Improving the Dragon Kubelwagen

1/6 scale # 75003

by Mario Covalski © Modeler Site

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Action figure collecting is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. Figures made out of different plastic materials based on TV sci-fi series, sci-fi movies (for instance GI Joe action figures) and facts from real life such as the representation of different war scenarios. Soldier figures are commonly made in 1/6 scale, they’re represented with military uniforms made from genuine fabric and the weapons that real soldiers use to have, vehicles included.

A few years ago, Dragon apparently discovered that they could start with action figures, representing in 1/6 scale all the subjects and so the series of vehicles were born, the first was the Kubelwagen type 82.
I’ll not extend on explaining what was the Kubel for, America had the Jeep and Germany the Kubelwagen, apart from the Panzer, it was the most widely used and best known in WWII.

The aim of this article it to lead the reader through the experience of building this model adding as many details as possible.

The kit

This kit has not been thought for regular modelers of 1/35 scale military vehicles. It’s very big (my workbench was full and the box measures 60cm long) and that is the only reason why it’s justified that a modeler wants to build it, otherwise one would have chosen the Revell 1/9 or the Tamiya 1/16.

Now, I’ll get into the pros and cons of the kit


The instruction manual is pretty much a joke from some Dragon engineer. If it was thought for inexperienced modelers…it will take you hours to understand what to do. Most of the steps have mistakes or instructions written in the wrong order. Luckily, I had read some reviews found in the Internet which allowed me to find out a lot of details not shown in the instructions. Later, I’ll extend and report about several mistakes.

The proportions are good and I have no doubt it was “copied” from any 1/35 or 1/16 kit; but even being oriented to action figures, the simplification of certain parts seems ridiculous for this scale.

Among all the lacks and errors, the most important and impossible to solve (unless you are a master modeler) is the lack of engine, with just an outline on the chassis representing only the part that would be visible from the bottom.

I’m a car model builder and though the lack of engine is something common for those who build military vehicles, for me any 1/6 scale model should have a representation of the engine especially when the hood is molded as a separate panel and the walls of the engine compartment are provided. What for?. Besides a hinged hood would be great.

The suspension is a bad joke, is not movable besides of not matching the real one especially regarding the front suspension, anyway once built, it’s not so visible.

The pivoting windshield is sui generis and completely erroneous. I don’t understand the difference between making it well or bad, on the other hand the windshield and frame are cast as a single piece of clear plastic which should be masked to be painted, a difficult task for many model builders. The most recent kits of this line such as the Schwimmwagen #75013 windshield and frame are provided separately. The windshield wipers are not provided as separate parts.


The Kubel on the workbench

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Includes more than 113 pics, here we show only the text pages.