1⁄35Mercedes Benz G4 1939
IdeaI was charmed by the peculiar look of this car and I bought it with the intention of including it in a diorama. Shortly before I had the chance to start this model, I worked on another ICM kit, an Opel Admiral Cabriolet. During the construction of the Admiral kit, I encountered a few problems with the parts fitting. As many reviewers said, these ICM kits are over-engineered and it’s a waste of time to build such detailed engine and suspension assemblies which remain in most of the cases under the hood… Well, I’m far from being a rivet counter, but it makes me feel good to know that everything is OK there under, even if unseen. Nonetheless, the Admiral’s build really gave me a headache: I had to tear apart the front and rebuild it, and there was still an ugly gap between the radiator mask and right side fender, and the canvas did not fit regardless of the many ways I’ve tried. If anyone wants to blackmail me, he can successfully use one of this car’s photos. I didn’t give up on ICM, but I needed a serious poke to make me start on another kit again… and it came from a friend. He wanted to show me a recently finished beast. I couldn’t believe my eyes when he showed me the new Mercedes six wheeler from AMG, built by Australian army specs! Besides, my work bench was nearly idle, with the last model close to completion. So, I started it.
The VehicleMercedes Benz G4 (W31) was produced from 1933 until 1939, when production was halted under the war’s pressure. Obviously, the G4 with its overcomplicated suspension and transmission was not suitable for mass production. The vehicle was built with some outstanding features: automatic transmission lock on off-road only, hydraulic brakes and three rigid axles suspension. The estimated number of units produced is varying widely, from approximately 50 to approximately 150. Anyhow, the most common number to be found in most of the sources is 57. The technical data are pretty impressive for its time: Dimensions:
- Weight: 3550 kg (curb weight!)
- Size: 5.72 m length, 1.87 m width, 1.90 m height
- Wheelbase: 1.62 m – front wheels, 1.57 m – rear wheels
- Track width: 1.57 m front / 1.57 m rear
- Engine type: line 8
- Power: 115 HP @ 3400 rpm
- Torque: 185 Nm @ 1400 rpm
- Displacement: 5.4 l
- Compression: 5.6:1
- Bore: 88 mm x 108 mm
- ZF Aphon, manual, 4 gears
- AWD asyncronic transmission
The G4 kits in 1/35th scaleThe first version of the Mercedes G4 in 1/35 scale was released by a Japanese manufacturer named Tilt in the ‘70s under the title “Mercedes-Benz TyP G4 / W31 S.Gl.Pkw.” I couldn’t find too much information about the kit except for a pretty good online review. As I understood it was the only model ever released by Tilt Company, as a result, it was completely different from the ICM / Revell kits: it was motorized and the body was molded in two halves… just to point out the biggest differences. And it was, of course, less complicated. Another version, casted in resin this time, was released by Plus Model from the Czech Republic, reference number 195, some time after 1990, and named “Mercedes G4 Radio Car”. Again, the kit is different from the mold of ICM / Revell line and, based on build reviews, very well detailed but fiddly. The plastic models from the ICM / Revell line have four versions: “G4 (1939 production) – German car with passengers” ICM ref. 35531, released in 2011; “German Staff Car ‘G4’”, Revell repacking of the ICM model, without passengers, reference Revell 03235, released in 2012; “Typ G4 (W31) with open cover – WWII German Passenger car,” reference ICM 35532, released in 2013 and, finally, “Typ G4 (Kfz.21) – WWII German Staff Car,” reference ICM 35538, also released in 2013. As far as I know, these are the kits available in 1/35 scale; I’ve also got wind about a future release by Cyber Hobby… To be seen.
The kitICM’s G4 was reviewed impeccably by Jim Rae here (Live links). I don’t have much to add to his in-box review, except that my kit is the one reboxed by Revell, without accompanying figures; otherwise, all the same. In my particular box, I found an unpleasant surprise: the frame of the windshield was crushed from the top, white marks signaling imminent breakage… nothing that cannot be fixed, I thought. I decided to avoid the headache of returning the kit just for that. Otherwise, impeccable quality of the molds, crisp details, barely visible ejection pin marks. I found the overall quality excellent.
Copyright ©2020 by Gabriel Szeitz. Images and/or videos also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of KitMaker Network, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2015-01-03 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 20399