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First Look Review
HO scale
AWZ P 70 Kombi
AWZ P 70 Kombi
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Herpa has released another new type, that Eastern European plastic body car, the AWZ P 70 Kombi. This HO new type is part of the Nostalgia of GDR and Vintage Car series.

Herpa currently offers two AWZ models, part of 135 Nostalgia of GDR models of different types in HO (1/87) and 1/43 (O scale). There are also 299 Vintage Car models.

    From 1955 to 1959, the Trabant predecessor was produced in three different body variants in Zwickau. The vehicle with a plastic body heralded the era of mass motorization in the former GDR.

Herpa debuted this model as the cover story Pioneering of Materialnot – AWZ P70 in their April 2015 issue of Der MASS:STAB. You can see this issue via the link Click here for additional images for this review, below.

The AWZ was the first design constructed of Duroplast, a form of plastic containing resin strengthened by wool or cotton. 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.

    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    At the early '50s it became crystal clear that these models were outdated.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.

Herpa AWZ P 70 Kombi
This model is fully assembled and packed in a light plastic form-fitted tray, surrounded by Herpa's red paper label, and secured in a light plastic box with opening ends. Although the plastic is flexible and the packaging appears quite flimsy, it has allowed several models to survive the perilous international postal journey, arriving in a crushed box and damaged packaging unscathed!

Molding is flawless and the model is assembled without any visible blemishes or flaws. There is a hideous burr under the front of the car but you can't see it unless you turn the car over. Doors, hood and panels are defined with fine recessed lines. The door handles are slightly raised. A side view mirror is molded separately and attached on the driver side. The grille indentions are deep and closed.

The windshield is free of distortion.

Underneath the car is a single-piece with basic molded detail.

Soft tires around detailed hubcaps support the model.

Detail and Trim
Headlights are clear lenses although the brake lights are painted on.

Detail inside the passenger compartment is good: dashboard; steering wheel; seats. This detail can be seen through the clear windows.

Exterior detail is painted on, like the gas cap, Zwickau Automobile Factory logo, and chrome trim.

Finish and Markings
Released in brillantblau / brillant blue and black / schwarz, the finish is smooth and shiny. Chrome is painted on. Herpa does not use decals.

AWZ P 70 autos ushered in a "peoples'" vehicle in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik. With clean molding and sharp printing, it is a nice model. I appreciate the clear headlamp lenses. The separately added side mirror is really nice. All that printed chrome is, too.

Overall this is a neat and well molded model of an important vehicle for modelers of the GDR and unified Germany.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on RAILROADMODELING.
[1] Pal Negyesi. T R A B A N T. [Web.] http://www.team.net/www/ktud/trabi.html. 25 December, 2004

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Crisp detail and paint. Side view mirror and transparent lenses for head- and brake lamps.
Lows: A hideous burr under the front of the car.
Verdict: A neat and well molded model of an important vehicle for modelers of the GDR and unified Germany.
  Scale: HO Scale
  Mfg. ID: 027656
  Suggested Retail: 12.50 Euro
  Related Link: Trabant 1.1 Universal
  PUBLISHED: Jul 15, 2015

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)

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 ©2021 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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