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I have both versions of the Revell of Germany Trabant. The earlier release is the 2 door sedan, called the Limousine. This is not the old ROG Trabant of 1990 or so. That was a nice kit, but was curbside with a closed hood. This is a new full detail kit. Then they pulled a second version out of the mold, coming out with the Trabant Universal. I remember that a modeler did convert the old sedan kit into a wagon, but hey, procrastination is my friend. I win again! I went looking on the Internet for some reference photos for my painting and detailing. I found several shots of the above vehicle that is restored and in a museum. So the wheels in my head started turning and I decided to build this light commercial variety. And here we are today. I've been working on it a few hours a day, and have all the parts off the trees and mostly painted at this point. There was minimal if any clean up and the kit is so well engineered that there won't be an ejector pin visible, and I didn't sand any away. The funky part is that the body is this tan plastic, but all the parts that attach to it are molded in grey. So there is no way anyone could build it without painting the body. I filled in the side window panels by copying the glass onto Evergreen sheet plastic. One thing that I don't like about the kit is that the fender top trim is all separate pieces. Spindley little crooked pieces that don't have any sure fit. The kit engineers expect you to paint everything, paint these bits silver and them glue them in place. Well, ain't gonna work that way! I went through the torture of gluing them all in place prior to paint, and yes I did have some glue smears to sand. I asked Erik, The Creative Emperor, who previously built one and showed it here on the board how he handled them. He solved the problem by leaving them off. He suggested ditching the parts and using some Evergreen rod to make the trim. I had already glued it in place by the time I saw the reply, so I did sand it all down a bit since it is a bit large. If I was in charge I would've just molded that trim in place on the body like ROG did on the earlier 1990s Trabant kit. I found it much easier to glue it in place, and I'll Bare Metal Foil it once the body is done. The other issue I had was the fit of the rear hatch. The kit gives you two sets of the gas struts, one extended to position the hatch up and one short to position the hatch closed. My kit had the two hinge pieces broken at the top of the body, so I made new ones from brass. The roof isn't glued on, that's why it appears high in the photo. As I'm doing the van, I am not using the rear seat and made myself a deck from ribbed Evergreen sheet, the same sheet I used in my Caravan CV build. Here's the hinge up close. They are model ship building supplies. I bought a pack of these tiny brass eyelets that are used for sailing ship rigging. The hinge on the hatch fits in here fine, when I do my final assembly I'll squeeze these in a bit around the plastic hatch hinges to keep them in place. One last shot of the hinge for Erik since he was curious as to how I was going to work out this problem.
I can't believe how long it took me to get around to building these models. Maybe a year! I thought they would be Winter 2015 builds. Of the bunch, the Trabant was the toughest, mostly because of the trim. With the other builds, I tried my hand at making workable hinges and it turned out ok. I used reference photos of the 1:1 cars to decide on the color schemes. Purchased some aftermarket decals for the Renault.
Well, I finished my review model of the Trabant Universal. It is a amazingly nice model, it flew together and the decals are great. There are some minor issues, but nothing not solvable. I tried to replicate the car that was shown in the Revell presentation at ROG HQ, it isn't exactly, but for me close enough. And I took some liberties, as I had only 1 photo. This is the original car: And this is my build of it: