Monday, September 22

Mantis Miniatures 1/35th scale Kubelwagen accessories build review

Mantis Miniatures has sent us their new set which hopes to make something just a little more out of your Tamiya Kubelwagen – tomorrow we will build and review the figures to match but today we built the Tamiya kit up to show you the Kubelwagen accessories kit in our review
Mantis Miniatures Kubelwagen accessories
Nine parts of grey resin
Dedicated for Tamiya kit.
Price: 12€
Mantis Miniatures has been steadily increasing their portfolio of figures in 72nd and 5th scales, as well as including animals and also diorama accessories like the WLA Accessory set we looked at last month for the MiniArt kit. Their accessories usually match their figures closely to make a mini scene nearly on their own and the menagerie of animals adds further to the scene. It seems that the owner of the company Artur Miniszewski thinks about something he wants to model – creates it and then sells it – other people must want this as well? I like his thinking.
Their latest releases see two Afrika Korps figures in a Kubelwagen. Both the figures are sold separately or as a set, and the accessory set to dress up your Tamiya Kubelwagen is what we will be looking at today. 
The Tamiya Kubelwagen is a really simple kit. Unlike it’s almost too basic brother Schwimmwagen kit this one has held up nicely through the ages and thus has not been replaced by other companies as of yet. There are several improvement sets for this it already on the market but nothing with the parts we will look at in one package. I suppose Artur saw a gap in the market…
We made this Kubelwagen to show you if these parts were any good or not - it only takes a few hours if that to make this kit - its simple but a litttle garnish really makes it your own!
The box is full of nine pieces of grey resin. They come secured in a Zip-Loc bag and the resin inside is very nicely detailed.  There were one or two air bubbles in the tyres on the surface but these were small and not a problem to fill. Casting blocks are attached to the parts but these were not too hard to remove and it caused no damage to the kit.
The nine parts in this accessory set consist of:
A fabric covered front spare tyre
The two pulled bits of fabric attach to the supplied rope entangled bumper
The detail even under the tyre is shown here. the fabric of the flag covering the tyre is really nicely thin and detailed.
A front bumper bar covered with rope that the flag on the tyre is attached to. The rope is excellently thin and you an see the fibres of the rope, again some great detail. 
 The two small parts on the casting block are two small buckles that attach to the sides of the VW. These attach to the sided of the scissor-like canopy of the VW.
Four window frames for the side plastic windows 
And the rear collapsible hood which was made from canvass and steel frame.
See the thin fabric folded herein this sculpt and details like the leather fastening straps on the lower rear deck connection places. The hinges on the scissor mechanism are nicely sculpted as well
In excessively muddy, cold and sandy areas the hood was often used on these vehicles to give the little protection they could against the elements. This set then could be used in a few different theatres of war. Although the front spare tyre is a fat one used in the desert with low surface pressure it could be used almost anywhere where the terrain is soft (mud, snow & sand). Ropes on the bumper bar were good for securing stowage and tools and also very handy for towing the car out of problems
A picture from Signal! Showing a Kubelwagen tearing through the sand in exactly the same configuration as this kit. The side window parts are installed here with the canopy off to get some cool air to the passengers no doubt.

And at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra – maybe they had a Signal! Conscription? Notice the flappy cloth on the canopy?

 The cloth on the front tyre can be a canopy or like in this variation the Nazi flag for aerial recognition.
…Anyway enough navel gazing - let’s do the smart thing and put them on the Kubelwagen we have made to see if they work out or not… 
I had to get rid of the front bumper on the kit which wasn’t too hard (easier if you do it before you secure the plastic part Doh!) and the bumper just sits right into the slot provided on the kit. The resin tyre is seen here in place. It simply sits on the spare tyre rack here and the two loth parts attach to the roped bumper bar which in this scenario the rope is holding it down in place.
The rear hood of the Kubelwagen is held in place by the two attachment points on the sides of the car. These hold it in place and the rear hood simply sits on top of the rear deck.

I had problems with these two points that secure to the VW originally as I used wrong glue - originally T tried white glue to test fit these parts – I switched to super glue and let it set. Then bent in the canopy scissor frame a little and they sat in quite well.
The canvas window frames are seen here in-situ on the doors. These are interchangeable unless I have missed something. They sit on the doors which are flat pretty easily but you will have to supply your own plastic windows which is a bit of work but worth the effort no doubt. Inclusion of these parts of clear would have been the icing on the cake and they are the only thing missing from this set.
Here it is all made up – it is simple to add these parts and it looks quite effective I think!

Well there it is – an easy way to upgrade your “vanilla” looking Kubelwagen into a desert roamer quite easily. You can of course put this in dusty, muddy, snowy and sandy conditions and just change your paint scheme to match.

We will review the figures to match this set tomorrow and you might just go for the Afrika scheme we think!

Adam Norenberg

These are available from Mantis Miniatures directly and the best worldwide model shops. You can also place an order directly from Mantis by email:
We will look at the figures tomorrow - here is a teaser of how they look  when combined with these accessories all painted up by the box art painter Artur Miniszewski