Home > Reviews > German WWII > Eduard Schwimmwagen, 1/16 scale (6106)


Eduard Schwimmwagen, 1/16 scale (6106)

by Frank V. De Sisto

Contains: 177 styrene parts (including five clear), 38 photo-etched parts, 10 vinyl parts, one sheet of masking material, two sets of water-slide decals, 14 pages of instructions in 11 steps and one double-sided full-color painting guide. Price: $99.95 USD.

This is Eduard’s first venture into the field of large-scale military vehicle kits, and although not “perfect”, this kit has a great deal of potential.

To begin with, the upper and lower hull sections capture the hydrodynamic contours of this sleek, frog-like amphibian quite well. To the upper forward hull is added such detail parts as the fuel filler caps, bumper, head lights (with clear lenses), horn and mirror; spare tire holder, one-piece clear windshield (with separate wiper blade and motor, mounts and wing-nuts), and machine gun mount. The three-part Notek black-out lamp is especially noteworthy as is complete with full underside detail. A nice shovel and an oar is mounted on the upper hull side, along with a rail that represents what I suppose is a sort of hand-hold/mooring aid (on each side). The rear upper hull receives the exhaust pipes and shield, along with the “hook” that is used to manually lift the propeller shroud back up into its storage position. There is a three-part assembly depicting the folded canvas roof and frames.

The crew compartment has a one-piece floor board insert with restrained wood grain where applicable. There are various bulkheads and stiffeners, forward and aft, as well as the pair of fuel tanks (with filler pipes) that are seen underneath the forward upper hull. The steering wheel and instrument panel are well detailed, with decals included for the dial face and the gear shift instructions placard. The various levers and pedals are also supplied. The front and rear seats are nicely done, with there being an option to show the lower parts of the front seats folded upwards. These also have separate wing nuts. There is also some tools included, including what appears to be a jack and lug wrench.

The lower hull has a very nicely detailed front steering/ suspension system consisting of nearly 20 parts, many of which are covered by the separate under-belly plate. The wheels are not steerable, which, in this scale, is disappointing. The rear suspension is also nicely done. The wheel hubs are very nicely represented, while the two-part split rims are mounted onto the hub’s studs with separate lug nuts. The vinyl/rubber tires are of the narrow style and include a separate inner “O”-ring. The tread detail is excellent and there are no pesky seams to deal with.

The propeller and shroud, as well as its mount are all nicely represented and when complete, can be moved into the working or stored position. The underbelly detail includes drain plugs and access plate details. There are also two small parts (one for each side of the lower hull), which represent the drains for the hull. The engine access hatch is molded in place on the upper hull, which causes the seam line to disappear in one place. The modeler will need to complete the seam with the scribing method of his choice.

The photo-etch parts are brass, with nickel plating. They include parts for the two intake screens on the hull top, as well as the larger intake screen seen behind the two rear crew seats. Other etch parts compose the front and rear license plates, the various flags and command plates used with one of the markings options, clips that hold the windshield in the “down” position, clamps for the oar and shovel, other odd details, and even an ignition key.

Fit of the upper and lower hull parts is good, while the fit of the bulkheads and tub for the inside of the crew compartment is fair. Not to worry; some careful clean-up and a bit of filler will fix that. Other items exhibit good fit such as the lower front plate that covers the suspension, the wheel rims and hubs, and the suspension parts. So far, so good.

On the debit side, the potential for detail in a kit of this size has not been fully realized. This is especially noticeable underneath and forward of the dash-board. The fuel tanks lack finesse and there is no provision for several tubes, their mounts and a small tray, all of which are readily visible. The upward angled parts of the floor pan are also wood and lack hinge detail as well as a foot switch. The machine gun pintle should continue into the hull and be anchored on the bottom, but this is not given. Some minor details, such as the stamped “25L” (denoting 25 liters) next to each fuel cap are not present, while curiously, the etch parts do not include clips for the “hook” used to manually pull the prop out of the water, or the straps that held the prop in place, once it was stowed. No provision has been made for the tires’ air filler valves. I have already mentioned that the front wheels do not steer, and I think Eduard should have molded the engine hatch as a separate part, weather they included an engine (which is not really the issue as I see it), or not.

The quality of the molding is good, and there are virtually no ejector pin marks or sink marks. Regarding the latter, Eduard wisely molded certain assemblies in more than one part, to avoid this pitfall. Overall, fit is fair-to-good, with clean up being about normal for any plastic kit. The clear parts are distortion free, although the head-lamp lenses do not have the engraved lines for the Fresnel lens effect, something which is seen on many recent 1/35th-scale kits. The instructions are very clear and should be quite easy to follow. The provided mask material will allow easy painting of the windshield and the head-lamp lenses, as well as some other items. The windshield mask also provides a separate piece to depict the area that the wiper blades would keep clean, always a nice touch on this type of model.

The two sets of water-slide decals depict a vehicle from Panzer Regiment 3 of the 2. Panzer Division, presumably in Normandy during the summer of 1944. The other depicts a vehicle of the 17. Armee in the Soviet Union. The printing is outstanding with excellent registration, detail and color saturation, especially on the “Kuban” shield and command pennants. References confirm the basic accuracy of the markings for the 17. Armee vehicle, but I could not find anything for the 2. Panzer Division. However, the regimental crest is confirmed through various sources. If modeling the 17. Armee vehicle, there should be a field-modified boarding step on at least the passenger’s side, and also a vehicle production serial number (166/2335?) on the rear end, just below the “Kuban” shield. This latter marking can also be seen on the front of the hull side, near the shovel, as other photos confirm. The 166 stood for the vehicle type, and the following numbers stood for the VW factory production number. The markings are complimented by a full color painting guide showing four views of each color scheme.

In the end, however, a nicely detailed model will result after careful clean-up and assembly of what is included in the box. With some extra effort on the part of the modeler, an outstanding, highly detailed replica will be the result. With a bit more effort from Eduard, this kit would have gotten a better recommendation and could be a “show stopper” out of the box. But, one must remember that this is their first venture into this scale. Eduard knows how to mold plastic, as anyone who has seen some of their more recent 1/48th-scale aircraft can attest. So modelers should expect better from them in the future.


Product images are used by permission of Eduard.

Eduard products are available at retail and mail order shops and directly from the manufacturer at: www.eduard.cz. Visit their web site for additional images of reviewed items.