The Torpedo Militare was a militarized 4 × 2 passenger car used by military commanders and their staffs. The Lancia Aprilia shown here is similar in appearance to the more common Fiat 508C Mil./1100 field car. These vehicles bear a lot of similarity to German Kübelsitzer field cars, and many of them were captured and employed by the Wehrmacht after the Italian armistice of 03 September 1943. The vehicle shown here has been painted sand, with a chocolate brown disruptive stripes of pastel chalk. The pastel chalk was applied with a dry paintbrush, and it gives the camouflage pattern a nicely weathered look.
- Torpedo Militare Lancia Aprilia M.1939
- Type: Field Car, Light, 4 × 2
- Engine: 4V – 1451 ccm
- Length: 4326 mm
- Width: 1944 mm
- Height: 1666 mm (1876 mm with top)
- Wheelbase: 2923 mm
- Weight: 1120 kg (1500 kg loaded)
- Speed: 126 km/h
- Range: 700 km
Excellent choice of subject, the Lancia is the first Italian field car in its scale. The vehicle is compatible with ESCI’s Italian armoured vehicles of the period, and it may be used by Wehrmacht units deployed in Italy after September 1943.
Scale model with very attractive lines.
Easy to assemble, only 21 parts. The model can be put together in 30 minutes or less.
The entire vehicle is cast in soft metal, much sturdier than resin.
Assembly instructions are easy to follow, the parts fall into place nicely. Gaps between body parts are avoided by pressing the pieces firmly together while the superglue sets.
Good casting quality. Flash and mould lines were very easy to remove with a scalpel. The front edges of the body sides had to be trimmed to ensure a good fit against the hood.
Two variants: Open or closed top. The spare part may be used on another vehicle.
Two spare jerrycans are a welcome addition to the parts box. Manufacturers should routinely throw a few extras in the box, encouraging the modeller to customize vehicles. Rolled tarps and blanket, jerrycans, boxes, and spare tires are always nice to have.
Cast in soft metal, containing lead. The vehicle is very heavy, considered an advantage by some, and a transportation problem by others.
A noticeable gap behind the rear passenger seats needs to be filled if the vehicle is modelled with the canvas top folded down.
Minor inclusions on the left fender needed to be filled and sanded. The same casting irregularities appeared on the canvas top, but here the textured effect is quite realistic.
The posts attaching the windshield to the hood assembly had to be cut down to reduce a gap between the hood and windshield. Accordingly, the window posts on the body sides had to be cut down by 1 mm to ensure a good fit of the canvas top.
The do not show the straps and buckles which would normally be required to tie them down securely. The modeller will want to add this important detail, using strips of thin card or foil.
The model does not have the typical gasoline filler cap on the right rear panel of the body. This part would be easy to model, drilling a hole in the panel and inserting a piece of capped sprue or brass pipe.
Front and rear axles are not marked. The manufacturer informed us that the T-section axle belongs in the front, it should be mounted with the small notches facing forward.
Decals are not included. Markings on the field car would be minimal, except for a license plate prefixed RE (Army) or RA (Air Force).
Crew figures are not included. A driver and officer figure would have been a nice addition to the kit. The advancing rifleman from the Airfix Italian Infantry set makes a perfect driver for the Lancia. The figure’s left hand comes to rest exactly on the gear-lever, because the Lancia has right-hand steering, like the majority of Italian vehicles. If the closed canvas top is used, only the upper body of the driver is needed, otherwise seated legs from another plastic figure may be used to create a full figure.
The cover photo shows the Lancia painted in a desert sand colour for overseas service, but the instructions do not list recommended model paint numbers. At home, Italian vehicle were painted a greyish green, and a variety of multi-colour camouflage patterns were used throughout the war. A two-tone pattern of desert sand with brown or olive green would look very attractive on the Torpedo Militare, and modellers should look into this subject.
- Italian Army and Air Force Light Field Car, 1939-1943
- Wehrmacht Kübelsitzer (captured/confiscated), 1943-1945
- Open or closed top, both versions included.
The Torpedo Military Lancia Aprilia is a welcome addition to the growing range of 1:72 scale Italian figures, vehicles, and equipment. The Lancia Aprilia looks massive compared to a Jeep, and it goes very well with the old Airfix Italian Infantry figures recently re-released by HaT Industrie. The model offers good value for money, and it may be the perfect lure for an automobile modeller not normally interested in military subjects. The Lancia will be an important addition to any collection, perticularly if the vehicle is painted in an Italian or German multi-colour camouflage pattern.