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Kadett K38 Cabriolimousine WWII German Staff Car (35483) 1:35 ICM via Hannants The original Kadett was unveiled by the then Opel chief in 1936 with some innovative features including a monocoque chassis, and after a minimalistic set of cosmetic upgrades in 1937/8 the K38 was born. The KJ38 was the standard limousine, while the K38 was marketed as the Spezial with better trim levels inside and out so that it lived up to its name. It was also available with a soft roof that could be removed to turn it into a cabriolet, which led to the slightly ungainly Cabriolimousine moniker. There were well over 50,000 K38s made, and it was only natural that some of them ended up in military service, predominantly as Staff Cars to transport officers of for them to drive themselves around in. Curiously, as part of the reparations after the war, the Soviet Union were allowed to take their pick of some Opel designs and they chose the K38. The factory and drawings had been ravaged during the war, so completed vehicles were taken to Russia and reverse engineered using captured German staff, resulting in the almost identical Muskovich 400/420 with a stylised M replacing the Opel badge. The Kit The original tooling of this kit was made in 2013 and it has been reboxed by ICM and other over the years with a few changes in parts and decals. This new tooling is the first attempt at the soft-top variant by ICM, using new body parts where necessary and leaving the hard roof on the sprues in favour of a new canvas moulding. The kit arrives in a small top-opening box with the usual captive lid to the tray. Inside are four sprues of grey styrene, one of clear parts, decal sheet, a bag of five flexible plastic tyres and the instruction booklet with colour painting guide to the rear. Detail is excellent and the new sprue contains both the stretched hood in closed position and the retracted hood complete with detailed end parts as well as some additional body parts that differ between the models. This is a full interior kit, so you also get an engine and most of the internals/underside parts too. Construction begins with the floor of the monocoque chassis into which the two bench seats are installed once the backs and cushions are assembled. Driver controls consisting of the pedals, gear stick and hand-brake are glued in place then the instrument panel is attached to the sloped firewall and decals are provided for the two dials. The car's sides have moulded-closed doors with separate windows that have frames moulded-in, and an internal structure including door cards and pillars fitted to the interior along with handles and window-winders for both sides. These attach to the sides (no surprise there!) and the nicely detailed inner wings join the external fenders, making up the basis of the engine compartment. The boot/trunk is covered by a cut-down part with a separate parcel shelf and the front screen with A-pillars has a flat glazing panel added together with a sun visor and rear-view mirror for the driver on the left side (that's the wrong side if you're not British, Australian or Japanese). The steering column, front brace and a triangular box section are added into the engine bay, then the two-part steering wheel is attached at the top end of the column, the central part separate from the rim. The 1,074cc engine that outputs a huge 23hp to the wheels is next to be made with a two-part block, sump, manifolds and the balance of the ancillaries, plus pulleys, radiators and so forth. This fits to the front axle with the drum brakes, forming a modern(ish) subframe that is inserted into the engine compartment from below, much like the real thing. The steering linkage is added later after the exhaust is joined to the engine and suspended from blocks on the chassis underside, then the rear axle with its drum brakes, differential cover and leaf springs are put in place, joined to the transmission by its drive shaft. A cover is fitted over it at about the half-way point, and two additional braces are added to the rear axle, finishing off the underside. The wheels have single part hubs and the tyres are fitted over them thanks to their flexibility which also enables them to have a nice cross-ply tread pattern moulded-in. Flipping the vehicle over, the battery and air-box are installed in the engine bay, then the streamlined front cowl with grille and separate clear headlights are fitted to the front with a badge and optional hood/bonnet ornament added to finish it off. The bonnet/hood itself folds from the centreline on a narrow panel and has the short curved side panels hinged at the edges, which fold inwards under gravity as they are opened. Closing up the passenger compartment takes the two part closed hood and oval rear window part, gluing them in place from front to back. Leaving the roof open means adding two side panels over the windows that are normally hidden, then fixing the four-part folded hood at the rear, mating the curved groove in its underside with the shape of the rear. Remaining at the rear the number plate holder and its light and counterpart on the opposite side are fitted, then a choice of a separate hub with flexible tyre, or a two-part covered spare in styrene. The rear bumper has two iron brackets to attach it to the chassis, as does the front bumper with a central over-rider. Completing the model involves adding the windscreen wipers either as a pair or only for the driver, plus two wing mirrors (oh the luxury!), then the offset front number plate and the convoy light that resembles a flattened German helmet. Markings There are four decal options in the box, which include the cream civilian option from the front of the box, two grey vehicles and one dark yellow option from later in the war. From the box you can build one of the following: Germany, Summer 1939 Wehrmacht, Poland, September 1939 Ambulance, Germany, Summer 1940 Staff Car, France, 1943 Decals are printed anonymously, with good registration, sharpness and colour density for the task at hand, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion While not a brand-new tooling, the addition of the new parts adds interest and will find uses in dioramas as well as stand-alone models. Detail is excellent throughout too. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from Importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
Club group build on the theme of soft-skinned vehicles any scale, any era. I decided on this... And have made a start with the chassis. Glug down the last of my (cold) tea and off to bed
Hi all, I am new on this forum and this diorama is my biggest work, so far. The basic kits were the Hasegawa's old bf 109E and the Tamiya reissued Opel Blitz. During the building I used a lot of PE and detail sets, such as Eduard, Part, Hauler, SBS Model! Hope you like it! Thanks or watching! Cheers, Matyi from Hungary
Hi all, My second attempt at anything not medium-scale aircraft so be gentle! I wasgiven this kit to complete for the up-and-coming D-Day diorama at the Hornby museum - my club is organising and preparing the hundreds of tanks, guns, aircraft, ships and figures which will feature. I have done a 1/76 Sherman for the same display. It is not muddied up yet as I don't know what shades will be used in the diorama so it would be silly to have it not matching - nonetheless I hope my feeble attempts at weathering pass muster here on the armour forum. I actually really enjoyed it - was lovely to leave the filler alone and just experiment with preshading/washes and chipping, and all done in a couple of days! Cheers, Chris