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  Junkers Ju52/3m by Cobi  The Junkers Ju 52/3m was originally designed in 1930. In its first flight it was only equipped with one engine. J...

Junkers Ju 52/3m by Cobi Junkers Ju 52/3m by Cobi

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!


 Junkers Ju52/3m



 The Junkers Ju 52/3m was originally designed in 1930. In its first flight it was only equipped with one engine. Junkers soon realized that it was too underpowered with only one, and added two more engines. The Junkers designers used their J 1 aircraft (the first all metal aircraft) as its starting point. It was originally conceived as an airliner, but was turned into a bomber for a short time by the new Luftwaffe. It found its niche in life as a transport plane. As a transport plane before and during World War II, it was used constantly from 1936-1945. The German airmen and paratroopers called it 'Tante Ju' (Aunt Ju), or 'Iron Annie'. Very surprisingly the aircraft was also built by some other countries after the war. Some JU 52s were operational as late as the 1980s. It was also used as the personal aircraft of two countries' leaders during World War II. Both Hitler and Chiang Kai-shek had JU 52 personal airplanes. The plane type that Cobi has brought us was used as both a paratrooper and transport plane.

 The kit comes with 548 pieces. I was anxious to build this model for two reasons: One, I have always had a soft spot for the plane, Two, I had already built Cobi's Douglas C-47 (which is an excellent build and model), and I wanted to compare the builds and the finished product. 

  The building of the kit was as straight forward as usual with a Cobi kit. I believe I made one mistake, and just like during my other builds, it was my fault. Sometimes I get into a groove building these kits and I do not take the time I should to really inspect the instructions. However, a small flat edged screwdriver and some cursing always seems to do the trick. 

 The building of this kit was very enjoyable, as they all are. There is no glue stuck everywhere (especially on your fingers), and any mistake you make is easily righted. The Ju 52 took shape very early. The build starts with the wings so you know right away what the build is. Cobi tank kits mostly start out as a rectangle of blocks, and the tank does not show its excellent features until late in the process. With both of these plane builds I was able to see from the beginning how well the plane would look in the end. 

 As you can see, the kit in its finished form is a sight to behold. One thing, if you do not have much space to show off your kits, the bombers and transport planes are LARGE. The Douglas C-47 has a wingspan of 21" plus. The wingspan of the Junkers JU 52/3m is over 23". These are both big kits when finished.

 Once more, Cobi has given me a very enjoyable afternoon, and then followed it up with an excellent looking plane to add to my collection. Cobi kits are also great ways to start the young ones on the road to appreciating historical vehicles and the history behind them. I never really check how long a kit takes to finish. The building is so much fun and relaxing that the time just rolls by. I have never tried to speed build any of the kits. To me, that takes half the fun out the kit itself.

 The kit comes with two figures. A Luftwaffe pilot, and a Fallschirmj√§ger (Paratrooper). Just as with their kits, Cobi takes painstaking efforts to make sure they look as realistic as possible. So, once again I am in debt to Cobi for sending me this great looking Junkers Ju 52/3m kit. It is a magnificent build for anyone to display on their shelf. You can also buy the Junkers Ju 52/3m as a civilian version in white and blue, with Red Cross markings. The next Cobi kit I build will be a Sherman M4A3 (Easy Eight).



Blocks and toys for kids from Cobi - internet shop

Junkers Ju 52/3m:

Junkers Ju52/3m - WW2 Historical Collection - for kids 9 | Cobi Toys

Douglas C-47 Skytrain (Dakota) D-Day Edition by Cobi  The Douglas C-47 Skytrain, Dakota in English service, ...

Douglas C-47 Skytrain (Dakota) D-Day Edition by Cobi Douglas C-47 Skytrain (Dakota) D-Day Edition by Cobi

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!


Douglas C-47 Skytrain (Dakota)

D-Day Edition



 The Douglas C-47 Skytrain, Dakota in English service, was based on the Douglas DC-3 Airliner. It seems amazing, but the DC-3 was first flown in 1936, and there are still ones being flown today in parts of the world as passenger or freight planes. The C-47 continued in the U.S. Air Force until the late 1960s. Its variants are too numerous to list. You might have heard of it being used as a gunship in Vietnam. It was nicknamed 'Spooky' or 'Puff the Magic Dragon'. It was armed with an array of weapons with which to rain havoc upon enemy soldiers. This model that we are building was modeled after ones used on D-Day in 1944.

 I think we will first delve into the fact that this is a Cobi block kit. Like addressing the elephant in the room. Yes, this is a block kit that in a slightly different form, most children would love, and often get on Christmas or their birthdays. Another yes would be that we are grown men building with Cobi blocks. I say who cares. To me the sense of accomplishment that comes with building a Cobi kit is the same as building a model. No, I take that back, it is better than building a model. Some of us are artists, but most of us are not. There are some people who have a lot of free time on their hands; again most of us do not. To build and craft and paint a model is a lot of time and work. Yes, some of them do look just like the real thing. I, and a lot of other people, cannot build a model to look like what you see in magazines. I do not have the time nor the skill sets needed for it. I can however, build a Cobi kit that looks amazing and have fun doing it. This part of our hobby is something that anyone can do and enjoy. First of all, building a Cobi kit is affordable. When you buy a Cobi kit you are not spending a car payment for the model. To be perfectly honest, I do not think that the finished block models that cost $300 and more look any better than a Cobi one. In fact, I think some are quite inferior. Please do not get me started on the cheap knock-offs. They look bad and are only slightly less expensive than a real Cobi model.

 This model of the Douglas C-47 Skytrain is exceedingly well done by Cobi. Their planes are looking less 'blocky' with each new one coming out. A tank is a lot easier to make out of blocks because of its shape. By their very nature, planes do not lend themselves to be made out of blocks. So the fact that Cobi can pull it off is even more amazing. I proudly put my Cobi sets on display next to the diecast models that I have bought. 

 So how is it to build one of these? In one word, enjoyable. You are not waiting for paint to dry, or have to get these two pieces together right now before the glue dries. If the phone rings, just answer it. If you want to get a cup of coffee go ahead. The blocks will be waiting right there where you left them. if you want to finish your entire model today or just put together ten pieces it is up to you. The directions stop at roughly each two to ten pieces for each separate piece of the construction. Have fun; that is why you bought it. You didn't buy it to think everything through and to worry about what about this part, do I have the right paint etc. You bought it to enjoy building it, alone or with someone. Then there is the absence of fear, what if I did the last pieces wrong. Just take the few pieces off and do it over. No fuss, no mess, and completely hassle free. 

 This build for me was very calming and I really wanted to see how good Cobi could make this plane look. I was astounded at how much better it looked than I thought it could in the end. The build itself was only 550 pieces so I knew roughly how long it would take. I spread it out over a few hours and two days, because, well because I could. There were no hiccups in the build other than one of my own making by not looking close enough at the directions. 

 I want to thank Cobi for allowing me to review this excellent addition to their air fleet. One thing I want to discuss is missing parts. I have built ten of the Cobi models so far and I always have extra pieces. The only time I have come up short is because I used the wrong part earlier in the build. I have seen some people posting that they have missing parts and for me I have never had that problem. 

Link to the Douglas C-47 Skytrain:,art,11660.html


LCVP - Higgins Boat by Cobi  The LCVP (landing craft, vehicle, personnel) or simply ...

LCVP - Higgins Boat by Cobi LCVP - Higgins Boat by Cobi

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!


LCVP - Higgins Boat



 The LCVP (landing craft, vehicle, personnel) or simply the Higgins Boat, was the backbone of all of the invasions by the Allies in World War II. It was 11 meters long and 3.4 meters wide, and had a speed of 12 knots. The Higgins Boat was originally built with no ramp in the front of the boat. The US Marine Corps and Navy had seen the Japanese use their Daihatsu class of landing craft in the Sino-Japanese War. The Daihatsu class had a ramp in the front that dropped down. Andrew Higgins was shown pictures of the Japanese craft and with his own money built three craft for the Marines and Navy to use in trials. The boat was capable of carrying 36 soldiers or a Jeep and 12 soldiers, or 8,000lbs of cargo. Its design and light weight allowed it to drive right up onto the shore and deliver its lethal cargo. The Cobi Higgins Boat is built in 1:35 scale and was designed to be released with the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

 I had mixed feelings when getting ready to build the Higgins Boat that Cobi had sent me to review. True, it is a military vehicle, but not a plane or a tank. The fact that it has two machine guns on it and was used in many great battles finally made me come around. I am now very happy that Cobi chose this vehicle to send me. 

 The build itself is extremely well done. It has a very smooth appearance to it and does not have holes or a missing piece here or there (I am sure you know what I mean). Actually, the Cobi sets are just getting better with each iteration. The build is comprised of 510 pieces to build it.

 It was not a hard build and was done in a few hours. I took my time and did not rush through it. I wanted to enjoy the building as much as the finished project. As you can see, the attention to detail on this build is pretty amazing. It even has the track material in the bottom of the boat to facilitate driving a vehicle off it. The ramp actually works and can be shown either up or down.

 The three figures that come with it are also very well done. They come equipped with a Thompson machine Gun, and a Springfield Rifle. One of them is a sailor, and he even has a life jacket. The attention to detail on the figures is also getting to be really amazing. The set also comes with two German landing Barrages. Thank you Cobi for allowing me to review another excellent block set. As I mentioned, they just keep getting better and better. I am extremely happy with the build and it now takes its place right next to the Maus in my collection.

Link to the LCVP - Higgins Boat:,art,11390.html


Fokker DR. I 'Red Baron' by Cobi

Fokker DR. I 'Red Baron' by Cobi Fokker DR. I 'Red Baron' by Cobi

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!


Fokker DR. I 'Red Baron'



38cm Sturmtiger   by   Cobi       This is the historical background to Cobi's magnificent Sturmtiger model. During t...

38cm Sturmtiger by Cobi 38cm Sturmtiger by Cobi

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!


38cm Sturmtiger






  This is the historical background to Cobi's magnificent Sturmtiger model. During the battle of Stalingrad the German Army realized they needed a large caliber weapon in a panzer body. This was for the destruction of bunkers and houses, etc. They first came up with the Sturmpanzer. This was called the 'Stupa' by the Germans and Brummbar (grouch or sorehead) by the Allies. It was a 150mm gun on the rebuilt body of a Panzer III.



 The Stupa worked relatively well in its role. The Germans, thinking the way they did in World War II, thought that bigger is better. So someone came up with the idea of making a Tiger tank with an absolutely large rocket weapon. The weapon was adapted from a 380mm (15") depth-charge launcher used by the Kriegemarine. There were only eighteen of these made. Most were just lost to the Allies during the retreat of the Germans at the end of the war. There is one uncorroborated story of a Sturmtiger destroying a few Sherman tanks and their crews with one shot in the battle for the Remagen bridge.

 For some reason, I have always been incredibly intrigued by these vehicles. For that reason I have been dying to build this kit from Cobi. I was incredibly lucky to have Cobi send me three kits for review. Then they sent me a stupendous kit: the Panzer VII 'Maus'. All of the kits were very well done and I greatly enjoyed building them. However, the Maus was absolutely outstanding. I like it much better than the plastic model I built of the Maus.

 This is the link to the first review of Cobi kits I did:

This is the link to my review of the Maus:

 As I have mentioned before, building these kits actually make me feel better than building a plastic model. I do like building plastic models, but they are sometimes maddening depending on the kit or the company making it. I also am totally useless at painting the completed models. I have tried and tried, but always make a total mess of it. So with Cobi kits I know that they will always fit together, and the bricks are colored so I have no anxiety about building them and can just enjoy it.

 This kit is exactly what I was hoping it would be. It is an excellent model of a Sturmtiger. It even comes with a rocket for the weapon and the crane that was needed to load the weapon.

 The build took about four hours split between two different days. I took it slow and enjoyed every minute of the build. Just as a helpful hint, keep a Jeweler's flat screwdriver around just in case you mess up like I do. The Cobi blocks lock together so tightly that it is difficult to get them apart. The other kits that   I have built had no problem at all staying together.

 Cobi has taken it's kits from tanks, planes, and guns to now include even battleships. They now have kits of the Bismarck, Tirpitz, and Warspite. I also have seen that they will be releasing these three: the Iowa, Musashi, and Yamato. Each day it seems that Cobi is releasing something new.


  I can absolutely recommend this Sturmtiger kit to anyone who is interested in this weapon or has an interest in World War II vehicles. I had a blast building the kit and now it has a place of pride in my collection. The Cobi kits just seem to get better and better. One can only hope that they will be releasing a 'Dora' or maybe even the mighty 'Gustav'.


Cobi's World of Tanks MAUS  The Maus is in the house, and it is Tanktastic! To be more descriptive you could call ...

Cobi's World of Tanks MAUS Cobi's World of Tanks MAUS

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!


 The Maus is in the house, and it is Tanktastic! To be more descriptive you could call it the Behemoth. Too bad, because I like the word Leviathan better, but we are not dealing with ships here. The Panzerkampfwagen VIII was nicknamed the Maus (mouse) in a bit of ironic jesting. The Maus is the heaviest armored vehicle ever produced at 188 tonnes. Strangely, its turret frontal armor was not much thicker than the Ferdinand/Elefant. Its armor thickness is listed here:

 Turret Front  - 220 mm
 Turret Side And Rear - 200 mm
 Hull Front  - 200 mm
 Hull Side - 180 mm
 Hull Rear - 150 mm

 Its main armament was a 128 mm KWK 4Gun  L/55 and its secondary armament was a 75 mm KWK 44 Gun L/36.5, and a 7.92 machine gun.

 For a long time Porsche was trying to build large tanks with a petrol motor that would run a generator to two electric motors, one for each track. Like the Ferdinand/Elefant, the Maus had this drive system. Only two were built and of those only one was fully constructed. Amazingly they were able to get a speed of 22 km (14 MPH) out of this beast.

 Enough of the history, we will now talk about Cobi's magnificent brick beast. I have been drooling over this since I saw the first teaser ad on Cobi about it. I built the M4 Sherman from Cobi and I was and am mightily impressed with that kit. However, the ads of the Maus just blew me away. Every one I saw looked like a $100 plus plastic model kit.

 The Maus belongs to the Cobi 'World Of Tanks' lineup. the sheer size of the box is impressive. Most Cobi tanks run in the range of 400-600 piece size, with the Koenig Tiger at the top of the scale at 600 pieces. The Maus is a whopping 900 pieces. 

 I cannot state strongly enough that once built, these Cobi kits are well put together and will not fall apart into their separate bricks by looking at them. You can actually play with them on a carpet or a floor, and you will not have to be rebuilding the kit. The sheer heft of the Cobi kits, once they are together, tell the whole story. The Maus, when put together, seems almost indestructible like the tank it represents was supposed to be.

 The instructions for the kit are straightforward, with no real questions, as long as you take your time and follow them. The Maus has shown me that Cobi kits are, as far as looks and construction, just getting better and better.

 With its 900 pieces it is a longer build that others, but that is not a knock on the kit. It means you have that much more time to enjoy actually building it. The kit also comes with rubber tires to put on the road wheels.

 The Maus is an excellent addition to my World War II vehicle collection. I included some pictures of it next to Cobi's Sherman so that you could see the actual size difference.

 The tank commander that comes with the Maus once again shows Cobi's attention to detail.

 In one way I couldn't wait to finish the Maus, and in another I didn't want the building part to end. Construction was just so easy and I was so engrossed in it. As I stated in my first review, I cannot get over how putting a Cobi block tank or plane together really gives one a sense of accomplishment, just as building a glued together model. The Maus now sits proudly next to some of my other models. Thank you Cobi for bringing the world a more affordable choice in excellent block military kits.

 Most, if not all,of Cobi's kits are available in the U.S. from Amazon.



Cobi Block kits Jeep andHelicopter P-51 Mustang Sherman Tank  Model M4A1 The Jeep before the first build   I am ol...

Cobi Kits Reviewed Cobi Kits Reviewed

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!


The Jeep before the first build

 I am older; not old, just older. When I played with blocks they were made of solid wood. These were essentially the same kinds of blocks that had been around for over a hundred years. Now, I am not talking about the square colored ones that were supposed to teach you letters and numbers; they were pretty useless for building anything. No, I am talking about plain wooden blocks that came in many different shapes and sizes. You could use these to build a city or a fortress, or at least a part of one (I didn't have an extensive block set). These plain blocks were used to try and replicate Karnak and other places I had seen in pictures. My blocks represented the ultimate escape from the doldrums of where I was to where I wanted to be. Yeah I know, I was a strange child. Inevitably I moved on. The blocks were put away much like Puff and his ilk. 
At the ripe old age of eighteen I began working at a toy store. One of my myriad of jobs was stock clerk. This was a mom and pop toy store. This was before chain stores made their arrival. I was given a carton of new toys to set up on the shelf. I opened the box and was presented with a revelation. It was a ship, and it was built entirely of small click together blocks. As I recall, one part of me was in awe, while the other part was disgusted. How dare they manufacture a new kind of block. The old ones were good enough for me, and all the way back to my grandparents' time. On the other hand, the ship did look awesome. It didn't have guns, and I believe it was a Coast Guard cutter, or something similar. Still, the ship and how it was put together amazed me. I was sorely tempted each pay week to buy it, but never did. My money went to more earthly pleasures. I regret not buying it to this day.

 I would watch my children, and then grandchildren, play with their little click together blocks. I would see them build pretty much anything under the sun. You would think that I would feel sorry for them, for they had been cheated of flights of fancy. No, that is not it at all. I feel cheated and can only think of what my imagination could have done with these newfangled blocks.

 Now I am presented with three brand spanking new Cobi kits. The first is a double set with a helicopter and jeep. The second set is of a P-51 mustang, and the third is of a Sherman tank model M4A1. The first thing that went through my mind was these kids are not touching my Cobi block sets. The little urchins have their own; these are mine. Remember, he who has the most toys before he dies wins.

The P-51 pieces at the unveiling

 I started with the Jeep and helicopter set. I figured I would work my way through the kits to work on the Sherman last. Jeeps, helicopters, and mustangs are okay, but hey, this is a tank.

 I tackled the jeep first. The directions were pretty clear cut, and time seemed to fly by as I assembled it. I am a fairly large man, but I really had no problem fitting the blocks together. The only problem I did have was the blocks fit together like they had been built by Incas. If I made a mistake it was a bit of a bear to get some of the blocks back apart. This is not a knock on the blocks. It only means that your finished work will not fall to pieces on the mantel or shelf. It is also not the block's fault that I failed to follow the directions. A small flat jewelers screwdriver helped me immensely with my foibles. The Jeep was together in no time, and it looks excellent. I was wondering how I would feel while essentially playing with a child's toy. To be honest, the sense of accomplishment was pretty much like what I feel when putting a model together. I will add one caveat: I do not paint my models. I love putting them together, but I cannot paint them to save my life. So essentially this was just like building a model, without the glued together fingers. The helicopter was bit more intricate, and if you made a mistake, it was sometimes several pages later that you would realize it. 

The Sherman being built

 Now that these two are together, I feel more confident of my 'blocking' ability. Next up would be the Mustang. I am a 'Thunderbolt' kind of guy, so the 'Stang' has never really impressed me. That being said, I do have one model and two diecast of Mustangs in my collection.The P-51 looks from the box to be the most 'toy' looking, and not going to the realistic end of the bar.  After putting it together though, I was pleasantly surprised. Once completed it looks very good in the flesh. I thought I was saving the best for last with the Sherman, but I could be wrong.

The P-51 in all its glory

 It turns out I was not wrong. The Sherman is definitely the best of the pieces. There is nothing wrong with the others at all, but the heft and look of the Sherman really impresses. 

Heavy Metal

 All in all, I am tremendously impressed; not just with the kits themselves, although they are pretty amazing! I am even more impressed by my sense of accomplishment in building them. The kits are really nice, but so is the actual building. One major plus is that if you happen to have urchins around they can also join in the fun. It is not the easiest thing to try and build a model with small hands helping. Been there, done that.

I would like to say thank you to Cobi for these very affordable and great kits, although my wife may not be holding you in such high regard. I see so many excellent kits in Cobi's World of Tanks lineup. The Maus is listed as coming soon. Take a look at the pictures of it:,art,9266.html 

All of the figures are very well done

 The kits have been been given a bad rap at times because they are not sturdy enough for little people to play with. The very nature of any small block building is the same: rough handling will cause the build to start coming undone. It is the nature of the beast. If you are looking for toy tanks and army men to play with outside in the dirt, don't look here. If you are looking for something exciting to build and look at and also to play with more gently inside the house, then these are for you. You can also pass onto your own urchins your love of history and engines of war while you are at it.