Tamiya 1/35 Steyr 1500A Kommanderwagen
KIT #: 25149
PRICE: $10.00 (used)
DECALS: Did not get any with the kit
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Steyr 1500A was powered by a 85 hp, 8-cylinder air-cooled Steyr 3517cc OHV petrol engine, and had a top speed of 90 km/h on roads, and 45 km/h cross-country. The 1500A had a maximum range of 400 kilometers when travelling on roads, and 280 kilometers when travelling cross-country, and the total fuel capacity was 100 liters. The 1500A measured 5.08 meters long, 2.03 meters wide, and 2.23 meters high, and weighed 2,485 kilograms empty. The total carrying capacity of the 1500A was 1,500 kilograms, raising the fully loaded weight, including fuel, crew and passengers to 4,160 kilograms. The light truck version of the 1500A required a crew of two. The passenger capacity varied depending on the type of vehicle. The troop carrier version could carry eight passengers and the command car version six. The 1500A had no armor protection or armament, making it a non-combat vehicle.


Not a whole lot to say about this one. The molding is excellent and one gets a bunch of figures of general officers and their various entourage. Also included in the kit are things like a radio transmitter set and pair of stereo binoculars and the stand on which to place them.

The kit has no engine, but does have the option to have the doors open, the trunk open (showing the spare and other bits hidden in there), and the ability to have the top up or down. The wheels are held on by those nice polycaps so one can easily wait until most of the kit is done before attaching them.

Instructions show a decal sheet with various flags, but as I mentioned, none were in the kit. The usual Tamiya-only paint references are provided with some mixing required. Color options are either panzer grey or panzer yellow with green and brown streaks. Actually, you can paint it in any reasonable scheme as this vehicle was used right up to the end of the war.

This is another kit from the LHS's 'junk kit' pile. The previous owner had slapped together some of the figures and had crudely brush painted most of the body parts. There were instructions, but the decals were not in the box. Fortunately, he had not started gluing the main kit parts. I took the figures and put them in a bag to donate to someone at the next IPMS meeting. I also got a tin of Easy Lift Off paint  and decal remover to eradicate the sloppy brush work. The first application took care of about 80%. The second got another 19% and the third removed the rest.

Since this is pretty much a car, it was painted as I went along. I used Tamiya German Grey for all the exterior bits, their X-18 semi-gloss black for the chassis and khaki for the top. The only non-Tamiya paints used on this one were Vallejo's Saddle Brown for the seats and inside of the doors.

Since I'm not a vehicle modeler, I went pretty much by the kit instructions. In this case it meant assembling the chassis. The frame is a single piece on which one then attaches a portion of the engine and exhaust, the suspension members and the four wheel drive transaxle and drive shaft. A nicely done exhaust is also part of the chassis construction. I left off the last piece of tailpipe until near the end of the build.

One then works on the body. I chose to have the trunk closed so did not install all the bits in the trunk and removed the trunk support piece as well. This did not seem to affect how the parts went together, and they went together very well. Nice to build a well engineered kit.

Then things got a bit tricky. I assembled the doors after painting the inside and outside. Tamiya provides plastic mesh for the various openings on the hood and grille. There is a template to help get them the right size and that was followed with some success. Fortunately, this stuff glues in well. I then glued this to the fenders. I did not open the holes for the flags as I did not get decals with the kit and thought they'd look stupid with nothing on them. The headlight assemblies and the NOTEK light were attached. You can choose covered lights if you don't want the slit lights. The hood release, upper vent covers and front bumper/guard were then attached and it was all painted.

Back at the rest of the body, I installed the door posts and glued the rear assembly to the floor pan. Then the various driver's controls were added. The windscreen assembly was built up which includes the instrument panel, steering column and the windscreen wiper motors. I then installed the windscreen. This assembly was glued to the hood/front fender assembly. When dry, it was attached to the floor pan.

The seats were built up and painted. Be wary when removing the grab handles that go on the back of the front seats as these are easily broken. I chose to build the car with the doors closed and the top up. I then painted the top pieces and put the clear glass in the top. These were set aside. The assembled doors were next. These require a piece to be installed in the door posts before attaching the doors. I recommend attaching the rear doors soon after gluing on these pieces to ensure you do not end up with overly large gaps. I then glued on the rear seat, followed by the front ones. This was followed by the front doors.

If you are lucky, the doors will be a bit of a tight fit. There is no really snug and positive lock between the fender/firewall piece and the floor pan, so it would behoove the builder to test fit a front door to be sure of this not being off kilter.

With the upper body pretty well complete, I attached the wheels to the chassis, using the platen of my scanner to be sure all the wheels touched. I had painted the chassis as directed and used Vallejo's Tinny Tin for the exhaust.

Back at the body, I attached the rear light and plate holder. The two jerry cans were built and the can holders glued to the rear fenders. One of the cans had a sloppy white cross painted on it to denote it was for water. The side windows were next. The front one should be attached before the doors are installed as it takes away the anxiety of breaking it when installing. These just snap into place. The window guide posts were then attached when the windows were in place.  The last thing was to attach the top. This fit very well. I did not weather the kit in any way nor did I dry-brush anything. The lack of decals meant that I am portraying my vehicle as it came off the assembly line.


One thing for sure, the end result will win no beauty contests. It was built for a purpose and the design shows it. I used none of the figures and left all the ancillary stuff on the sprues as it really did not seem to add much with the trunk lid closed. While not quite a 'shake and bake' kit, it went together quite well and provided little in the way of any sort of construction trauma. I probably don't have to tell most of you that this sort of kit is very relaxing to build after having done some complex or difficult to build kits. It is a nice way to relax and do something a bit different.

8 July 2016

Copyright ModelingMadness.com

Thanks to me for rescuing this from the dead kit pile.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note toContributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page

Back to the Previews Index Page