Review: TeKaMo 1/72 Luchtwachttoren

 

So now for something completely different. And about as Dutch as wooden shoes, windmills and cheese if not a little less well-known even in the Netherlands. Luchtwachttoren is Dutch for Air Watch Tower, and these towers were part of the Korps Luchtwacht Dienst (KLD) or Air Watch Corps in English. The KLD had built a number of these towers all over the Netherlands to observe incoming enemy aircraft.

The KLD was formed in 1950 as part of the Air Defense Command of the Royal Dutch Army it was modeled after the UK Royal Observer Corps. based on its success during WW2 and especially the Battle of Britain. It was set up to observe and report enemy aircraft entering Dutch airspace at a maximum height of 1500 meters. Due to the limitations of Radar technology at the time it was felt that enemy aircraft could enter Dutch airspace unseen by radar and thus completely surprise the Dutch armed forces. To counter this threat the KLD had set up 276 watch posts in existing and purpose-built buildings. This kit is a model of one of these newly built towers. Built from 1951 to 1954 and manned by civilian volunteers they quickly became outdated due to advances in aircraft and radar technology.  Due to this the KLD was partially inactivated in 1964, and completely shut down in 1968 A number of KLD posts were then used for other purposes.

TeKaMo

TeKaMo stands for Tempelman Karton Modelbouw, or Tempelman Cardboard Models this small company was founded by Dutch technical illustrator Lex Tempelman and it produces a number of Cardboard models of historical Industrial and military buildings in the Netherlands.

The Kit

It’s not a spectacular kit, as the subject is not spectacular; It’s just a square tower. Inside the sturdy cardboard backed envelope the kit arrived in we find yet another cardboard backed envelope with the actual kit inside. Also found inside are two extra kits: a Dutch WW2 era infantry bunker and a model of a Dutch salt mining tower. Both kits aren’t that big but  they are a nice addition, although they have nothing to do with the tower itself.

I’ve visited Luchtwachttoren 7O1 (🇳🇱) near Warfhuizen, Groningen province and the kit is very accurate. in its depiction of the tower. Construction is fairly simple if you follow the instructions. A fold here and there, some glue and paint. Paint because you’ll need to score some of the paper, leaving ugly marks on the paper which you are suggested to paint over to make the model look better. Also included in the kit is a little base and a treeline, both have a slightly cartoonish look due to the used colors,

Conclusion

It’s a pretty decent kit of an obscure but fairly interesting subject. Plus the extra models provided in this kit are a nice addition, although they are not from the same era. But if you are looking for something completely different.

Score

8/10

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