There are three German police (pol) and two Field police (FP) plate here – as well as this there are the small dials of the dashboard included. The whites are bright and the decal is in register.
Photobucket
On their site MasterBox have included some pictures of the exact vehicles that are portrayed in these decals – that is a great inclusion and must be pointed out – thanks MB!

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Colours are field grey for all of the vehicles I must mention, the colour call outs are on the back of the box along with painting instructions for Vallejo paints. They call for grey, grey- more grey and a little bit of tarpaulin colour-whether this is grey or not can’t really be determined from wartime pictures – only if you can get a shot of this stuff not repaired and stored in a vault could you tell – someone would come up with a picture to prove you wrong the next day if you did!

Photobucket
The last thing in the kit is the clear sprue of transparencies – all is in order here with the front and rear windscreens and the three front headlights present as well as the bulb for the side searchlight to catch the crims un-a-wares! There were no breakages and all of the extras I must mention – the decals, clear and tyres all are in their own separate bag which is good.
Photobucket
So there you have it – pretty much the same kit but with new touches to the body work - a whole new seating arrangement and doors and a “utility” boot. There are some small extras like handrails on the rear quarters and en extra spotlight in the grille - again the same excellent “Mercedes” grille and emblem are present. The hood has been re-done importantly the attention paid to it will greatly improve the top-down look of the vehicle – promoting you to open it up for all to see your hard work.

Adam Norenberg

Photobucket

Thanks to MasterBox for the review kit – here on their site are some pictures of the figures assembled but not painted for you to see what they look like in the flesh


 Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
And some of the colour schemes are here

PhotobucketPhotobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket