by: Bruce Worrall [ ]
Originally published on:
Some may be surprised to see a model of a Ford truck in German service, perhaps assuming that this kit represents an American vehicle captured by the Germans, repainted, and pressed into service. In fact Ford’s German subsidiary (known as Ford-Werke as of 1939) had been building vehicles in Germany since 1938, and produced trucks and Maultier half-tracks for the German military throughout the war. Ford-Werke even produced turbines for V-2 rockets.
The V 3000 S was introduced while the United States were still neutral, and was added to Ford Germany’s production lines in 1941. It saw service in all theatres and served as the basis of many adaptations, including fuel tankers, troop buses, and the famous Maultier (which itself spawned several variants).
A general-purpose 3-ton cargo truck, the military version of the V 3000 S was powered by a 3.9 litre V8 engine and was known to be easy to operate and generally-reliable. Where it did suffer was off-road mobility, as it only featured a 4 x 2 transmission (Commonwealth countries using V 3000 S trucks upgraded many to 4 x 4 vehicles). About 25,000 were produced in Germany, and an unknown number were also produced in factories in France, Holland, and Belgium.
The kit is packaged in a corrugated box with a thin cardboard cover. The folded-over flaps on the box top’s corners are stapled rather than glued. The box front art shows a V 3000 S painted in a light tan colour (too light to be the "Sandgelb” RAL 8000 called for in the kit’s DAK marking option). The truck is marked with an Afrika Korps palm tree on the door and a tactical symbol on the right fender, both on a RAL 7021 Dunkelgrau field, suggesting that the vehicle arrived in North Africa in the first few months of the German operations there, when vehicles arrived in Dunkelgrau and were hastily-overpainted in an improvised tan colour. The tactical symbol suggests an artillery unit (although a quick check of niehorster.org finds no matching symbol in use in 1941-42), and this marking is not included on the decal sheet. This image, along with the kit name and IBG logo are repeated on the ends of the box top. One of the box top sides shows colour illustrations of the two marking options, while the other side includes box art from three other IBG kits.
The kit’s five grey sprues and separate plastic canvas top are packaged in a single bag. The clear parts sprue is packaged in a separate bag and the decal sheet and PE fret are together in a clear plastic envelope. Sprues include:
A: Clear parts.
C: Cab and fenders. Several parts on the sprue are not used (hood and radiator), and are clearly intended for use in other kits.
D: Cargo Bed and sides.
G: Engine and wheels. A number of parts on this sprue (frame and suspension) are for other kits, and are not used on the V 3000 S.
J: V 3000 S specific parts.
Unlabelled: Moulded canvas cover.
PE: Photo-etch parts, including radiator fan, tow hooks, and a nice jerrycan holder.
Decal Sheet: Decals for two marking options.
Once again IBG packs a surprising amount of fine detail into a 1:72 kit. Some parts – like the clear widows and small levers – do appear slightly too thick, however the net effect once the kit is built should not be noticeable.
The overall quality of moulding is excellent, although there was some flash on a few small parts on the C sprue (gear shift and spade), a little surprising as this kit is a new tooling. There were no obvious parting lines, and ejection pin marks look like they’re position to be hidden once the kit is completed.
After comparing the sprues and instructions to Frank’s “Ford im Kriege” and a number of period photos I think that IBG has done a very respectable job representing the V 3000 S in such a small scale. I will focus on areas where I found errors, omissions, or discrepancies – not to be negative or overly-critical of the kit – rather to point out areas where some modellers may want to devote their efforts to correcting or adding details.
The frame, suspension, and wheels look nicely-moulded, and a basic engine compartment interior is provided. The engine and radiator provide good basic detail, and look like they will serve as a solid foundation for extra detailing for those wanting to build the kit with the hood up – adding a bit of fine lead wire here and there should give a nice result.
I was very happy to see that the wheels are moulded in one piece (saving the trouble of gluing two halves together and sanding the seam. The tire detail is nice, although some hub details are incorrect. The hub centres of the front wheels (parts G 17) are too wide and too flat, and the protruding hub centres on the outer rear wheels (parts G 15) are lacking the eight bolts found around the outer perimeter.
Cab parts look well-moulded, although the thickness of the gear shift and a few smaller parts seems slightly over-scale. While they appear to be arranged correctly on the dashboard, dials and knobs are only hinted at as moulded circles and bumps, and there is nothing to suggest the glove box at the right end of the dash. Some photos show a clamp above the glove box for securing a Kar 98K rifle, but this is not represented in the kit.
Clear parts appear to be quite thin, although I’m sure they are still slightly over-scale for a 1:72 kit. Only the windshield and rear cab window are used from the clear sprue, and there is no sign of door windows, limiting you to building a vehicle with the door windows cranked down in the open position. One omission surprised me - there is no sign of moulded-on windshield wipers on the windshield (or anywhere else in the kit).
The fenders are the correct early arched-profile type (they were changed to a flatter profile later in the war), and the front bumper has the correct curved profile (later changed to a C-profile).
The cargo bed and sides are nicely-detailed, and have recessed grooves to suggest individual wooden planks, however there is no moulded wood grain texture. The sides (parts D 15 and D 16) are used if you want to build an open-topped vehicle, but are not used if you want to include the moulded canvas cover. The canvas cover is serviceable, with basic contours to suggest canvas draped over a metal frame, but the plastic lacks any texture and I found the detail a bit soft – I was hoping to see more small folds and contours. While you have the option of building the vehicle without the canvas top, there are no parts to replicate the metal frame on which the canvas top would rest, providing another detailing option for modellers.
Painting and Decals
The instructions provide two marking options, with full-colour illustrations showing the vehicle’s front, back and sides. Colours are specified in Vallejo Model Air, Hataka, Life Color, Mr. Hobby, and AK Interactive paints.
1. Unspecified unit, Eastern Front, 1942 (“German Grey”).
2. Unspecified unit, Eastern Front, 1942 (“Gelbbraun”). Note that the marking guide does not specify that an area of RAL 7021 be left around the Afrika Korps insignia (as shown on the box art). An undercoat of Dunkelgrau and some hairspray chipping of a tan topcoat would nicely replicate an early DAK vehicle (not RAL 8000 Sandgelb, which is too dark for this period).
Decals are printed by Techmod, and appear crisp and in-register. Carrier film appears to be a normal thickness. Decals include only license plates and DAK palm tree insignia.
I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen from IBG. They jam a lot of detail into very tiny models. They have missed the mark on a few details on this kit (wheel hubs, windshield wipers, and door windows), but the overall quality of the kit is undeniable and should provide braille scale fans with a nice challenge.