Here's a rather interesting vehicle just released from Takom. It's a model of a Volkswagen T3 transporter. As you may know Takom have also released the passenger version of this model as well but I was drawn to the utility version mostly for the sheer display possibilities of the finished model.
I should point out from the start that obviously this is not marketed as a VW but we all know that it is! These vehicles have been in use with the Bundeswehr in some form or other for many years and are also used by many armies throughout the world. The model would also be a superb base for a civilian vehicle if you were so inclined.
The model comes in small but perfectly formed box with a nice illustration on the front. The kit parts are made up of three green coloured sprues, a clear sprue for the glazing, the main cab in green plastic & rubber wheels. A set of nicely printed instructions in the form of a small booklet, a colour guide and a small set of decals are also in there too.
First up is the clear sprue "E" which contains all the glazing and lights. Obviously this is a generic sprue as it contains all the glass for the passenger version so you will have some spare glazing for the spares box. Everything is crystal clear and looks very nice indeed.
Next up is the cab molding & wheels. The cab as are the other solid parts of the kit cast in a very nice green colour very reminiscent of the Bundeswehr olive green colour.The casting is superb with crisp details and nice panel lines which will really pop later on under paint and weathering. On the inside roof of the cab are two sun blinds cast into the plastic and just a hint of a couple of ejector pin marks at the rear. The five wheels are cast in a rigid rubber and have a very nice tread pattern on the running faces and no mold lines to worry about at all.
Sprue "A" mostly deals with the suspension parts, cab doors, grills & bumpers. Here again the casting is excellent especially the wheels which have the lightning holes on the hubs cast in so no drilling out is needed. The wheels also feature some pegs on them which I would assume help keep the rubber wheels from collapsing and keeps them in the correct profile. There are also some disc brakes with callipers for dressing up the rear of the wheels. Also the front wheels are fully adjustable so you can model it turning a corner.
One crafty touch from Takom is the front grill emblem. It's molded on the grill with a tiny "X" and the instructions suggest using small sticks molded on the "A" sprue to make the logo you want. Very clever as it will be very easy to get that signature VW badge on the front so loved by the beastie boys!
Sprue "B" contains the chassis tubs and more cabin details. Again nicely cast with some smashing details. The underside has some nice details molded in such as the fuel tank and spare wheel well. There's even the lower half of the engine to drop in and this is typical VW. Looks very nice too, the seats, dashboard and inner door cards all have great details which will all really pop once painted.
Sprue "D" deals with the rear cargo area and here again the details are crisp and well cast. It looks like it would be an easy task to have the sides or rear dropped down as there are hinges and brackets on the corresponding parts. Not a hint of an ejector pin mark can been seen on any of the parts inner surfaces. You also get one wooden pallet included to stow in the back.
Marking options for the model are one German army vehicle, a Lebanese army version and a civilian version. In my box I actually had two sets of decals so I have a spare for the decal bank! The decals look to be nicely in register and I think the inclusion of a civvy truck is a nice touch. Colours are called out on this sheet too but you only get options for Ammo by MIG colours. Not really a problem as NATO colours are widely available. No colours for the interior are mentioned but a quick look on the web shows that tan & black are possibly the normal colours for the cab.
The instruction booklet is nicely laid out with clear easy to follow illustrations so nothing to catch you out here.
I'm really impressed with this kit, it's definitely a build out of the box model as you really don't need anything else to produce a cracking little vehicle which would look great on it's own or used as a companion vehicle for something else. The diorama potential is HUGE especially if you want to model a civvy vehicle. The fact that there's not a whiff of etched brass in the box and that there is very little if any clean up of parts needed means to me at least that this would be an enjoyable and stress free build.
Takom have been producing some innovative and unusual models of late and this is another welcome addition to their growing stable of top class models. I paid £33 for this model and although that seems a lot for a small model once I actually studied the parts I think the price is reasonable for the quality of the kit. Highly recommended.