Arii/Otaki 1/32 1950 Volkswagen

KIT: Arii/Otaki 1/32 1950 Volkswagen
KIT #: 41013
PRICE: 600 yen, sold in the US for $11.00 MSRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Cubside


I dare say there are few people 40 or older who have not either owned a VW 'Beetle', had a friend with one or ridden in one. Pulled from the US market in the early 1970s due to inability to meet safety and emissions requirements, the VW Beetle continued to have a long production life in Brazil and Mexico.

I know that I owned one; a 1969 1500cc version in a nice dark green. It got me back and forth to college, saving me gas money and making me appreciate the airflow around semi trucks on the interstate.


This is one of a multitude of cars that Otaki produced in 1/32 scale. Most of them are Japanese and basically unknown in the US. A few have been previewed here on Modeling Madness. However, they did produce at least two 'foreign' cars; a Porsche 911 and this Volkswagen kit.

The kit itself is a curbside (no engine detail) and is very much like the Volkswagen itself; a rather basic kit. You have seats, door panels, a dash, steering wheel and stickshift for the interior. Hub caps are molded on the wheels, which are nicely chromes. Also well done are the bumpers with no nasty seams going through the facade, a very nice touch. The body is molded in red and the rest in black, chrome or clear. The 1950 VW did not have turn signals as most of us are used to, but had what are known as 'trafficators' on the side and these are molded into the body. Headlights, tail lights and the mirrors are done in clear plastic as is a one piece window section. Though a tad distorted, interior detail should be visible through it. Four nicely molded vinyl tires and two metal axles complete the kit.

Instructions take up about half a sheet as they are quite simple. No painting information is supplied as the modeler would probably just leave things as they are. A small decal sheet with two license plates and a pair of STP decals (?), are included. Printing is fair.


1/32 is not a major modeling scale for cars, as most of you know. However, they can easily be put into a 1/35 diorama as they are not that much larger and most folks won't notice the difference. This one is also a great kit for kids. While there are small parts, it would be the next logical step from snap kits.

Thanks to me and my fondness for anything different from the norm for this one. You certainly wouldn't see this on many other modeling web sites!

November 2007

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