(literally “standard diesel”) was made by a few different vehicle companies from 1935 to about 1942, and was a fairly standardized German vehicle, similar to the way the USA standardized the requirements for the GMC-CCKW. A range of different bodies were built onto a standard-type chassis, including the radio van body depicted in the IBG kit. Other manufacturers of this standard-type chassis type included Krupp, Henschel and Mercedes. This light communications vehicle was used by all arms of the German Forces, and the body type was used for other roles like telephone exchanges as well.
IBG has released a kit for the Einheitsdiesel Kfz.61 Funkkraftwagen (reviewed by our own publisher, Jim Starkweather, here
). The kit lacks a lot of interior detail, so it’s nice that resin manufacturer Niko has released a conversion kit for this radio van model.
This multi-material kit comes in a sturdy box with a photograph on the lid showing a completed model. It contains multiple resin parts, a fret of Photo Etch, Laser cut wooden floor piece and a turned metal aerial. Parts are contained in groups within zip lock plastic bags. Resin parts are in two different shades: ivory-colored resin for the smaller pieces, and the larger pieces being a lighter color. Two double sided A4 pages show the pieces with their kit number, and second, diagrams of where the parts fit on the IBG model. While at first glance these look complicated, once you study them for awhile, they are really quite effective and simple.
Once I had opened the bags and spread the parts out, I was amazed at just how small some of the resin pieces were. Some are thinner than the shaft of a pin, and so small I wonder whether I can put them on the model during construction. The resin was easy to clean up, with minimum flash and no large pour blocks that had to be removed. The photo etch fret looks fairly straightforward as well, and I can’t wait to see the laser-cut wooden floor in place along with the turned metal aerial.
While I removed the minimal flash and pour blocks from the resin parts, I got the IBG kit out to roughly place the larger parts on the floor and side moldings. I saw that I had to remove the IBG doors, and in some cases replace them with resin parts. It was then I noticed that if you removed the doors the way the conversion set tells you to, you are actually removing the frame the door fits into when closed as well. This is compounded by the replacement resin doors having the frame cast into them, meaning that when you have them open to show the compartments, the door frame which should stay attached to the body is open. This it most definitely should not be.
On the doors that you retain from the IBG kit, the conversion diagrams show most of the frame is cut out with the doors as well. Of course doing it the way in the instructions it is easier to do the cuts, but for accuracy it would be better to leave the door frame on the wall panels and just have the door open.
The resin parts are very finely-detailed and with minimum flash are easy to work as the resin used is not too brittle or too soft. Doing the door cut-outs my way instead of the way called for in the instructions means the two resin parts making up the cupboard interiors at the rear need to be modified slightly and built up at the tops to come level with the roof again. The photo etch fret is very nice and easy to work with, and my only niggle with it is, unlike Eduard PE, a film of the dash gauges is not supplied with the PE dash board.
Overall, this is a nicely-detailed conversion kit that makes up into a rarely-seen vehicle. Care must be taken with the instructions and the removal of the IBG kit doors, and this kit needs a moderate level of skill as it is not for beginners. The cost of the kit is not in my opinion excessive, considering it has the turned metal aerial and a PE fret included.