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First Look Review
187
Trabant 601 & Camper
Trabant 601 Universal with roof rack and Qek Junior Caravan
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Introduction
Trabant 601 Universal with roof rack and Qek Junior Caravan from Herpa is part of their Nostalgia of GDR range. It is Item 028790. Herpa makes 117 Nostalgia of GDR subjects and 27 Trabants, including eight 601s.

As Herpa relates;
    For many GDR-residents, off to the holiday meant going by QEK Junior which many owners then modified at will and based on their own needs. On the 1/87 scale model, the luggage fits on the mounted roof rack of the Trabant 601 Universal.

It is summer and vacation season, an apropos time to review this vacation set.

Trabant & Qek
Herpa molded these model cleanly and crisply. This little plastic model of a plastic car has fine surface detail, both raised and recessed, as appropriate. The body is a single piece that holds the clear windows and an interior. It sets upon wheels made of rubber-plastic composite tires. The same design makes the camper, too.

Detail
The Car
Herpa used tinted clear lenses for the brake lights. The head lights are painted on, as are the signal lights.

Tiny side mirrors are molded on, as are the windshield wipers. For the first time since I started reviewing Herpa models, I think an item is oversized - the windshield wipers.

The front grille is molded on and painted.

Herpa attached a luggage rack atop the car and it carries luggage and a spare tire.

Inside the car is a basic interior: seats, steering wheel.

The tires have slight sidewall detail and there is only token underchassis detail, although there is a very fine tow hitch.

Camper
Like the car, the camper body features good molding. Fine hinges are molded on for the door and opening window. I would like a separate door for posing figures in.

Inside is a basic interior.

Underneath is no detail except some slots to attach the stabilizing legs. Underneath the towbar is a fine dimple to attach to the car's hitch. A separate bogie wheel can be attached to the towbar.

On both vehicles the window plastic is clear and not distorted.

Paint and Finish
Both models are molded in color. The painted bits ate the hub caps, lights, door handles, hinges, and camper brake lights and reflectors.

Conclusion
This is a neat set of an Eastern European nostalgic family car with a recreational trailer. It features excellent molding and good detail. Modelers can remove the bodies and put figures inside if one wishes.

The lack of clear lenses for the headlights and camper brake lights detracts some from the overall effect. I think a separate door for the camper would afford modelers more opportunity for populating the model.

Overall this is another wonderful model for modelers of the GDR, be it as part of a model railroad layout, or a standalone diorama. Recommended.

Trabant
After the Reunification in 1989, the Trabant 1.1 was released with modified front and rear part as well as new bumpers. For only two years, it was manufactured with a VW Polo engine.* Trabant is the former East German auto maker VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau in Zwickau, Sachsen. It was the most common vehicle in East Germany, and was also exported to countries both inside and outside the communist bloc.[1]

The Trabant was a steel monocoque design with roof, bootlid/trunklid, bonnet/hood, bumpers/fenders and doors in Duroplast, a form of plastic containing resin strengthened by wool or cotton. This helped the DDR to avoid expensive steel imports. The Trabant was the second car to use Duroplast, after the "pre-Trabant" P70 (Zwickau) model (1954–1959). The duroplast was made of recycled material, cotton waste from Soviet Union and phenol resins from the East German dye industry, making the Trabant the first car with a body made of recycled material.[2]

    DKW - Das Kleine Wunder (The small wonder). The renowned German carmaker's pre-war type F8 equipped with a two-stroke engine became the archetype of all East German family cars.

    The Zwickau Automobile Factory (AWZ) continued the production of the F8 and an updated version, the F9 after the War under the authority of the Soviets and then the East Germans.

    At the early '50s it became crystal clear that these models were outdated. In 1953 production of the F9 was transferred to Eisenach, where EMW and later Wartburg production commenced.

    At Zwickau, inside the Automobile Werke Zwickau (AWZ) a new model was developed, called the P70 (P for plastic and 70 for the displacement which is about 700 cc).

    AWZ P70 This car was the first German small car made with plastic body. The name of the material was Duroplast made out of resin, strengthened by wool.
    The AWZ P70 debuted at the 1955 Leipzig Fair. Its engine was based on the old F8: two-cylinder, two-stroke, 690 cc, 22 bhp. With this engine the car which weighed 820 kg had a max. speed of 90 km/h. A three-speed asynchronized gearbox was fitted which transmitted the power to the front wheels. The mechanical components were plain F8, but the powerplant was rotated by 90 degrees and placed further the front axle. So the wheelbase should've been lengthened by 220 mm. This resulted in better handling.

    Beside the "Limousine" body style a "Kombi" estate and even a coupé was offered. During its four year production life about 30 thousand cars were built.
    In the meantime from 1957 on, a new updated model was on the market: the P50.

    This car carried the "Trabant" badge for the first time - it was selected from various ideas submitted by factory workers.

    Comparison of dimensions: Trabant: 3375 mm length, 1500 mm width and 1395 mm height. Goggomobil T300 Limousine: 2900 x 1280x 1310 mm. Yes, the P50 was bigger than the Goggo and more powerful, but the idea was the same. The shape wasn't too bad either, in '50s style.

    The P50 as its name suggest carried a smaller engine: 500 cc, 18 bhp, still two-cylinder, two-stroke. The four-speed transmission was still asyncrohinised. Later on came the P60 with a 600 cc engine and slightly modified exterior.

    In 1964 after 132000 P50 and P60 models were built AWZ introduced the new P601.

    This car had a 594 cc, 26 bhp engine derived from the P50. It sported new cylinders, new cylinder-heads and exhaust system. The shape is ridiculous now, but it was beautiful for many in the last three decades. It's a normal limousine, not too extravagant.

    It was easy to repair, easy to live with. Sure, it soon became outdated, old design but who cared? Here, many family men still cry back to their youth when they had a Trabant. Everyone had a joke about the Trabant, but it was still the basic mean of transport. The epitome of socialism: bad, not capable of doing too many things, not too efficient but still manages to work somehow.
    [3]

_______
SOURCES

[1], [2]. Wikipedia
[3]. Pal Negyesi. T R A B A N T. [Web.] http://www.team.net/www/ktud/trabi.html. 25 December, 2004
SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent molding and good detail. Modelers can remove the bodies and put figures inside if one wishes.
Lows: The lack of clear lenses for the headlights and camper brake lights detracts some from the overall effect.
Verdict: Overall this is another wonderful model for modelers of the GDR, be it as part of a model railroad layout, or a standalone diorama. Recommended.
  Scale: 1:87
  Mfg. ID: 028790
  Suggested Retail: $23.45, 19,95 EUR
  PUBLISHED: Jul 30, 2017
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 86.83%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.43%

Our Thanks to Herpa!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2017 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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