login   |    register

In-Box Review
German Fuel Drums
German Fuel Drum Set
  • DSCN00052

by: Scott [ MUCHACHOS ]


The jerrycan was developed before the Second World War in Germany, under the strictest secrecy, in order to allow AFVs to carry extra fuel so that they did not need to wait for supply lines to catch up. It was so secret, German soldiers were actually ordered to destroy the cans to ensure that they were not captured. It contained about 20 litres/ 5 gallons of fuel when filled, and an innovative feature was that it could not be filled up all the way when the can was level. This resulted in an air pocket at the top, allowing the can to float in water even when full. Its cap could be sealed airtight without any tools, a feature that its American counterpart lacked.

The jerrycan also had a built in spout for pouring, another feature the American can lacked. The German jerrycans were far superior to the Allied fuel containers, and the Allies knew this. The British and the Americans started to mass produce almost exact copies of the German pattern jerrycan, but before this took place, the Allied soldiers supplemented their inferior fuel cans with the German jerrycans.
This set includes two identical sprues containing about 100 parts to build:

16 German jerrycans (4 with water lettering, 12 with fuel lettering)
6 200L/55 gallon fuel drums
Two hand pumps
Two stand pipes

The jerrycans are made up of four parts: Two halves of the can, one part for the handles, and one part for the spout and lid. The spout and lid are molded as one part, meaning that the kit cannot make a jerry can pouring its contents without some modification. There is some finely done lettering on one half of the can, which says either Wasser 20L 1943 Wehrmacht (for the water can) or KraftStoff 20L Feuargefahrich (for fuel). I am fairly sure that the fuel can should say Wehrmacht and have a year on it, so this detail has been omitted. There is no PE included in the kit for the central weld seam between the two halves.

The fuel drums are also made of four parts: Two halves (Oh, yay! Seam filling!), and the top and bottom lids. Two of the drums can be built with the hole in the lid and/or the side open, as these holes are molded open on some of the parts. There is fine lettering molded on the top and bottom lids, reading (for the top) "200L, and for the bottom "60 EA'" followed by a number that is different on each part (the two sprues are identical, so there are two 2 drums with the same number). If the modeler wanted to build these drums open, then they would have to remove the two large knockout marks on the inside of each half. The drums also have some dents molded into them.

The pipes and pumps look alright to me, but check references to determine if they are correct for specific applications.

Instructions and the painting guide are on the back of the box. They are very simple, and I had no difficulty in building.
I test built one each of the fuel drums and jerrycans, and had no unreasonable problems. The jerrycan went together perfectly, and the fuel drum only required me to remove one of the location pins to get the two halves aligned.

Highs: Nicely done lettering, low price, simple assembly.
Lows: Drums in two halves, no PE for welds on jerrycans, incorrect lettering on fuel cans.
Verdict: An affordable set of decent looking fuel drums and jerrycans that would look good in any WWII era vehicle's stowage.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 186
  Suggested Retail: $8.99 CDN
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Feb 03, 2009

About Scott (muchachos)

Copyright 2021 text by Scott [ MUCHACHOS ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.


Thanks Rudi, it was an 'American' moment on my part :-)
FEB 03, 2009 - 10:25 AM
Thanks for the comments, everyone. Tom, it may be an old kit, but it is still a pretty good set of jerrycans and fuel drums. I agree with Rudi and James on your question. I also thought it would be a good thing to contribute to a great modeling site that I owe a lot of my building/finishing strategies to. Rudi, I also found the history of the jerrycan quite interesting, especially how something so seemingly ordinary could have had so much development effort put into it. Here is a link that has some more interesting info if you like. As for the PE, I was comparing it a little to the DML and Tasca offerings which both include it, so I thought I should have noted the lack of it. Scott
FEB 03, 2009 - 12:54 PM
Those drums on the box look more like German drums than the ones I have. It's refreshing to see someone review one of the older kits, Many Thanks Joe
FEB 03, 2009 - 04:17 PM
While an ancient kit you can improve it quite easily with the two PE sets from Voyager currently available. http://www.luckymodel.com/scale.aspx?item_no=PE%20A160 http://www.luckymodel.com/scale.aspx?item_no=PE%20A161 The result is fuel drums and jerry cans that are superior to the excellent Tasca ones. They're a $#%7ing pain in the #$% to build (the spout comes in 3 parts and requires a plastic neck), but the results are excellent. As to the lettering, you'd need a microscope to read it, so that doesn't bother me on the cans. The Voyager ends for the drums will correct that problem (I believe Aber has a similar PE set out, but I've never seen anyone have it in-stock).
FEB 04, 2009 - 10:09 AM
I was about to say, the drums are hardly accurate, just generic drums. You need the PE end caps to make a true Wehrmacht drum. Or lots of patience and a set of PE letters (!). Doesn't Italeri make a set of Jerrycans that has gotten good reviews? I heard that for the same price they are better than the Tamiya set.
FEB 04, 2009 - 10:25 AM
Here's the Aber set: http://www.luckymodel.com/scale.aspx?item_no=ABR-35A114 And some images of the drums, articles, etc: http://www.network54.com/Forum/47207/message/1185618810/link+and+pictures
FEB 17, 2009 - 07:12 PM
For a kit that actually came out in 1995 , it's not bad. It's Tamiya's original Fuel Drums and Jerry Cans set that came out in the 1970's that's truly awful. The Italeri set is older, circa 1970's, and is still good a good basic set. You get some bits and pieces to make stowage racks but you don't get any fuel drums . Cheers jjumbo
FEB 17, 2009 - 07:39 PM
Hi whilst it is, certainly in todays terms, an old kit I think it's important to draw modellers attention to these, if only to warn them off buying the older set which can still be seen doing the rounds on ebay and such like. I have both the older set and the new set. I purchased the older set many years ago and when I returned to modelling recently I dug them out but gave up halfway through detailing them as I soon realised they were very poor representations. Please don't buy the old set they only have two handles instead of the distinctive three of the actual can, and the new set has corrected this. The older set is distinguished by the fact you get buckets with it . The new Tamiya set, as mentioned does not reproduce the distinctive centre wield seam which is achieved by PE inserts in the Tasca/Bego set and most of the Dragon ones included in their kits. I wish I'd had known about the Voyager etc kits before assembling mine. I ended up buying some of the Tasca/Bego jerrycan sets as well, so I now have enough cans to fuel a Panzer Division ! If you want Fuel drums as well then you'll want the Tamiya kit but I'd always suggest investing in the PE to add that finishing detail. The distinctive centre wield in my opinion has to be included to make it a real jerrycan. If you want to see more about the jerrycan and the variations follow this link to an amazingly detailed site. Jerrycan - all you ever wanted to know and more... Alan
FEB 18, 2009 - 10:21 PM
Hi By the way if you are interested Hannants in the UK have the Tasco/Bego jerrycans on offer at half price whilst stocks last.. http://www.hannants.co.uk/search/?FULL=TAS35002 Alan
FEB 19, 2009 - 09:16 AM

What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
  • DSCN00161
  • 35186m