This set is specifically designed for use with Tamiya’s Kübelwagen Type 82 kits.  The set consists of two photoetch frets, three 0.7mm wire rods, a resin Notek light and a small sheet of film for the speedometer gauges and windscreen insert.  There are 5 pages of instructions printed on green paper front and back.  Each PE fret has a protective plastic film on the front and back to prevent the parts from snagging and bending in the packaging.  The resin part is sealed in a small zip lock pouch.  Be careful when removing the taped PE frets from the cardboard so you don’t accidentally bend the thin metal.  I used a thin blade slid between the tape and the cardboard to lift it away, then gently peeled the tape and protective plastic film from the PE fret.

The set is very comprehensive with an amazing array of details to greatly replace and enhance some of the simplistic detail of the Tamiya kit.  The PE parts will replace the kit part or add missing details to existing parts which are discussed in detail below.

Clamps and brackets – There are many various clamps and clasps for the tools which will require the removal of the plastic detail on the kit parts.  There is a replacement PE shovel blade along with the mounting brackets.  PE straps for the internal fuel tank replace the molded on kit detail which will have to be removed.

Steering linkage and tie rods – Much of the steering mechanism hardware is completely missing from the Tamiya kit.  PE parts are provided which will be added to the suspension tube framing.  The plastic parts will need to have some molded on detail removed and small holes drilled for the pins to mount the tie rods and connecting hardware with 0.5mm ABS rod which you will have to supply.

Interior details – There is all kinds of additional detail in this set for the interior.  Two patterned PE pads add texture to the foot pedals and the mounting bracket for the emergency brake lever replaces the molded on kit detail.  Angled step plates attach to the back of the front fender and door sill replacing the steps molded into the kit chassis.  The directions don’t indicate the removal of the kit molded step plates however that will be necessary to install the PE steps.  The PE floor boards will require careful removal of the molded plastic kit detail.  This will take some time, patience and careful handling so as not to damage the lower chassis.  I recommend that all removal of the molded on detail be done before even considering attaching any of the parts as it will be very difficult to handle the chassis without causing damage to the delicate PE assemblies.  There is a PE part provided for the steering column hole in the firewall.  Seat cushion springs, support struts and mounting brackets including butterfly nuts replace the simplistic molded on detail of the plastic kit seats. PE framing and a printed clear plastic film replace the kit speedometer details which you will have to remove from the plastic dash panel.

Engine access panels – PE panels and detail parts completely replace the kit access panels for the engine compartment.  You will also need to remove a portion of the plastic engine paneling from the kit upper body.  You will need to provide your own 0.3mm wire for the hinge pins, and 0.5mm ABS rod for the holding pins on the struts used to prop open the engine access panels.  There are separate slats for the cooling vents on the upper deck.  The many hinges on the access panels are made up of tabs which will require careful rolling of each tab to make the hinge.  The hinges are secured using 0.3mm wire for hinge pins.

Rear details – You will need to remove the plastic details from the convoy light assembly, kit part B24, which get replaced with PE parts.  The PE details attach over the cleaned up convoy light and a PE bracket mounts it to the rear of the Kübelwagen.  A PE license plate bracket replaces the chunky kit part.  The tail lamp is comprised of a PE bracket and detail which attaches to a small thick disk of plastic which you will have to make yourself.  Dimensions are not provided and the Tamiya kit doesn’t have the tail light assembly at all so you’re on your own.  I would use the round light cover part to determine the diameter and reference photos to estimate its thickness and shape as I believe it tapers a bit.  Also included for the rear are the details around the external starter and the reflector on the lower left side, both of which are absent on the plastic kit.

External details – The set includes replacement inside and outside door handles on all 4 doors so the kit handles will need to be removed. The kit side mirrors will need to be cut from mounting tubes and replaced with the PE mirrors, brackets and mounting hardware.  PE clips to secure the front windscreen when lowered add to the missing detail on the front hood.  The kit windscreen is completely replaced by PE framing, mounting brackets and windshield wipers.  You will need to supply a clear plastic sheet 31mm x 11mm for the windscreen.  A clear plastic printed film is inserted into its own PE frame and will need to be mounted in front of the driver’s position using 0.5mm ABS rod which you will have to provide.  A resin Notek light and PE mount replace the kit part.  PE clips for attaching netting or tarps adds to the missing detail on the kit’s rear side panels.

Convertible top – The kit 3 piece convertible top gets completely replaced with a dizzying array of PE framing pieces which will are attached to 3 copper wire frames (included in the set) and many 0.4mx0.4mm ABS rod pins which you will have to make yourself.  There is a template in the instructions for use when bending the wires to shape.  You’re on your own for the material to make the soft convertible cover which attaches to the framing.  The framing assembly looks fantastic when completed but will require expert skills to put together.

Additional details – External jerry can brackets and mounts are provided, you’ll have to provide the gas cans yourself.  They are readily available in accessory sets from several manufacturers.   The hardware for a weapons rack which can hold up to 4 rifles is a nice touch, you’ll have to provide the rifles yourself or just leave the rack empty.  There is also a PE toolbox to be assembled which includes the latching clasps.

As you can see there is a lot to offer in this set for the experienced modeler.  There are many small and delicate parts which will require careful folding and handling.  Some of the assemblies are complex so careful planning and patience will be required.  Many of the kit parts need to have detail removed so be sure to plan ahead.  Study the instructions all the way through first, examine the kit parts and plan ahead.  Remove all the necessary kit details before attaching any of the PE parts, once you begin putting it all together the assemblies are delicate and can be easily damaged during handling.  I highly recommend this upgrade set for those wanting to challenge themselves; the end result will look fantastic!

Review sample graciously provided by ET Model

ET Model is based in Shanghai China and produces aftermarket photoetch and resin detail/upgrade sets.

Kenny Conklin

Kenny is one of the founders of Hobby Link International Inc. a publishing company of hobby related magazines and websites. Kenny has been building models since he is a boy and has continued the hobby to this day. He is also an editor of Model Builder International (MBI) and SciFiantasy magazines and websites. You can contact Kenny at


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