by: Robert Blokker [ ]
In every war you will find soldiers that never fire a gun or but without them the battlefield would become a greater mess then it already is. These are soldiers that risk their own lives to go onto the battlefield to aid other people. They are the heroes you don’t often hear about but still their work is very important.
During WW2 all participating sides suffered great numbers of casualties. These people needed to get from the battlefield to a fieldhospital or a feldlazarett and it had to happen fast too to at least see the light of another day… and if the wounded soldier was concerned he probably preferred to see the light of a huge load of another days.
To get the wounded to the hospitals and aid-stations, all sides equipped a huge variety of vehicles in the role as ambulance. The Germans probably had the biggest diversity in ambulances. Pretty much every vehicle on wheels somehow served also in the ambulance role. These ambulances often were fitted with enough stuff to do some really quick aid and to make sure that the wounded soldier could get to the hospital awake and alive so they could threat him further there.
The vehicle that is reviewed here is a conversion on the Steyr 1500 chassis with a closed drivers cabin and a special “ koffer-aufbau” for wounded. Having space for 2 stretchers above each other at one side and a bench for the medic at the other.
Das Werk's Model
The kit comes in a sturdy cardboard box approximately 15,8 cm wide, 11,4 cm deep and 7,5 cm high. On top you’ll see a sticker with the company logo and details, the kitnumber and name. And since it is a conversion it also does tell you that the needed Tamiya base kit is not supplied in the kit. All the above together with a very nice assembled and painted representation of the vehicle
Inside the box you find 2 ziplock bags containing resin parts for the conversion. And two instruction sheets. I will start with the two ziplock bags.
The conversion is split into 2 parts and each of these parts has it’s own bag. The drivers cabin with everything that goes with it. The other bag contains the pieces for the “Koffer-aufbau” I will call them respectively bag 1 and bag 2
In bag 1 you will find the closed drivers cabin. the two doors, the floorboard, the dashboard, the footboards so you can step in the vehicle and a bench for the driver and co-driver. As optional parts Das Werk gives you two frontwheels (tire and hub) of the civilian pattern and the smaller late style headlights. The tires are made of rubber.
In bag 2 you will find the parts for the Koffer-aufbau. The three walls, two doors, and two parts for the bench. Two rails for the stretchers, a floor also some smaller parts such as legs for the bench. A special footboard for the side door in the body. 2 hooks where the top stretcher is attached to - with two hinges. A taillight is provided for under the body.
Again as optional parts, Das Werk provide 3 wheels of the civilian pattern and a a block with some very small parts of which it is not clear what they are and where they have to go. The instruction sheets does not mention these very small parts either. If I had to make a guess I would guess they are the nuts for the rim support if the spare-wheel is left off.
The Instruction sheets.Two white A4 sheets with the sides numbered 1 to 4. Page 1 deals with the closed cab of the Steyr Sanka with a diagram of all the parts along with some detail shots with partly assembled parts and the locations of the Tamiya kit parts you have to use. Page 2 is a layout of all the parts for the body. Page 3 deals with the assembly of the body showing a partially assembled body with the left side of the body being left off and shown next to it together with numbers that are corresponding with the resin parts of the conversion. Page 4 shows 2 pictures of the model from 2 angles and some additional notes about small details like Noteks and such from the Tamiya model and about the civilian type wheels and the late style front lights.
Quality: The casting quality is really good. Very clean and few airbubbles. Very well thought out casting blocks make the area that holds the part on the castingblock as small as possible. The only part where I found airbubbles was on the stretcher rails.
Another thing that happened with the thinner parts in the kit was that they were warped. The back doors and the stretcher rails were all bent and twisted. But nothing a bit of hot water could solve.
The only thing I thought to be a bit of a pity was the casting block of the closed cab. It went completely round the drivers door and getting the block off was easy enough but then you had to sand the doorpening and such so the door would fit in and the rainguard on top of the door is a really thin and fine part and it is pretty hard to clean the part without damaging it. Apart from this, I have not found a thing on the resin parts that could cause much trouble. Everything was well thought out by the master maker. The only thing I was not too happy with was of the conversion with the optional civilian style wheels. The wheelhubs were very good but the tires were made of rubber and they are a drag to clean. When you cut them from their casting block you damage the roadsurface of the tire and there is a lot of flash to clean up on those tires and pretty much everybody will know that that is not the easiest task of doing and getting a good result too. The wheelhubs are also a tad too small for the tire and you have to glue it in place. This could cause some problems with the rubber. In my opinion they would better have had the wheels and tires casted as one piece in resin.
Assembly is pretty straightforward. Since it is a conversion you need the chassis and the hood of the Tamiya Steyr 1500. You can buy either the Tamiya Steyr 1500 normal version or the command vehicle. They both have the same chassis. I took over the command version from a good friend of mine to base the conversion on. Also for this Steyr I had a PE set from Eduard from which I used some parts to spice up the interior a bit.
It seems as if they have modified the Tamiya kit’s original floor. I found this out when I was fitting the PE antiskid plates on it. As the Instructions already point out you use all the sticks and handles that the kit has in the drivers cabin. As well as the steeringwheel.
When assembling the closed cab I found out that it was a little bit warped when you put the floor in the drivers cabin there is a gap between them at the back - this is no problem actually as you glue them together. One thing I have to note out is that when assembling the floor into the drivers cabin they fit together quite nicely… but to get it in you have to pull the front and the back of the drivers cabin a bit apart. This results in some parts of the cabin itself to get some stress. This resulted at my kit in breaking the window sill at the co drivers side. Eventually this was also repaired by glueing it back together when everything was mounted in the cabin. No further problems I can report in the assembly of the drivers cabin. Everything with a good fit and a nice clean casting made this a nice part to work on.
The body of the truck was very well engineered and everything fitted together like a dream. I assembled the body pretty much as how it is shown in the instruction sheets purely for the ease of painting. All the warped parts were put in boiled water to straighten them. Resin somehow has a bit of a memory and without really using your fingers the parts straighten out very nicely. I really cannot note any problems with the body.. It simply did built up nicely and everything fitted together perfect. A 100 percent score here for Das Werk.
The small details that are lacking are kept to a minimum. One of the things you have to scratchbuilt yourself are the doorhandles but that is easy enough. I used evergreen rod to make the handles. Also the windows of the vehicle you have to make yourself - that is a bit tricky. I first had assembled the body and then found out I had to take the dimensions of the windows from the inside. So I took it apart again and took the dimensions. The dimensions of the windows in the drivers cabin is even trickier but also that after screwing up some windows I got solved. The windows in the doors I planned on leaving them opened up so I traced the top outline of the window and cut it off half the size it should be.
Even the unpainted model already shows a great looking vehicle. And I’m sure that when painted up it really will look awesome. At the moment I write this review it is in the middle of the painting process and nearing the weathering stages. I’m looking forward to it as it is truly an awesome vehicle.
Das Werk Miniatures does have an absolute winner here with this kit. Not just the originality of the subject (a key thing here) but the fact that it is really a nice addition to an area that tends to be a bit forgotten with the big scale model manufacturers. There is a huge variety of armored cars and halftracks. Pretty much every tiger tank and panther tank is now available for the modeller but the people who love to build wheeled vehicles do not have that much options. Pretty much all we got are the Opel Blitz S 3 ton truck, the Mercedes Benz L3000, The Krupp Protze and the Steyr, a handful of kubelwagens from different manufacturers. A few for the Schwimmwagen and the Volkswagen Beetle. The price of this conversion is indeed almost just as high as the Tamiya Steyr's retail price but for that money you get a truly well engineered conversion with which you will be able to make a really nice vehicle which is not yet available in plastic. Therefore Das Werk is filling a niche here. All in all cleaning and building this vehicle took me a couple of evenings and I really enjoyed it all. The only thing that was a bit of a pity were the civilian type wheels for the above named reasons but since they are optional and included, it is actually a nice gesture. I first choose to go with the kitwheels but eventually found some resin Steyr wheels.
This is definitely a kit that I will recommend to everybody.