Academy's 1/72 Ground Vehicle Set
Finding accessories for aircraft dioramas can be difficult, especially when you want to include some vehicles. Academy has taken a stab at this by releasing this set that has some common vehicles along with some gas cans, 55-gallon drums, and some crates. The set includes a German Kettenkrad, a German Kübelwagen, and a Allied Jeep.
The Jeep is a vehicle that could be put in just about any diorama of any Allied airfield, as it could be found just about everywhere. This kit is very nicely done, including both a full chassis and undersides and a detailed interior. An engine is also included, but it could probably stand to have some added detailing if you want to have the hood up. Like the Kettenkrad, this kit has a clear hood to show off that engine as well.
The interior is well done, with separate seat backs, two-piece steering wheel & column, thin sidewalls, and a 0.30 cal machine gun to mount on a center post. The windscreen is provided as either a clear piece or a solid piece with the glass opened out. The best way to go would probably be to use the clear piece and just carefully mask out the clear parts. The decals include white stars for the hood and sides and the ID numbers for the hood sides and front bumper.
Just like you'd find the Jeep in just about any Allied setting, the same goes for the Kübelwagen in a German setting. This kit is also well detailed and like the Jeep has thin sides and a detailed chassis & interior. There is also an engine included, along with the clear or solid plastic cover. The instrument cluster and steering wheel are separate, making painting them up easier. A spare tire mounts on the hood, and rear view mirrors and lights add the final details. A choice of two tops is provided, one up and one down.
The decals are basic, with just the license plates, fender markings, and data block being provided. Painting instructions state either a dark yellow or a panzer gray finish.
The Kettenkrad is an interesting halftrack motorcycle. The kit is fairly basic, but then again, there's not much you could have in something this small. The tracks are molded with the roadwheels, and while that works I think it would have been better to have separate wheels and tracks. The engine is included, along with both a clear and a solid covering hatch. I guess this is so you can easily show off the detailing inside. The front wheel is molded with the front forks and main strut, with a separate handlebar and light.
The detailing is very good, with the railings on the rear sides actually being molded quite thin. The painting instructions say you can either finish it in dark yellow or panzer gray, and the decals provide the license plate and an emblem on the side.
The remaining bits of the kit make up the 55-gallon drums, the gas cans, and the crates. Three different kinds of gas cans are provided. The 55-gallon drums are made up of two sides and a separate top, while the crates are one-piece with hollow bottoms. A total of three large crates, three small crates, five 55-gallon drums, and five each of the different style of gas cans.
For diorama accessories this set is an outstanding addition, but even by themselves these kits will make for an impressive display. If you're looking for a change of pace or want to add something extra to that B-17 or Me 262 diorama, definitely check this set out.
Thanks to MRC for our review sample.