Sunday, November 27

Build review shootout: Hero Hobby Vs Tamiya Kübelwagen Type 82 in 35th scale...

Hero Hobby is a new injection moulded kit maker from China. As a launch project, they have kept it simple & probably pretty smart. They have released the two staples of the German army in WWII. The 35th scale Typ k1 Kubelwagen Type 82 and the German Pkw.K2s Schwimmwagen Type 166. Both new tooled kits that really do need to be freshened up from the 1997 era boxing of the Tamiya kits. Did they improve on this old master? Let's see...

Build review shootout:
Kübelwagen Type 82 (Basic Type)
Manufacturer: Hero Hobby Kits
1/35th scale
Product Code: H35002
Price: HK$65.00

On this kit's release, we thought that seeing it was so cheap (HK65.00 is about 1,440yen or 8.50 USD) we should compare it to the benchmark Tamiya kit of the same type. We aimed to see how this new company's kit, using the most modern of technology stood up against the old classic we all know so well. But first thing is first, let's look at the Hero kit before we look at the this and the Tamiya kit both built up in a comparison.

Hero Hobby has made this  - the Kübelwagen Type 82  as well as it's brother - the Schwimmwagen in 35th scale as thier launch kits.
This kit comes in an attractive enough boxing, with the Kübelwagen Type 82 on the cover. We were pretty keen to see what was inside - the "Basic Type" on the boxing either meant that this was the standard car - or that the kit was the "basic" type - we did not know...
The box has an end-opening type with all of the parts inside sealed in one plastic bag, not good for scratches, but luckily enough there are only four sprues in tan colour inside, along with and instruction sheet and the decals and windscreen plastic.
The instructions are printed on shiny paper of a few pages. About five steps that could easily be ten if you broke them up a little. The instructions only need to be basic I suppose with the ease of construction of this simple little kit. First impressions were good so far
The colour schemes in the kit were a choice of three vehicles, one a panzer grey, one a sand yellow and the other being a classic three tone German camo. Colours were called out in Mr Colour, and we are given front, rear and side profiles.
The decal sheet to match the markings is pretty simple also. Simply providing one single number plate (could have been three different ones) and the printed stamp on the doors of the front driver's side as well as the tactical markings in white. I do not hold much hope of this marking being one taken from a picture because of the only one choice of number plate. not much chance the same vehicle had three different camo's that were applied if you think about it. The clear perspex will do just fine for the windscreen.
OK let's look at the plastic inside the kit.

Lucky for me the plastic all in one bag was pretty much unscuffed, apart from one or two blemishes on the surfaces of the exterior of the car. First appearances were that the detail was a little soft, and several ejector pin marks made me nervous about if they would show up in the final construction. Let's go sprue by sprue:

sprue A - has the two main body panel sides, the bumper bar, the rear undertray and the top rear deck. I notice that the engine cover in the rear cannot be opened, and a good thing, seeing there is no engine.
The body panels had the ribbing they need to be replicated in the insides, and any ejector pin marks here would be hidden inside the front and rear body panels.

Sprue B is a little more full of detail. The underside of the car's bodywork and the bonnet (hood for the Americans) and the underside barge plates which were all pretty standard looking. The minimal dashboard that we see on Kubelwagens is here in a raised detail, as is the folded top canopy of the car (now that's what I would call a hood.) The exhaust units, tools and other smaller details are all here on this sprue.
The upper side of the floor plan shows the slatted wooden detail here that was placed inside Kubelwagens, although there is no detail to the wood slats. It is moulded in place so you cannot paint the separate like I think you can in the Tamiya kit.

Sprue C has yet more of the small details of the VW on it, The cloth covered seats look baggy enough to represent the slack cloth, the ribbed doors with handles moulded on to them are good but the side scissor arrangement for the pop-up hood is very lacking in detail for sharp steel parts.
The insides of the doors worried me - ejector pin marks will be hard to hide in such an open vehicle unless you put a cover on it. or fill it full of gear. failing that you could do some modelling and fill these holes. We will see when it is all together how it looks.

Sprue D contains the running gear mostly. The four tyres and inner wheels that attach to them. The pivot steering is fixed once the front wheels are glued in. I would have liked this to be a pivoting type that could change. The smaller details of the towing hooks, headlights, horn, and NOTEK headlight are added to with rear-view mirrors and convoy lights and number plate board.
OK that's the poor man's once over can't be bothered review - let's aim a bit higher shall we, and put it all together now to see how it goes together, and how it looks once finished.

The Build:
Here you see the detailed look at the underside of the car. It is not too hard of a build and it comes together pretty fast.
By the time I stopped to take the next shot I had already gotten to step two of the build. I thought I should the interior of the car clearly. Most of those ejector pins were not visible once the kit was constructed, but there were two on the rear passenger walls that were all too obvious to anyone who cares to look. Not good.
I only had one problem in construction. The rear bodywork really did not want to settle down on the rear chassis and it took some squeezing to get them to join up nicely.
So, a few hours later the Kübelwagen Type 82 from Hero model was put together. construction was basic and trouble free apart from the rear deck being a dick. I slightly turned the front wheels to make this car look a little more lifelike with those skinny tyres.
From the rear, you can see the fabric of the hood of the car - not overly impressed with it. The lack of no closed hood option could have added a new option to this car.
The interior is adequate, however, you can see the ejector marks inside the doors of the car.
So there you are - BUT there is an elephant in the room isn't there - the now 19-year-old holder of the court - the lord of the manor - the 35th scale Tamiya Kübelwagen Type 82.
I bought this kit also from Sincere Hobby at the same time as I got this Hero model kit. Yes, I know that it is different spec Kubelwagen, the "Afrika" reboxing from 1997. I wanted to get this kit because of the soldier inside the kit and the fat desert tyres, and I wanted to see how these tyres looked on the Tamiya kit. Just don't concentrate too hard on that detail for me will ya? Let's look at the Tamiya kit.

The sprues inside this boxing. The slightly sharper moulding on pretty much every part is immediately evident
Three sprues in this box. the top opening type with the white box styling is a classic in this genre. Inside you also get the black and white instructions...simple and to the point, but in a relaxed eleven step build that kept a single aspect to each step.
A small decal sheet and the front windscreen in thin perspex, this time but out so you just pop it out and it's the correct size. The decal sheet is small, but it has three different number plates, two Wehrmacht and one Luftwaffe in this boxing.
I will not take us through the build of the Tamiya kit. That is not the purpose of this review - BUT - have a look at the two in comparison (the Tamiya kit is the one with the fat tyres - on the left in these pictures)
SO..... It's obvious I think that Hero Model has done well on their first attempt, but maybe they should look at the 19-year-old offerings of the established competition like we have - and see the areas they could improve on this industry standard to make their own mark. I really WANTED this kit to be better than the Tamiya (or any other kit) had offered for so long. Alas, it is not so with this model.

However - if they sharpen the detail on their mouldings, offer a kit with no visible injection marks in the cab, add a roof option and some photo-etch parts for the thinner parts, along with a decal for the dashboard and alternative markings. These are some things I could suggest to improve this kit to no end. I do hope they take this way forward.
This is a good little kit, and it is cheaper than the Tamiya kit - but I know which I would choose if I needed a new Kübelwagen Type 82.

Adam Norenberg

You can get both of these kits of the Kübelwagen Type 82 from Sincere Hobby. They even give you a 10% first-time buyer's discount. Thanks to them for sending the Hero Hobby kit to us to review and to build.