ICM 1/35 Krupp L3H163

KIT #: 35461
PRICE: $56.95 SRP
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New tool kit


Germany began to build the modern army after 1933. The important part of Wehrmacht motorization was manufacturing of three-axle 3 ton trucks. One of them was Krupp L3H63. It was in production lines since 1931. The modification Krupp L3H163 (1936-1938) had 110 hp 6-cyl. petrol engine and pneumatic brakes.

All in all there were produced about 2000 Krupp L3H63 and Krupp L3H163. These trucks were were widely used by all German arms of service up to 1042 when they were generally replaced by more modern vehicles.

ICM seems to be concentrating on doing wheeled vehicles as a number of their last new military vehicle kits have been either staff cars or trucks. Many of us will say that it is about time as these important vehicles were more numerous than tanks and half tracks. Motorized infantry relies on trucks to get them and their equipment to the front lines and while it was still mostly horses that did this, so were there a lot of trucks.

This particular vehicle is the first of which I am aware in 1/35 scale and standard styrene. ICM likes to use a tan plastic for many of its military vehicles and so it is with this one. ICM is right up there with the big boys in terms of the quality of its molding and the amount of detail that is incorporated into its parts. With nearly 300 pieces, this is not a weekend special.

It is also not a curbside as the kit comes with a full engine and exhaust, a highly detailed chassis and complete suspension. In fact, you will spend at least half your building time getting the chassis ready for the bodywork. The kit uses plastic tires and I have to say that I prefer plastic for these parts. Not only are they not a problem to paint, but they are lighter in weight than the rubber or vinyl versions. There have been times when the weight of rubber tires has caused problems on the near scale suspension parts.

As you would expect, the interior is quite complete and ICM provided decals for the instruments. The doors are separate and have separate side curtains. Though the decals do not show the doors as being able to be modeled open, I see no reason why they could not be. Same for the engine hood. Typical for troop and cargo trucks, it has a wooden bed and sides with various equipment storage boxes on the underside. Two spare tires are also to be attached to the underside. Again, the tailgate is shown only in the closed position, but a competent modeler could have this lowered. I should also mention that there are high sides to the cargo box and as the extensions are separate, one could model the truck without them. It seems typical that the metal framework for the canvas top is attached to the front of the truck. No canvas top is included, though I see no reason why, again, the adventurous could not work one up out of tissue or light fabric.

The kit's instructions are on a thin, but glossy and well printed paper. Paint information is with Model Master references. There are four markings options, all from the summer of 1940 and both in Panzer Grey. It is unknown how many, if any, of these trucks survived to be repainted in the later war colors, but that could be an option as well.

If you are a fan of military cars and trucks or just want something nice as a break from the usual 'things with guns', then this is a kit you should seriouly consider.



January 2012

My thanks toSquadron Products for the preview kit. This one is now available at your local retailer.

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

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