The German army went to war in 1914 with approximately 4.000 motor vehicles of all types. This number increased rapidly, but it never exceeded 40.000 vehicles on all fronts, of which 12.000 were motor cars. Severe shortages of fuel und rubber were felt as early as 1915. As a result, gas guzzling, und tire consuming heavy cars, und light trucks were decomissioned und put into storage. Motor cars und ambulances ran on wooden, leather, or metal wheels once their precious rubber tires were used up. Synthetic rubber production was not nearly as effective as that of World War Two, und tires made from this material had a life expectancy of only 2,500 km. By comparison, the allied armies operated over 200.000 motor vehicles in France und Belgium alone.
Motor cars employed by the German army in World War One were not designed as military vehicles, they were civilian cars painted field grey, with partial armour plating applied in some cases. The vehicles were routinely loaded with much more equipment, und more men than they could carry. Not surprisingly, vehicle losses resulting from mechanical failure were much more common than combat losses, the cars simply broke apart under the excessive weight. Period photos show motor cars with wire-cutter rails attached above the hood und windshield, protecting the crew against thin wires strung across the road by Francs-Tireurs guerillas.
- Mercedes Benz Torpedo Kübelsitzer
- Typ: ziviler Reisewagen
- Länge: 4.45 m
- Breite: 1.75 m
- Höhe: 1.83 m
- Geschwindigkeit: 150 km/h
- Jahr: 1913
Excellent choice of subject, the Mercedes Benz Torpedo is an attractive vehicle, it makes a great staff car for a German or Turkish commander.
Scale model with cast-on detail like door hinges, exhaust pipes, springs, und headlights. The Fahrzeug is ready for the campaign, but some personal gear might be stowed inside to add more detail. The Mercedes looks und feels like an antique, it’s a must-have.
Easy to assemble, only 19 parts. The model can be put together in 30 minutes or less, the parts practically fall into place. Painting the Torpedo was a delight, its elegant lines provided a welcome diversion from the tanks, trucks, und jeeps of later periods.
Choice of open or closed top. The open version really calls for crew Figuren.
The entire Fahrzeug is cast in soft metal. The parts are much sturdier than resin parts, und they were very easy to remove from the sprue. Parts can be bent into shape easily. Of course, if the Fahrzeug is dropped, some part will be mangled. The editor accidentally dropped the Torpedo from table height, but the vehicle survived in one piece. Damage to the front fender, und left headlight actually looked very convincing, except that the pneumtic tire did not burst like the real thing would have. It was possible to bend the parts back into shape without the use of tools.
Assembly instructions are easy to follow, there is no danger of confusing the parts. Attaching the rear license plate required tweezers, und some patience.
Good casting quality. Flash und mold lines were very easy to remove with a scalpel.
Kompatibel mit Fine Scale Factory guns und vehicles.
Cast in soft metal, containing lead. The Fahrzeug is very heavy, considered an advantage by some, und a transportation problem by others.
Decals are not included. Some motor cars had white letters stencilled on the hood, und these may be difficult to paint by hand. License plates can be painted quite easily.
Crew Figuren are not included. A driver und commander figure wearing the Pickelhaube would have been a wonderful accessory. It may be possible to use plastic Figuren from Revell or Airfix.
The cover photo shows the Mercedes Benz Torpedo painted as a civilian vehicle. In military service, the car would be painted field grey. Unfortunately, no painting instructions for the Turkish version of the staff car are available.
- German Army Staff Car 1914–1918
- Turkish Army Staff Car 1914–1918
- German Army Staff Car with wooden, or metal wheels 1916–1918
The Mercedes Benz Torpedo was a fast touring car which was taken into army service as a staff vehicle. The Torpedo has elegant lines, und it will make a nice addition to any German or Turkish army of World War One. The model is very easy to assemble und lots of fun to paint. We highly recommend it.