German Heavy Tractor SS-100
Tamiya 1/48 scale
Reviewed by Brett Green
The SS-100 was a veritable workhorse for German forces during WWII. Powered by a 100hp 8,553cc diesel, it was based upon a civilian vehicle design and could pull loads of up to 20 tons.
The SS-100 was put to work towing all sorts of subjects including artillery pieces, aircraft, and even V2 rockets, as well as recovering broken down vehicles.*
Tamiya has now released a 1:48 scale version of the SS-100 Heavy Tractor as part of its growing medium-scale Military Miniature series.
F i r s t L o o k
The new kit comprises 80 parts on four sprues of dark yellow plastic, five parts in clear plus markings for four vehicles.
The body is moulded as a single part including the cab and engine compartment. The four doors are moulded closed while the cab floor and the rear are separate parts.
Clear parts are provided for the rear, side windows and the windscreen.
The chassis is a simplified single part with engine and drive train detail moulded in place. I think this is a reasonable approach for this smaller scale, and a good compromise to allow fast assembly. Leaf springs, exhaust, rear differential and the front steering rack are all separate parts. The end of the exhaust is solid, but hollowing this out will be fast and easy.
The wheels are all plastic (no vinyl tyres – hooray!) and detail is simplified on the inner hubs. You won’t see these on the finished model though. The wheels are designed to be glued to the axles.
A very nicely detailed 1:48 scale seated driver figure is included. He can be painted to represent Luftwaffe, Wehrmacht or Kriegsmarine crew.
Four marking options are offered: two Luftwaffe, one Wehrmacht and one Kriegsmarine. One of the schemes is a disruptive Dark Green over Dark Yellow, while the others are overall Panzer Grey.
The decals are typical of Tamiya – semi-gloss in finish and in good register. Athough they sometimes look a bit thick on the backing paper, I have always had good results with Tamiya decals. They sit down nicely and the carrier film disappears under a coat of varnish.
C o n c l u s i o n
I really like these 1:48 scale kits, and I think they deserve success in the modelling marketplace. They are nicely detailed straight from the box, but they also represent a good basis for conversions and super-detailing. A number of after market companies have jumped on the bandwagon with resin conversions, stowage, decals and photo-etched upgrades. The relatively small number of parts means a quick build, and all the examples I have built have featured perfect fit. In my opinion, the size of a 1:48 scale military vehicle is, in the words of Goldilocks, “just right” too. Not too big, and not too small.
Tamiya’s 1:48 scale SS-100 is a worthy standalone display piece or an airfield accessory, towing large Luftwaffe aircraft.
* Historical text courtesy of Tamiya website.
Thanks to Tamiya for the sample.
Tamiya products are distributed in the UK by The Hobby Company Limited
Text and Images by Brett Green