Kit Review: cyber-hobby.com (Dragon Models Limited) 1/35 Scale '39-'45 Series Kit No. 6336; Kuebelwagen Ambulance w/German Medical Team; 207 parts (185 parts in grey styrene, 14 etched brass, 8 clear styrene); price US $19.95
Advantages: combines two kits in one box with extra details; stretcher is beautifully done
Disadvantages: figures are older DML efforts and much stiffer than current releases
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for German "Kuebel" fans and diorama buffs
It took me a while to get the DML/cyber-hobby.com relationship sorted, as we know from historical releases that DML also has released (in original or modified form) kits from Gunze Sangyo (Japan) and Alan (Russia) under its own label, as well as the "Shanghai Dragon" lower priced re-releases. Now comes a new company - Bego - of which I am totally unawares.
No matter. This kit combines the new Bego VW Typ 82 "Kuebelwagen" kit (which oddly enough DragonUSA claims to sell as Kit PLA001 for US $37.95!) with parts of DML "Imperial" Kit No. 9055 (VW Ambulance, released in 1999) and DML figure set 6074 (German Medical Troops with two medics, one ambulatory patient and one stretcher case). The 9055 kit provides a doctor in medical apron and a nurse in skirt and apron; the other has one medic carrying a casualty with head wound, and one medic kneeling next to the stretcher. The doctor and nurse are rather static figures. Oddly enough, the kneeling medic was not "mentioned in despatches" as he was left off the direction sheet! (He is "blued out" but it seems odd that they would not at least provide the modeler with the option to use him!)
The VW kit is not bad, as it has plenty of nicely redone details including very petite footboards inside the passenger compartment. It includes a basic engine, choice of tops, and a crew of two. As it is an ambulance, a bench is provided for the right side of the passenger compartment vice the front right seat, but the directions never bother to show how the stretcher is to be mounted on the VW. (The only place suggesting how this works is on the side of the box.)
Etched brass is provided for details like the door handles, wipers, rear view mirror, and some of the sheet metal fittings on the body.
The model has a generic decal sheet from Cartograf with the usual Red Cross markings, blank license plates, and number jungles to fill them in. In a cutesy move to get around EU restrictions, the "SS" runes are provided on the sheet in two sections, which the modeler must join together on the decal to get the proper markings. The only suggested color scheme is Panzerbraun with small green and red-brown splotches.
Overall this seems to be a nice kit - especially if you have built a number of VWs in the past - but the directions really are of little use in doing much more than sticking parts together; it could have at LEAST come with a color painting sheet for the figures. This is a shame, as it is a nice kit let down by indifferent directions.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.