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  1. British Military Lorry B-Type (39003) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Built by the Four Wheel Drive (FWD) company, this was a very early truck used by the military of Britain and the US during WWI, beginning in 1915 with a small order from the British Army. It was full of curious technology from a modern standpoint, but then vehicles of this type were still in their infancy, so that’s hardly surprising that there were a few dead-ends. It was originally supplied with solid tyres and the front wheels had a strange toed-in look due to the suspension geometry set up to give a light steering load. Its T-head engine produced a monstrous 36bhp and it could be connected to all four wheels or either front or rear in the event of necessity or damage to either drive-shaft. It also had a distinctive pig-nosed front due to the fact that the engine was mounted below the cab, with only the radiator housed in the front and precious little (read: none) cover for the driver and crew. Over 12,000 were made up until the end of WWI, with them finding a ready market in the post-war period in the civilian sector, sometimes with pneumatic tyres added to improve the ride quality. The Kit This kit began with the militarised version in olive drab (39001), and was developed into the London Ominbus. Detail is excellent with a full chassis, engine and interior included in the box, giving you just about everything you need to build a detailed replica of the truck. Construction begins with the engine, which is well detailed and even has diagrams showing you how to wire up the spark plugs with some of your own wire if you wish. The exhaust manifold, big clutch flywheel are added to the block along with a load of ancillary parts and hoses, then the gearbox is made up with its short drive-shaft to link it to the engine later on. The chassis is made up from the two side rails and cross members, then the engine is inserted from below while the fan belt and blades; starting handle; leaf springs for the suspension; and a large rear axle are all added, then flipped over to begin work on the engine compartment. A wood-textured bulkhead is installed aft, and at the front the large radiator is assembled and fitted to the front of the chassis, then linked to the feed hoses that were fixed earlier. A small linkage is made from 0.3mm wire and joined with and end-piece that completes the link, which has a couple of scrap diagrams to assist you, one at 1:1 scale to ensure you have it right. The chassis is flipped again and the front axle is built then inserted into the leaf-springs, while brake rods are threaded along the length of the vehicle to provide the meagre braking force to all wheels. The gearbox gets a guard fitted to its bottom as it is inserted into the chassis, at which point it is also linked to the back axle with another drive-shaft that is bracketed by a piece of PE. The what must have been uncomfortable solid tyre wheels, and the front vehicle lights are made up and set to one side. The chassis is flipped again, and the gearbox is linked to the cab, with steering wheel, PARP! style horn plus the cab floor with foot board and cut-outs for the steering wheel, foot brake and other pedals (right-hand drive of course). Now the front and back of the engine bay are linked by the fixed centre panel, and you can build the cowling in either open or closed positions with PE plates attached to the vertical panels. The chassis continues again with the exhaust pipe and muffler, which has a PE lip added to each end of the welded cylinder. This and the remaining driver controls are fixed into the chassis,. The rudimentary drivers cab is built up and installed onto the chassis which is then set aside while the load compartment is built. The load bed is built up from the bottom part, and four sides all of which have fine wood grain moulded in. Underneath five mounting rails are added for mounting to the chassis. The load bed can now be added. The front mud guards are then assembled and these can be mounted along with the lights and a front grill over the radiator. A rudimentary bumper is added for one of the decal options. Finally the wheels can be added. Markings A small decal sheet from Dechograph is included with the minimal markings seen on wartime truck. Markings are included for four Royal Army Service Corps trucks from WWI. Conclusion This will be a good model in its own right, or great in a WWI diorama, Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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