Tamiya 1/48 Volkswagen 82E
KIT #: 32531
PRICE: 1000 yen srp
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2006 release


A handful of KdF-Wagens were produced, primarily for the Nazi elite, from 1941 to 1944, as the Typ 60. During World War II, the factory primarily built the Kübelwagen (Typ 82), the Schwimmwagen (Typ 166), and a handful of other light wheeled vehicles, all mechanically derived from the Typ 1, for the Wehrmacht. The type 82E was basically a Kubelwagen chassis with a sedan body for use as staff cars. These are basically identical to the KdF-Wagens. These included several hundred Kommandeurswagen (Typ 87), with a Typ 1 Beetle body mounted on the rugged chassis of the four-wheel drive Typ 86 Kübelwagen prototype, and fitted with portal axle and a Schwimmwagen drive train, with wider fenders., to accommodate oversize Kronprinz all-terrain tires (reminiscent of the later Baja Bugs). Kommandeurswagen were produced up to 1944, when all production was halted because of heavy damage to the factory from Allied air raids. Much of the essential equipment had already been moved to underground bunkers for protection, which let production resume quickly after hostilities ended.


The kit itself is really quite basic. It is a curbside with no opening doors. You start by building up the chassis, which has engine detail molded onto the underside. Axles are plastic as are the tires and this assembly has the fender wells molded in place. Flipping it over, you install the seats, steering ear and the shifter assembly. Tamiya includes a driver if you are so inclined to include one.

The car's body is one piece save for the hood. Into the inside of this you fit the dash and the clear bits. These latter items have a separate windscreen with all the other windows being a single molding. There are two decals for the dash panel. You also need to open a hole for the fender mounted Notek light. For headlights you have two options. One is the small slit covered ones for the military options and the other is clear glass for the civilian option. This option will not use the Notek.

The last items to add are the bumpers, lights and license plates. There are hub caps for the civilian option.

Instructions are the long vertical type with Tamiya paint numbers. Your four options are for three military vehicles in the desert sand color. Though only two are shown you get plates for the Wehrmacht, Reich Traffic Administration, and the Luftwaffe. The civilian car is in overall gloss black.  All the cars have 'deck tan' interiors. The only chrome is on the bumpers and headlight housings of the civilian car. That will need to be painted in place.


In all, it is a kit that should build fairly quickly, thanks to the general lack of fussy painting and fairly low parts count. A nice one to have if shelf space is limited or you just want a nice 1/48 early Beetle.



December 2019

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