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Italeri's 1/72 scale
Pre-Owned Kubelwagen

by Glen Porter


Kubelwagen in RAAF Service

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 identification purposes.


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.

As I had recently done a review of Italeri’s 1/72 Kubelwagen I decided to build it as this vehicle.





The 1/72 scale Italeri kit, containing two Kubelwagens, is quite old and a little simple.

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.



Painting and Markings


I’m not 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.



Seats 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.



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model and Text Copyright © 2004 by Glen Porter
Images Copyright © 2004 by Brett Green
Page Created 08 October, 2004
Last Updated 09 October, 2004

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