The Volkswagen "Beetle" is a familiar sight to many people, but few realize just how old of a design it is. First taking to the road in the 1930s, the Volkswagen Beetle found its way into the military in several guises. The simplicity and sturdiness of the design led the VW into becoming an off-road Kübelwagen as well as a Kommandeurwagen. By chopping the back off and adding a cargo box, a delivery van was made, serving in both military and civilian fields.
CMK's Kastenwagen VW is the latest in their lineup of 1/35 VWs and like the earlier ones it builds on a common set of sprues. (Click here for reviews of the Typ 87 Kommandeurwagen andTyp 230 "Gas Generator"). This time the body has been chopped to make room for the van addition.
Like the other VW releases, this kit is crisply molded and has lots of nice detailing throughout. The construction is straightforward, although when it comes time to add the rear box you'll have some work to do, as there's not much there in the way of locating pegs.
The interior is complete and even includes the parts for the rear seats, which are not used since the van addition cuts into that area. Two sets of wheels & tires are provided, again reflecting the heritage of the molds. You can use one set on the car and toss the other set in the cargo hold in back.
The cargo hold comes on a new sprue set and is, for the most part, cleanly molded. There is some flash but a little cleanup before assembly will take care of that. Building this part up will be simple as it's nothing but a box. There is a hatch on the inside wall provided separately, allowing the driver access to the cargo area. The rear doors are also separately molded, making it easy to open the back up.
The decals included provide markings for two of these VW cargo vans. The first example is that seen on the box top, a Typ 86 ambulance. This vehicle carries a somewhat complex camouflage consisting of overall dark yellow with spots of red-brown outlined in olive-green. A definite challenge for the airbrush, that's for sure. The second choice is much simpler as it's a VW Typ 83 of the Reichspost. Overall Panzer Gray with Reichspost in yellow on the sides of the cargo box is all this one has.
The CMK VW series is an excellent series of 1/35 kits and their small size and simple construction means that you can crank out quite a few in a relatively short amount of time. This particular example opens up some interesting diorama ideas, with the rear doors open and who knows what in back. If you haven't picked one of these kits up yet, don't hesitate the next time you see one on the hobby store shelves.