In-Box Review
British 10hp Light Utility Car
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Tamiya's 1:48 Tilly appeared a couple of months ago and promptly sold out in the UK. If there ever was any doubt among manufacturers of the potential of subjects with combined appeal to aircraft and armour enthusiasts, hopefully this runaway success will have dispelled it once and for all.

The Tilly arrives in a compact and attractive box with the contents well presented and bagged for protection. The kit comprises:

39 x grey styrene parts
9 x clear styrene parts
Decals for 4 x colour schemes

As you can tell from the low parts count, this is a pretty simple kit. As you'd hope from a new Tamiya kit, the moulding is basically flawless, with no flash or sink marks and everything beautifully crisp.

Construction looks extremely straightforward. This is a "kerbside" model (i.e. no engine detail) and the chassis is basically one piece with just the suspension and exhaust to add. The body comprises a superbly moulded shell with just a single sprue attachment that will be hidden under the radiator grill. Separate front mudguards and an insert behind the driver and passenger seats complete things.

Sadly, the cab doors are moulded shut, and the design will make opening them very tricky unless you're prepared to buy two kits and sacrifice one to salvage the doors, or make a mould to produce them in resin.

The cab's interior is very spartan, which seems appropriate for the original, but there's no detail on the inside of the doors. The dashboard has nicely moulded bezels, but it's disappointing that Tamiya haven't included decals for the speedometer etc. The seat are OK, but look a bit rigid and new, so you might want to soften them up a bit to look more used.

The model can be built with the canvas cargo cover up or down. Oddly, it's moulded in clear styrene. It's split in two along the top, which allows crisp detail on the sides, but does mean a seam to deal with. For scale appearance, it's probably best to build the cover up, as the truck sides do look a bit thick.

Last but not least there's a driver figure. It's moulded neatly enough with a separate head and arms and is perhaps a little small in order to squeeze into the cab. The real disappointment for anyone wanting to use the Tilly in a typical wartime airfield diorama is that the driver is most suitable for the Army or RAF Regiment. You'll probably get away with just painting the battledress blue and the garters are unlikely to be visible, but the beret (although first introduced to the RAF Regiment in 1943) wasn't universally adopted by the RAF until after the war. As the figure has a separate head anyway, it's a shame that one with the more common Field Service cap wasn't also included as an option.

The assembly diagrams are clearly laid out and beautifully drawn. The assembly is virtuallly self-explanatory, it's so simple, and the kit looks a perfect build for a relaxing "weekend build". Tamiya paints are indicated throughout.

Decals are provided for four schemes:

A. British Army, unknown unit, Europe, 1944
B. Polish 4th Infantry Division, British Army, UK, 1944
C. Royal Air Force
D. A standard British Army scheme with unit markings for the 1st, 6th and 7th Armoured Divisions to apply as desired.

The small sheet of decals seems very good quality. The silk finish items are printed in perfect register. The blue of the RAF roundels seems very pale, but searching the web does reveal some photos of vehicles bearing such markings (although these are restored examples, so the colours might not be true to the original). I'll use a more typical wartime Roundel Blue.

Tamiya's 1:48 Tilly is a simple, but very well produced kit of a vehicle that will be hugely useful for aircraft and armour modellers alike. Hopefully, its success will encourage Tamiya to produce some more airfield vehicles such as bowsers and ambulances. Recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Excellent moulding and simple assembly. Good quality decals.
Lows: It's a shame a more typical wartime RAF driver isn't included.
Verdict: Tamiya's Tilly is an excellent little kit. Easy to build and with masses of diorama potential.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 32562
  Suggested Retail: 14.99
  PUBLISHED: May 25, 2009
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright 2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Hi Rowan again a ver nice review, although: Well, it is perhaps "a little" small for a Hobbit ... but as you write, Frodo fits into the cab. BTW unless you take close up shots nobody will know he is wearing the wrong hat .... but thanks for pointing that out! all the best Steffen
MAY 25, 2009 - 11:47 PM
Thanks Steffen To be fair to Tamiya, they don't suggest painting the figure as an RAF driver. If you do, according to Osprey's "Men At Arms" book, the beret would be incorrect before 1943, when they were introduced for the RAF Regiment. They then spread gradually to other RAF trades, but only became standard headgear after the war. All the best Rowan
MAY 26, 2009 - 08:20 AM
Hi all, Tamiya's little Tilly is indeed very nice and easy to build. If you want to start a model in the morning and have it finished in the evening, then it's the perfect kit... I have only added the thin straps for the canvas cover (fine lead wire) on the above model. Otherwise, I've followed the kit's instructions and used some pastels for weathering. If you think the driver is too small and wears the wrong beret, there is a simple solution: don't use it... Jean-Luc
MAY 27, 2009 - 03:07 AM
Hi Jean-Luc Well, a driver gives a bit more life to the scene .. even if he has the body of a 10 year old boy .. I also thought about posting a few pix of my model .. which is of course not as nice as yours, so I better leave it. BTW a small nitpick comes to mind seeing your model: the white fender markings are not included as decals which I found pretty surprising (thus my model does not have them yet) cheers Steffen
MAY 27, 2009 - 03:25 AM
Hi Steffen, Yes, you are right, I've searched them on the decal sheet as well. You have to go back to basic painting techniques to add them: white paint applied with a fine brush. By the way, how did you paint the car light? It's a transparent part and it's tricky to do... Jean-Luc
MAY 27, 2009 - 08:49 AM
Hi J-L I painted the whole thing silver (without the front glass of course) all the best Steffen
MAY 27, 2009 - 09:16 AM

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