DUKW: Italeri vs. I Love Kit

I just got the I :heartpulse:Kit DUKW (#63539, $69.99, Scalehobbyist.com) and was asked by several members for some sprue shots, and how it compares to the Italeri kit. I’m happy to oblige. So, I went down to the Holy Stash and dug out the Italeri kit and took some photos. Let me just prepare you by saying there is no comparison. Italeri (ITA) is in green, I love kit (ILK) is in tan.
I have the David Doyle DUKW tome for reference.

First thing you notice when you open the boxes is that the ILK kit has a LOT more parts, is more detailed, and more crisply molded. The ITA kit is kind of soft.
The ILK came fully bagged. I removed them for photography. Not so the ITA kit.

The bottom and top hulls. The ITA bottom hull comes in 4 pieces, the ILK comes in 1. Interior decking is smooth on the ITA kit but has engraved wood grain on the ILK kit. The ILK kit is correct.

Comparing side shots of the lower hull, you can see that the detailing on the ILK is superior. The ILK is also dimensionally more accurate. ILK has still included the slit drains, which are a post-war modification and must be filled to portray a WWII DUKW. An easy task.

The following are the full sprue shots for each model. You can see how vastly superior and better detailed the ILK model is. The ITA kit also suffers from undersize wheels/tires and incorrect rear wheel spacing, which the ILK kit gets right.

As seen, the ILK also comes with an amphibious trailer. The only two downsides I have with the ILK model are that it comes with rubber tires, :face_vomiting: and it doesn’t include molded rope bumpers. I am sure DEF Model will be along in short order with a great resin wheel set, and I have a set of Thatchweave real rope bumpers squirreled away for this model. Glad I didn’t use them on the ITA model!
I am very favorably impressed with the ILK DUKW and I think the kit is worth the money. It’s going into my “to build” queue, not down in the Stash. The ITA kit is destined for the raffle table at my show.
Hope you enjoyed this side-by-side comparison, and Merry Christmas!

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Start building!

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Thanks Matthew- great review and very helpful.

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Considering the subject matter and price difference, it’s Italeri all the way for me. Thanks for the review.

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Thanks for the comparison. I know you’re going to replace the tires but how do the compare height/width wise?

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ILK got them right.

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Thanks for that information and review.

Personally, I am still hesitant as I have the bits for upgrading the Italeri kit and the ILK while looking nicer doesn’t seem that much nicer for my needs. Might change after watching your build in the future.

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Thanks for the review! If I was in the market for another DUKW I’d spend the money on the ILK kit, even though the wheels and those slots need work. I assume the rear axles are spaced the correct 31mm apart?

DEF already does a set of wheels, but they don’t have the CTI hubs. I did a correct set sold through Resicast with the hubs, even if Graham insisted on putting the wrong picture on the box! Either set would probably need a little adjusting to fit the ILK axles…

Does the hull come with an engine compartment to fill the void under that front hatch? That would be a real coup!

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Matt, excellent overview!
Thank you for posting.

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Hey Ryan. If you have all the bells and whistles for the Italeri kit, build it. It’s still a respectable kit and comes pretty close.

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Hi Tom, the rear axles are correct, and there is no engine bay.

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Thank you Wade!

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It’s on the list to build again….one day.

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Thanks for the confirmations! Looks like an AM engine bay is a must if anyone steps up to the plate.

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Thanks for the effort and time to do the photography and the side-by-side review!

From some other reviews, I understand that the ILK DUKW has some post-war modification details on the raised side ribs (drains added after the war as an MWO). (Also a feature of the ITL kit, IIRC.) From what I gathered, it seems that returning these details to the war-time configuration should be a simple bit of modeling work (and much, much easier than the reverse to model a post-war version).

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Thanks Matthew! Very helpful review. Answered exactly my questions.

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The I love kit is nice but is flawed by multiple pour stabs that ruin the detail and take forever to clean up. I wasn’t impressed on the suspension and axles etc. I borrowed one of your photos and notice the amount of pour stabs on the springs. It’s a pity as there’s plenty of detail and it is a nice kit.

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Those “pour stubs” are for ejector pins. They are necessary to the molding process. Every one of them is an ejector pin mark that is not on the part. Cutting them off is a hell of a lot easier than filling ejector pin marks. They are actually an advancement in styrene injection molding.

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Agree, but I think they went overboard to some extent especially on the springs. I’m also building an ICM Chev truck and they have a lot less ejector pins and the parts are fine.

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The amount and location of the ejector pins is dependent on the size and shape of the part being injected. Insufficient pins will mean that the part will be damaged upon being ejected. The creation of ejectors in a mold is expensive. No company wants to add them if they aren’t needed.

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