Improving the Dragon Schwimmwagen - 1/6 scale #75013
by Mario Covalski © 2011 Modeler Site
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Being a car fan, everything that has wheels attracts my attention, nevertheless, the Kubelwagen’s amphibious sibling, went unnoticed by me for quite a long time. After building the 1/6 Dragon Kubel, I was pretty excited with the Schwimmwagen, and the quality of the kit and improvements Dragon introduced a couple of years after the Kubel release, really surprised me. This article aims at offering my view about this kit construction, adding some improvements I considered necessary so as to make a worthy scale model.
About the kit
I’ll not extend in an itemized review since the article will cover the essential, but I would like to put special emphasis on several points.
Quality is much better than the Kubel, even it’s notorious the difference of details between the old parts which are common for both kits, and new ones.
Construction is much more difficult and Dragon gave up with this kit the romantic idea of using little glue.
Incredibly, it has no instructions since I can’t call instruction manual to five pictures with arrows in a model already built showing the number of parts. Inexperienced model builders will not know where to start from, even if I would not have built the first Kubel, everything would have been even more difficult.
As both kits have many parts in common, especially for the suspensions, Dragon (as usual) provide several trees from the Kubel, which allowed me to add several extra details such as the rear view mirror, handles…etc.
If the pictures and other references were necessary to build the Kubel, they are a must- have here, at least for me, since this is a less known vehicle. But note that most of the pictures show restored vehicles and there is much discrepancy among them. Although I’m not a “rivet counter”, I took the artistic freedom of interpreting some parts; anyway it’s better to start from a good reference, otherwise the final result can be ridiculous.
You can find an excellent walkaround and a lot of information in the following web site devoted to the vehicle in question and many pictures on the Internet.
Besides, I used as reference the Schwimmwagen in detail ( #19) from WWP publications, absolutely great both in quality and quantity of the information.
It’s impossible to explain in an article the building process of this model which took me 200 hours work, with comings and goings, it would be necessary a book to detail all what was done and the problems and solutions, so I concentrated on the details, and several difficulties I found and had to face during the construction.
The upper hull cannot be glued so easily to the chassis A as Dragon suggest. The back part of N was distorted and there was no way to make it take the necessary shape to fit in A. Dragon seem to ignore the part F (interior of the engine bay and rear bulkhead) which is indicated in a picture in step 3 but it nearly goes unnoticed. This part is the most important of the body assembly since if glued first, it allows that N takes the proper shape.
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