Modellers for many years have wanted civilian cars to populate military dioramas, their choices until recently have been quite limited. The usual route has been to use diecat toys and 1/32 scale cars, diecasts often lack the finesse of scale plastic models, and the 1/32 scale option has the disadvantage of size. Initially 1/32 may not seem such a discrepancy but having compared a few of the components the size difference is considerable. The first styrene cars had been the pick-ups from Meng Model
, with this release from Takom
being the latest. Takom
are relatively new company with a wide variety of releases covering periods from World War 1 to modern times.
This latest release is titled a German Civilian Car, to avoid licensing issues, with gas rockets. The car appears to be a BMW Series 3 (E21), manufactured between 1975 and 1983, it is fitted with factory alloy wheels and a body styling kit it is left hand drive. The twin headlights indicate that this model could be either a 320i or 323i. I used to own one of these cars and it certainly matches my memories although there are few differences. This is a kerbside model, this means that it does not have an engine.
- 1 Body shell
- 2 Black sprues
- 2 Blue Sprues
- 1 Clear Sprue
- 4 Vinyl/Rubber tyres
- 1 Decal for the dashboard
- 1 Sheet of metallic badges
- 1 Instruction book
The kit is finely moulded and the body is correctly proportioned after measuring the actual model and comparing it manufacturer’s data the only discrepancy appears to be the wheelbase which is out by 1mm. Construction begins with the wheels, the rear tyres are wider than the front and this is typical of the ‘sports models’, the front wheels have wheel trims these are sometimes missing as the actual wheel was actually a nice wheel. Assembly continues with the dashboard, where a decal must be applied, and the centre console; Note no painting instructions are given. Construction then continues with the interior and attaching the wheels, the placement of the rear axle is a little vague but owing to the simplicity of the build all modellers should have no problems with this. There are large sprue gates between the inside of the boot lip and the front windscreen.
The interior will need to be painted before it is fully assembled, generally the interiors were dark but artistic license can be applied. The instructions will have you adding the glazing at Stage 7 but it is far better to paint the body shell before this stage. At the next stage you add the rear bumper and rear lights with the following stage adding details to the front. The modeller must choose if the boot (trunk) is to be opened and must add the rear hinges at Stage 10 with Stage 11 showing the difference. The front doors are assembled next and once again they can be depicted open or closed but not operational. The final stage adds the front spoiler, sometimes not fitted as they could break. The figure and load are also completed during the last stage.
The figure is moulded in blue styrene and is depicted stepping out of the driver’s door firing/pointing his weapon to the rear. The figure comprises of:
The Gas Rockets
- Body with left leg
- Right leg
- Separate Head
- Separate arms
- Right hand holding a folding stock AK47
- Spare AK47
The gas rockets are known as lob bombs or by their official designation of improvised rocket assisted mortar. Each of the rockets comprise of:
Painting and finishing
- Cylinder halves
- Separate end
- Rocket tail
The painting instructions give one choice, but please note that this particular model had chrome bumpers with a black trim and not the body coloured bumpers seen on later versions. This vehicle came in many different finishes some of these are year specific so please be aware of this if you are portraying a vehicle from a particular year (see the links below). The instructions make no mention of the badges these should be applied after painting is complete. The four smaller stickers are for the wheel trims and the two larger are for the front and rear of the vehicle.
Overall this a fine rendition some modellers may find the inclusion of the gas rockets to be in poor taste but you are not compelled to use them and they can added to the spares box. The boot could easily be filled with other items from harmless to harmful. The detail on the car is quite simplistic in places the chassis is one and the boot lid is another and some may feel that this is a bigger issue. I feel that the weakest moulded item is the figure but with work he can be improved no end and could be modified.
This vehicle can be used in a myriad of ways either as a background model or a centre piece. It can be used as a VBIED, a plain civilian vehicle or as one of the undercover vehicles operated by Special Forces. Its use is only limited by the modeller’s imagination.
This is welcome release from Takom
and comes highly recommended.