Home > Reviews > Germany WWII > Academy WWII Ground Vehicle Set-5, German Cargo Truck (Early & Late) (MRC13404)


Academy WWII Ground Vehicle Set-5, German Cargo Truck (Early & Late) (MRC13404)

by Frank De Sisto

1/72nd-scale injection-molded styrene kit containing 93 parts (including 13 clear), four decal/markings options and 12 pages of instructions in 17 steps. Price: $19.00 USD.

This latest kit from Academy, which is designed to compliment 1/72nd-scale aircraft models, will also prove to be attractive to Braille scale AFV and MV modelers. Particularly noteworthy is the option to build either the standard enclosed metal cab, or the late-war “Einhiets” cab made of non-strategic materials (press-board). The chassis is the two-wheel-drive version.

There are several nice touches in this kit, a relatively major visual error and one relatively major omission. First the nice stuff. The cab (either version) contains shift levers, steering wheel, instrument panel and bench seat (but no foot pedals), which is more than adequate for this scale. There is a basic engine block and radiator for the area under the hood and fairly complete chassis with undercarriage details. The designers wisely chose not to impart any wood grain texture on the load-bed/cargo compartment panels; this would have been overkill in this scale. All small tools, vehicle jack, width indicator rods and Notek head-lamp are well done, again considering the scale. The cabs both have separate clear sprues, which include clear lenses for the head-lamps; only the windshield for the “Einheits” cab has wiper blades molded on, there are none on the windshield for the standard cab.

So far, so good. But, some things were overlooked by the kits designers. There are no supports for the canvas tarp, which covered the cargo bed. These were normally seen stored on the forward rim of the cargo compartment and were quite visible. Some brass rod properly formed and strapped down will fix this. There is no representation of the Notek tail-lamp system, nor is any earlier style given. The tow point on the chassis rear needs to be hollowed-out and have an “L”-shaped pin added. The radiator grills for both cab designs have far too few slats and do not have the small “Opel Blitz” insignia. All of these are relatively painless fixes. But the biggest problem (both visually and accuracy-wise), and also one that will be very difficult, if not impossible to correct is the outer wheel/tire part for the dual rear wheels. It completely lacks the scalloped cut-outs around the rim. You’re on your own here!

Overall, molding is crisp and details are well represented. There are no ejector pin marks visible on the finished model, with the exception of the load-bed underside. These are above the surface and will be easy to remove without destroying nearby details. Notably, both sides of the four cargo body panels are completely devoid of these pesky little guys. The instructions are very clearly laid out and have very few operations per step, something many will appreciate as it is less confusing. The color schemes are generic, while the markings consist of Luftwaffe and Heeres license plates as well as a vehicle shipping label for rail transport. The color instructions are not keyed to available hobby paints, but merely contain arrows with numbers, that in turn denote generic colors such as “dark yellow” or “flat black”.

At $19.00 suggested US retail (and considering the listed errors and omissions), this kit may not be as successful as the manufacturer and the importers would desire. On the other hand, the cab options are a good selling point and the modeler can probably get the kit at a discount by shopping around.

Recommended with reservations.

Academy products are available from retail and mail-order shops. For product details and more images, check their web site at: www.academyhobby.com.