#35235 s.gl.Pkw Steyr Typ 1500A/01
This new incarnation of Tamiya's excellent Steyr kit of last year is not just a minor facelift, but is predominantly new. Apart
from the chassis, suspension, engine hood, front fenders, bumper and wheels the rest is entirely new. The kit comprises about 140 parts for the kit itself plus a few extra bits from the earlier kit not used here. Moulded in the same beige coloured plastic, you still get the usual Tamiya mesh for the engine grills. It would have been nice for Tamiya to follow the precedent of the Dragon Wagon by including etched parts in their kits. But the etched grill set (No.35226) is still sold separately to replace the mesh provided. Six clear pieces for the windscreen and side windows is included plus the 4 poly caps to attach the wheels
The chassis and wheels and are identical to the first kit. The chassis is
moulded in one piece to which you attach the engine
bottom pan, the suspension, drive train and exhausts. The wheels include separate brake drums, which trap a poly cap allowing
you to easily add and remove the wheels. The main body is loaded with detail. The rear luggage compartment can have its door positioned open or closed. There is a full interior including with the spare tyre in it's own compartment. All four doors are separate and also can be positioned any way you want. The doors are simply brilliant. Each is made up of three parts, the outer panel and interior lining plus the clear 'glass' which is trapped between the two. Just like the real thing, you almost expect them to wind up and down. The doors have the handles and other detail included.
The seats have excellent texture with the two front seats having separate
backs. These are detailed with grab handles and small
pouches. Two alternative tops are included, a full 'cabriolet' top and folded top which fits nicely on the rear body. It is very
easy to interchange the two tops and the windows to vary the appearance of the model. There are no permanent alterations
needed for whichever fit you choose. The two figures included with the first kit (driver and standing officer) are joined by a third sitting officer for the rear seat. Pennant flags are also included for the front fenders as most of these vehicles were used as 'elite' transport predominantly behind the lines. Four vehicles are represented on the decal sheets, a late war overall yellow vehicle with two colour cam and three overall Grey schemes, one of these is depicted with white winter cam on the instruction sheet, but really the finishes are limitless.
I deviated quite a bit from the instruction sequences, mainly to ease
painting. These deviations will be explained during
construction. I also used some parts from the Eduard Steyr Update Set (No.35226) to add details as a number of sections
are common to both kits.
The chassis, suspension and wheels were built up per instructions. The fit is excellent and it all falls together. The built up chassis assembly was painted separately from the main body and attached just prior to final weathering. The main body is next and again there were no fit problems. The rear section has inside walls for the luggage compartment around which is added the rear body section. The boot lid can be positioned open or closed. I left this unattached till after painting. The driver's foot pedals were replaced with the Eduard parts. The front engine compartment and firewall/windscreen is built up separately and then added to the main body. The dashboard is a separate piece in the kit. I replaced the central instrument panel with the Eduard item and left the whole dashboard separate until after the vehicle painting. The side indicators were also replaced with Eduard parts and I replaced the kit windscreen with a piece of thinner clear sheet, again left off till after painting. The windscreen wipers were also added from the Eduard set. The mesh screens inside the engine compartment were replaced with the Eduard items, as they are better than both the mesh supplied and also the Tamiya etched screens. To help overcome the empty space which can be seen through the screens I painted the entire inside of the front section Matt black, as well the front section of the lower chassis. This doesn't stop the 'see-through' effect when looking from a low angle but 'hides' the insides when viewing from any other angle.
The completed front section was then added to the rear body section along
with the other smaller bits attached as per instructions. Again there were no fit
problems anywhere. The front bumper was also left off and painted separately.
The seats are next and these are really well detailed with excellent cushion texture, separate seat backs with storage pouches
and separate grab handles. All the seats were painted separate and left out until after final painting. The doors are the next main section and as mentioned above are just brilliant. I carefully removed the plastic from the insides of the main door handles to give a better appearance than the moulded on handles, this was done with the tip of a 'sharp' X-Acto #11 and a lot of care.
Each of the 3 parts per door are unique and care should be taken when assembling these. The separate windows have small
cutouts along the bottom at different points and will only fit into the their correct door. (The windows are designed to be
removable after assemble, so you don't need to glue these).
The fit of the assembled doors to the body was so good, no glue was need.
This allowed them to be snap fitted to the body
when spraying the cam scheme, but could then be removed and weathered separately. This also allowed better access to the
interior for final painting and fitting of the seats and instrument panel after painting. The choice of top hood is up to you, either the fully extended cover or folded hood on the rear deck. Each can be interchanged at will, as no modification to the kit is required for either option. Both parts have excellent surface detail and come up a treat with drybrushing.
The rear jerry can holders had securing straps added from the Eduard set.
As mentioned, the kit was left in sub-assemblies for painting. The seats
were painted a dark leather colour, weathered and
drybrushed and set aside till later. The body, chassis and wheels were painted separately. All painting was done with Humbrol
Enamels. An overall coat of German light yellow was airbrushed, followed by the cam pattern with red brown and green. The
decals were real easy for this kit, consisting of a numberplate front and rear. I used white glue to attach the decals in this
situation. Firstly crop the carrier film from around the printer decals and dip in water to remove the backing paper in the normal
manner. Using white glue, smear a thin film on the back of the decal and apply to the model. Lightly press with a soft cloth or
tissue to get the decal flat and remove any excess white glue and leave to dry. Due to the decals being on smooth flat surfaces
there is no need to gloss the model and use decal setting solution to get the decal to 'sit' over detail. This method saves heaps of
time for small decals on armour models where the decal has no transparent bits.
After the decals had dried I applied an overall coat of Matt varnish to
seal the paint work before weathering.
After leaving for 48 hours for the Matt coat to dry thoroughly, I applied a light wash of thinned oil paint followed by very light
drybrushing. As the vehicle is a 'behind the lines' type vehicle used mainly for Officer transport, I kept the weathering to a
minimum as it would get more care than a 'active' vehicle. Finally, all the sub-assemblies were brought together. The windscreen was added using white glue as were the seats and the boot lid. The doors and top were left unglued to allow for any variation I choose.
Another superb kit from Tamiya, we have come to expect nothing less these days. It's very easy to build and literally falls
together, again I left the filler tube in the draw unused. As mentioned, the final appearance is totally different from the first Steyr
kit and not just a simple facelift. With the three figures included you almost get a diorama in a box. Highly recommended.
Wouldn't it be great to see the Mercedes Benz version of the 1500? It's that same body except with a different nose and the
three pointed MB star on the radiator.
For more great AFV articles by Terry Ashley, please visit the Perth Military Modelling Society website.
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