Italeri's 1/72 scale
by Glen Porter
images by Brett Green
Italeri's 1/72 scale Kubelwagen is available online from Squadron.com
Many Australian service groups that went overseas during the Second
World War were severely under equipped and higher authority told them
that they would just have to make do without it. Consequently, they
became very good at “begging, borrowing or steeling” equipment for their
own use. Some of it came from other Allied units such as 75 Squadron
RAAF using "borrowed" American jeeps in New Guinea, but some was also
captured enemy equipment like the Italian M.13/40 tanks the Australian
army used at Tobruk with big white kangaroos painted on the turrets for
Number 3 Squadron RAAF, operating with the Desert Air Force in North
Africa, was another group noted for their prowess in restoring and using
enemy gear. Bobby Gibbs, one of the Commanders of No. 3 Squadron, in
fact flew the Bf 109G-2, Black 6 that crashed recently in the UK, until
it was commandeered by the brass. They also had a Macchi C.205 for a
while. So it came as no surprise when I was shown a photo of a
Kubelwagen being used by them with RAAF painted on the front doors.
had recently done a review of Italeri’s 1/72 Kubelwagen I decided to
build it as this vehicle.
1/72 scale Italeri kit, containing two Kubelwagens, is quite old and a
However, it is the only game in town in 1/72 scale with wheels that are
anywhere near the right size. They are, unfortunately, hollow on the
inside. This was fixed by gluing a length of appropriately sized
Evergreen tubing into the inside then cutting the excess off when it was
dry. The driver’s side front door was cut open and a small engraved
panel was glued on the inside of each door to give a bit of interior
detail and to cover up extraction pin marks. The gearshift lever was
scratch-built along with the rear number plate holder and the windscreen
was made from a piece of clear acetate. If one wished, more detail could
be added such as front and rear suspension, extra taillights, clearance
rods and clutch, brake and throttle pedals.
sure from the photo whether this vehicle should be Desert Yellow or Dark
Yellow, but as it was an ex-DAK one I decided on the former.
were painted a red brown and the folded canopy was done in a light
khaki. All paints were Tamiya or Model Master enamels with a Tamiya
acrylic wash of red brown to darken the recesses. After a coat of
acrylic gloss the kit decals were applied except for the door vehicle
weight markings. The RAAF decals came from the spares box from an old
Red Roo Australian and New Zealand Air Force sheet in various scales.
Last of all, a coat of Testor’s Dull Coat was applied and there it was,
in all its splendour. Or not.
In the future, I hope to use this model along with a 3 Squadron P 40-E I
built for Brett’s next book in a diorama of three Desert Air Force
pilots having their photo taken by a friend.
Click the thumbnails below to view larger
Model and Text Copyright
© 2004 by Glen Porter
Images Copyright © 2004 by
Page Created 08 October, 2004
09 October, 2004
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