Typ 320 Cabriolet
A Very Brief History the Typ 320 (W142) Cabriolet
WWII German Staff Car (from Manufacturer’s kit notes)
“The Mercedes-Benz 320 (W142), developed by Daimler-Benz AG, was launched in 1937. It was equipped with a six-cylinder engine with a volume of 3.2 liters (3.4 liters in later versions), which had 78 horsepower. It was available with a short (2880 mm) or long (3300 mm) wheelbase. The Mercedes-Benz 320 (W142) was the most prestigious of the three 6-cylinder middle-class models. One of the body variants for long-wheelbase cars was the Cabriolet. In turn, there were also several versions of this version of the Mercedes-Benz 320, which differ with number of seats, doors, and side windows. The four-seat Cabriolet B version had two doors and four side windows. This car was used by the Wehrmacht as a staff car and was also used as a vehicle for the transportation of senior commanders.
- Model kit of the Mercedes-Benz 320 (W142) Cabriolet B in the open-top version.
- The kit is created with the geometry of the real car body.
- Elements of the engine, suspension, and car’s interior are reproduced according to the prototype.”
A much more in-depth series of notes can be found at the Wikipedia site (including the other autos in the Typ 320/W142 series): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_W142
Sotheby’s currently is listing a full-sized auto sold at €161,000 EUR!
The overall engineering of this kit is beautiful. The parts match each other and fit well to the other kit surfaces. The kit appears to also accurately match Typ 320’s dimensions. There are no PE parts and only a minimal small sheet of decals.
The instruction booklet contains 16 pages, including a four 3-color reference section covering the staff car color options. There are also only four sprue trees (one clear for the window sections) and three sets of two rubber tires each. This is the third kit of this basic Typ 320 (others are for the Saloon and hard top versions).
The construction of this kit is pretty much straightforward. If you are the type of modeler who wants to have a kit that almost ‘falls together straight from the box’, this might just be the kit for you. I encountered no fit issues, no flash problems and at almost every turn, this small kit was a joy to build.
Once again, possibly a sign of my age, but I have noticed that my much earlier practice of just opening any new kit and using my intuition to guide me through the basics of the kit’s assembly, has now given way to first reading and then following the instructions step-by-step. This was especially important with this kit, as my last ‘car’ kit was a hot rode in the early 60’s and spray painting it with an aerosol paint can as I wasn’t even aware of airbrushes even.
I now realize and believe kit instructions are important. I recommend reading the instructions carefully and follow them step-by-step (I also now check off the steps as I progress). These precautions may also because many of the kits contain such a very large number of details, number of small parts, and steps for the construction of the kit.
This kit is now the third from ICM I’ve tackled, and I continue to be impressed with the quality of their kits. Additionally, I am pleased to see that they can continue production in the face of the continued Russian aggression.
This kit is some of the best overall I’ve seen, including the excellent fit of all the parts, flash free, a few small circular mold marks (nicely hidden on the lower surfaces) the requiring only a small amount of sanding. This kit was completed in roughly six days, working about 6-8 hours each day.
I only employed filler in one area, the folded canvas roof. For this I used my favorite: Spies Heckel Permacron Fine Putty #7715. I have used this filler for several years now (originally recommended by one of our finest and highly skilled modelers, John Frazier). It produces a fast setting, very hard and fine surface when dry. It is a professional auto body filler, and as such imperious to all types of laquer or acrylic paint. I used AK Real Color Medium Grey RC249 (FS 36770) for the canvas cover, which replicates the grey color shown for this camouflaged vehicle in the last of the four colored pages in the instruction booklet.
One of the very few nit-picking notes I had is with the rubber tires. I should note that I do not care for most rubber tires and the six supplied with the Typ 320 are no exception. I was able to remove the rubber flash around the kit sample using a sharp razor blade on both sides of the tires as there is a small ridge on most of the rubber tires. There was also a small connection or molding spot on the bottom of each tire, which I placed at the 6 o-clock position to hide the spots.
Again, I looked for a retailer selling the ICM acrylic paints without finding one, and sadly these are the only paint colors shown for this kit.
I chose AK Real Color’s Basalt Grau RAL 212/RC212 as my base color for this German Staff car and their Rubber Black RC022 for the tires. The interior seats and side panels were hand painted with AK acrylic Brown Leather AK3031. I completed my dry brushings, using my old standby Winsor & Newton’s Artist Oil color Naples Yellow Light, No. 426. I wish that I had anticipated the resulting lower edged highlighting and run a dark colored paint along that edge but failed to see that issue. There are scant color references, with only the box top color paint scheme, and in the instruction, sheets included (five view) four schemes. In researching online images of the Typ 320’s I also found several other colors I would like to try in future builds. I made my choice, using only the overall RLM grey
Decal Markings Included:
- Typ 320 (W142) Cabriolet, France, 1940
- Typ 320 (W142) Cabriolet, unknown Luftwaffe, 1940
- Typ 320 (W142) Cabriolet, Eastern Front, 1943
- NJG1 (Nachtjagdgeschwader 1), probably 1943
I strongly recommend this kit of the ICM Typ 320 (W142) Cabriolet. The ICM kit builds into a beautiful representation and because of its small size compliments other related armor, vehicle, and aircraft in the 1/35th scales.