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  1. Unimog S404 German Military Truck (35135) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd Unimog was the brand-name used by Mercedes for their truck, tractor and commercial vehicle range that began post WWII as an agricultural brand, initially built by another company for them whilst using their engines. The range broadened in the late 40s and early 50s to include trucks, of which the 404 series was one, entering production in 1955. It is a small (1.5 tonne) 4x4 truck that was driven by a 2.2 litre M180 straight-6 Mercedes engine and has impressive off-road performance due to a change that had been required by a customer, the French Army, who wanted the spare tyre to be stored clear of the load compartment. The designers altered the shape of the rear chassis rails to allow the wheel to sit under the floor, the downward sweep giving the chassis extra flexibility that smoothed the ride on rough surfaces, assisted by coil springs, rather than traditional leaf springs. The four-wheel drive system could be disengaged on smoother ground, leaving just the rear wheels engaged, thereby saving fuel and wear on the front drive-shafts, and generally improving performance all round. The 404 series was the most numerous of the Unimog line, and was available as a short or long-wheelbase chassis, with the shorter option phased out at the beginning of the 70s, while the longer wheelbase continued on for another decade before it too was retired. The nascent West German Bundeswehr were a major customer, buying substantial quantities of the 404S as a workhorse for their forces, taking on many roles in their service. A total of over 62,000 of the 404S were made over its lengthy production run, with many of them still on and off the roads to this day due to their rugged engineering. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from Ukrainian company ICM of this Bundeswehr pillar of their transport arm. It arrives in a top-opening box with another captive lid on the lower tray, and inside are five sprues of grey styrene, a small clear sprue, five flexible black tyres, a small decal sheet and a glossy printed instruction booklet with colour profiles on the rear pages. Detail is excellent throughout, and includes a full chassis and engine, plus the bodywork and load area, all crisply moulded as we’ve come to expect from ICM. The grille of the vehicle is especially crisp, as are the coil springs on each corner, and the wheels are very well-done with multi-part hubs. Construction begins with the ladder chassis, which is joined together with a series of cylindrical cross-members, plus front and rear beams, the latter braced by diagonal stiffeners to strengthen the area around the towing eye at the rear. The suspension is next, adding an insert to the opposite side of each spring to avoid sink-marks, but care must be taken to align them neatly to minimise clean-up afterwards. Triangular supports for the fuel tanks are added on each side, then attention turns to the six-cylinder Mercedes motor. Beginning with the two-part cylinder block and gearbox, the basic structure is augmented by ancillaries, fan, pulleys and drive-shaft for the front wheels, after which the engine is mated to the chassis and has the long exhaust system installed, adding a muffler insert around the half-way point, and siting another drive-shaft adjacent. Two stamped fuel tanks are each made from two parts, with the forward one having a filler tube and cap glued to the side, sitting on the out-riggers that were fitted to the chassis earlier. The front axle is made up from five parts to capture the complex shape of the assembly, to be installed between the suspension mounts and mated to the forward drive-shaft, plus the stub axles for the front wheels. Two stowage boxes are made for the opposite side of the chassis from the fuel tanks, then the rear axle is made up with similar detail and part count, fitting between the suspension and having larger circular stub-axles that have the drum brakes moulded-in. The front wheels have separate drum brakes, and both front and rear axles are braced with damping struts, while the front axle has a steering arm linking the two wheels together, with more parts linking that to the steering column. With the chassis inverted, the front bumper and its sump guard are fixed to the front, and a curved plaque on the rear cross-member, plus another pair of diagonal bracing struts for the rear axles. Each wheel is made up from a two-part hub that goes together much like a real steel hub, but without the welding, around the flexible black tyres. The front and rear hubs are of different design, so take care inserting them in the correct location. Lastly, the chassis is completed by adding the radiator and its frame at the front of the vehicle. The cab is the first section of the bodywork to be made, starting with the floor, with foot pedals, shaped metalwork around the gearbox cut-out, sidewalls and the internal wheel wells below the floor level. A number of additional parts are glued beneath the floor for later mounting, then the lower cab is built up on the floor, including the front with recessed headlight reflectors; bonnet surround, dashboard with decal, plus various trim panels. The floor is then lowered onto the chassis with a number of arrows showing where it should meet with the floor, taking care with the radiator. Once in place, the bonnet and more interior trim as installed along with a bunch of stalks between where the seats will be inserted. The seats are made from the basic frame to which the two cushions are fixed, much like the real thing, then mounted inside the cab, followed closely by the two crew doors, which have handles on both sides, and pockets in the interior. They can of course be posed open or closed and there is no glazing to put in, thanks to the cabriolet top. More grab-handles, controls and other small parts are fixed around the dash, and the windscreen with two glazing panels are put in place, with a highly detailed steering wheel that has the individual finger ‘bumps’ on the underside, and for your ease, it’s probably better to put the wheel in before the windscreen is fixed in place. The cab is finished off by adding the cabrio top, which starts with an L-shaped top and rear, to which a small rectangular window and two side sections are added, dropped over the cab when the glue is dry and the seams have been dealt with. The load bed begins with a flat rectangular floor that has engraved planking, plus two longitudinal supports and three lateral beams that takes the weight of the bed once complete. The sides of the load area are stamped with raised and recessed detail, and comprise four parts, one for each side, plus raised side framework, and what looks like a spoiler on two short upstands at the front of the load area. Underneath is a rack for a nicely detailed jerry can, a stowage box or three, and the spare wheel on a dropped C-shaped mount, built in the same manner as the road wheels. The number plate holder is hung under the rear, also holding the rear lights for that side, with another less substantial part on the opposite side. I said the cab was finished earlier, didn’t I? Silly me. The front doesn’t yet have a face! The recessed headlight reflectors should be painted with the brightest metallic you can find before they are covered by the clear lenses and their protective cages, joined slightly outboard by combined side-light/indicator lenses, a choice of two styles of door mirrors, and a pair of windscreen wipers to keep the screen clear. Now it’s finished. Markings You might guess that most of the decal options are green, but there is one in NATO camouflage that is so typical of how I remember the Unimog in West German service. From the box you can build one of these four: Bundeswehr, Upper Bavaria, 1970s German Air Force, 74th Fighter Sqn., Neuburg, 1970 5th Artillery Regiment, Idar-Obrestein, 1970s 363rd Tank Battalion, Külsheim, 1980s The decals are printed by ICM’s usual partners, and consist of dials, number plates, stencils and a few other small decals, with good register, sharpness and solid colours. If you don't think you have the correct paint shades in stock for this kit, there is a new Acrylic Paint Set from ICM specifically designed for this model, our review of which we can see here. Conclusion The Unimogs were ubiquitous in Cold War West German army service, so there ought to be a good market for a modern tooling of the type, with many variants probably on the way in due course. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  2. I know I really shouldn't be starting another build, but with a major relocation looming I don't want to be adding masking which may stay in place for over 3 months. Since my other builds have mostly reached the stage of masking, and having just picked this up on evil bay, I couldn't resist opening it up to see what was needed. This will NOT be a quick build, as it will take a backseat to all other builds I have in progress. However, I always enjoyed these Matchbox kits as a kid and I love the subjects (I also just got hold of the Auto Union!) so time to take a look.... that was expected...... this wasn't... What?? Looks like the Chinese are reproducing these! Oh well, the result should be the same. First items on the agenda then are the chassis frames, Pretty basic, and in need of some TLC. The flash was cleaned off and mould lines removed, then it was time to start looking into what was needed to bring them up to scratch. First, the gap between the springs and chassis rails was corrected, as seen on the left. Then the connecting arm for the friction damper was removed, and the lightening holes were drilled out. That was the easy part. Now the wheels! This is what came in the box Not pretty. A bath in bleach helped, and at least shows that the moulding is not too bad, it's just that chrome that filled the gaps! The rear wheels are going to be a bigger problem, as the brake drum is moulded as part of the wheel. That will have to be removed, and of course all the spokes will need replacing. I'm now trying to figure out the best way of going about that. The plan at the moment is to drill through the rims from the outside to give me a starting point, then remove the spokes and file a groove into the hub to take the "wires", which will be either invisible thread or fishing line. Any tips are more than welcome! Thanks for looking in! Ian
  3. Type G4 Partisanenwagen with MG34 (72473) 1:72 ICM via Hannants Ltd Like many long-standing German companies, Mercedes isn’t overly keen on being linked to their work on vehicles used by the Nazis during WWII, particularly those used to transport their leader, for obvious reasons. This huge touring car was developed by Mercedes on their W31 platform that was notable not only because of its size, but also the fact that it had a third axle at the rear, with both rear axles driven by a 5 litre V8 engine that could lock out the differential for maximum traction, and used a four-speed gear box, some of which were synchromesh – a luxury feature at the time. It was complex and expensive to manufacture, so only a small number reached the German military, and these were soon co-opted into use by the SS and senior members of the party. By 1938 a larger engine was installed, and it was this later model that was used by Adolf Hitler during parades and other such high-profile appearances. Only 30 of the last variant were made, with production finishing in 1939 as war broke out. They were used throughout the war by the Nazis, and thanks to their cost and cachet, the Wehrmacht never saw sign of them for their use. Their seven-seat passenger compartment was luxurious by comparison to other vehicles of the era, and the drop-down hood was ideal for their use as a VIP transport, although Hitler’s cars were fitted with additional armour and bullet-resistant glass, further slowing its top speed thanks to the extra weight. It was capable of driving on all terrain, depending on whether the correct tyres were fitted, but this also limited its top speed to just over 40mph. How fast the armoured variants were(n’t), you can probably imagine. The VIP examples had rear-view searchlights installed to blind anyone aggressively chasing the vehicle, and a pair of MG34 machine gun mounts could be installed, although the passengers probably wouldn’t have appreciated the hot brass raining on them in the event of an ambush, but it’s better than being killed. These were used as convoy protection from ambush by Partisans, hence the name. The Kit This is a reboxing with new parts of ICM’s 2015 kit of this six-wheeled monster, which has been reboxed a few times since its original release, and is now with us in the Partisanenwagen guise, complete with a pair of MG34 machine guns mounts in the passenger compartment. Inside the box are four sprues in grey styrene, a small sprue of clear parts, three short metal rods, two sprues of black flexible plastic tyres, and the instruction booklet with a page of colour profiles on the glossy back cover in full colour. Construction begins with the bodyshell sides that are joined together at the rear, and spaced out with the rear seats and the windscreen, after which the floor is clipped into place from below on two clips on the integral rear fenders, after drilling a hole for the machine gun mount on the right side of the floor. The radiator and bonnet/hood cover up the nose, then the chassis with integral front fenders is detailed with a simplified V8 engine with block, cylinder head, transmission, and interlinking drive-shafts between the two back axles. The exhaust is separate and is inserted after the two halves of the vehicle are joined together, allowing the flexible manifolds to mate to the side of the cowling. The rear suspension has two inverted leaf-springs per side, one above and below the central pivot, with a pair of metal axles slotted through. It attaches to the chassis and has a pair of thick covers slotted over the top once it is in place. The front axle has separate stub axles moulded into the suspension units, and are joined together by a length of I-beam, with steering linkages added before you start adding the wheels. The rears are of one type, with the fronts having separate numbered hubs, so take care when fitting them, as pulling them off too many times may weaken the friction fit. The passenger compartment is decked out with a full set of driver controls plus two rows of additional seats with grab-handles for easy mounting and dismounting the vehicle. With the steering wheel mounted on the left, the sun visors are fitted, and the side windows are applied to the sills of the vehicle as single parts per side. Two spare tyres are attached to the engine cowling on turn-buckles, with the large trunk on the rear plus light clusters and numberplate holder, then a folded-away canvas roof covering the top of the rear, with added depiction of the folded framework further forward. Add the lights and short flag-poles to the front fenders, numberplate holder under the radiator, and you’re left with the two MG34s that are on separate mounts, which have moulded-in folded bipod and separate drum mag, plus a concertina-style guide fitted to direct the spent brass downward and away from the passengers as far as possible. The longer mount installs in the hole in the floor you drilled earlier, and the shorter mount is fitted to the rear on the left by drilling another 0.8mm hole just inside the fabric hood. Markings There is only one option offered for this kit, and that is panzer grey. It’s not going to light any fires in terms of originality, but that’s the colour they were, unless you wanted to do something fanciful. From the box you can build this big lump: There are no decals in this boxing, so if you plan on depicting a specific vehicle you’ll need to obtain plates and flags as appropriate. Conclusion A welcome re-release of a brute of a car that was used extensively by the Nazis, despite the small numbers. If you get a few, you could depict a convoy of them on their way to or from an arm-lifting engagement with Mr Hitler sat in one of them. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Fruit Delivery Van Typ 170V Lieferwagen (38044) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The Mercedes 170 was based upon their W15 chassis, which was their first with all-round independent suspension, and was available as a bare chassis for coachbuilders, as a saloon, cabriolet or as a light van, debuting in the early 30s with sales affected by the worldwide depression that started in Wall Street in 1930. Sales picked up after the recession eased, and later versions had internal boot/trunk-space and sleeker lines, moving with the times. As well as sharing a chassis with the saloon, the van was essentially identical in the forward section and inside the crew cab. The bodywork from the doors backward were designed with the same ethos but differed due to the practical but boxy load area behind the drivers. These vehicles were often used for years after their original purchase passing through the ownership of several owners, especially after the war years where funds were sometimes short following the devastation in Europe. The Kit This is a reboxing of a partial re-tool of the original 2012 saloon and subsequent Beer Delivery vehicle (reviewed earlier), with the same new sprues and parts added to create the necessary changes for the wagon. The original kit is highly detailed, and this one is no different, showing just how far MiniArt have come in their design and moulding technology. There is superb detail throughout, with slender racks, realistic-looking fabric door pockets as well as a full engine and interior to the cab. Inside the shrink-wrapped box are eighteen sprues of grey styrene, one in clear, a decal sheet and a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass for finer details, protected in a card envelope. Construction begins with the 1700cc engine and transmission, which is made up from a substantial number of parts that just need a little wiring to do it full justice, and in fact the brake hoses are shown in diagrams to ensure that you obtain the correct bends, but you’ll need to find your own 0.2mm wire to begin with. The X-shaped chassis is prepped with a few mounts and a PE brackets, then the rear axle, differential and driveshafts are fitted on a pair of very realistic styrene springs that have hollow centres and individual coils thanks to some clever sliding moulds. Drum brakes, straps and brackets finish off the rear axle assembly, then the completed engine and drive-shaft are installed in the front to be joined by a pair of full-width leaf-springs from above and below with a stub-axle and drum brake at each end. The exhaust is made up with an impressively neatly designed four-part muffler, a pair of PE mounts, straight exit pipe and a curved length leading forward to the engine. With the addition of the bumper-irons at the front, the lower body can be fixed to the chassis after drilling a single hole in one of the front wings. The front firewall is next to be made up, and the pedal box is installed one side, with a set of tools and another neatly designed cylinder, this time the fuel tank, which is curiously situated in the rear of the engine bay. This fits over the transmission tunnel that is moulded into the floor, with more driver controls such as the gear lever, hand brake and steering column with PE horn-ring added at this time. The dashboard is integrated into the windscreen frame after being fitted with decals within the instrument housings, then covered over with clear faces for realism. There is also a nicely clear curved windscreen inserted before this is dropped over the firewall, joined by a rear cab panel that has a small rear window and the back of the bench seat applied before fitting. The base of the bench seat is also fitted on a riser moulded into the floor. Vehicles need wheels, and this one runs on four with a spare one lurking under a false floor in the back. Each wheel is made up from a layer-cake of three central sections to create the tread around the circumference, and two outer faces that depict the sidewalls of the tyres, with maker’s mark and data panel moulded into the sides. The hubs are inserted into the centres of the tyres, with a cap finishing off the assemblies. They are built up in handed pairs, and the spare has a different hub and no cap to differentiate it. The flat floor for the load area is a single piece with the pocket for the spare tyre to fit inside, and this sits over the rear arches and is supported at the front by a lip on the rear of the cab. The load area is then finished by adding the slab-sides and roof to the body, with a few ejector-pin marks that will need filling if you plan on leaving the door open. Speaking of doors, there are two options for open and closed, with moulded-in hinges and separate door handle, plus the number-plate holder above the door in the centre. The front doors are handed of course, and have separate door cards with handle and window winders added, and a piece of clear styrene playing the part of the window, which is first fitted to the door card before it is added to the door skin. Both doors can be posed open or closed as you wish, and are of the rearward opening "suicide door" type. At this stage the front of the van needs finishing, a job that begins with the radiator with a PE grille and three-pointed star added to a surround, then the radiator core and rear slam-panel with filler cap at the rear. This is put in place at the front of the body at an angle, with two cross-braces reducing body flex along with a central rod that forms the hinge-point for the side folding hood. Small PE fittings are fixed first on the louvered side panels, then added to the top parts in either the open or closed position. A pair of PE and styrene windscreen wipers are added to the windscreen sweeping from the top, a pair of clear-lensed headlamps, wing mirrors and indicator stalks on the A-pillars finish off the build of the van. To differentiate this from the previous kit, MiniArt have included an optional PE roof rack that is folded up and fitted to the exterior drip-rails around the roof, and seven small sprues full of fruit of various kinds and 12 double-height wooden boxes that can be used to depict cargo inside or on the rack if you use it. Markings Get your shades out for two of the three decal options. These were commercial vehicles during peacetime, so they were designed to attract attention. There are three options depicted in the instructions, with plenty of decals devoted to the branding on the sides. From the box you can build one of the following: Provinz Schlesien, Early 1940s Berlin, Early 1940s Colour based upon 50s Poster, registration from American occupation zone Decals are by DecoGraph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is another well-detailed kit of an old Merc van, and even if you’re not a vehicle modeller it would make for great background fodder for a diorama, possibly of post-war Allied or Soviet armour making its way through town. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. I started building my L4500 a year ago and although it reached the primer stage in March this year it has set idle since. I was recently inspired by some war time pics of columns of German vehicles abandoned during the retreat to the Seine in Aug 45. This led me to sketch up an idea of a small dio that involved a couple of vehicles which had been driven/pushed into a ditch at the side of the road. I will also add a few GI's inspecting the booty. As I already had a few candidates already built and some in primer I set about choosing two which could work together. The Zvezda 1/35 AWD L4500A has no tilt cover in the kit so I could display hastily thrown in loads, partially fallen out of both vehicles. With that idea in mind, I also decided to compliment the Mercedes with the ancient Azimut resin cargo trailer. Although not stated on the box or in the instructions its military designation being Anhänger (Mehrachs) mit geschlossenem Aufbau. This was already built but as it had required a whole bunch of surgery on one side to cover a glaring gap it had also been left on the shelf of doom. You would think you couldn’t really go wrong with essentially a simple square boxy design, but the French company did With essentially only one side visible, as both vehicles would be tilted at an angle in the ditch and butted up against a thick hedge, the trailer could be utilised without further work. This decision also determined the direction both vehicles would be displayed. This was also fortunate as I had modelled the L4500 load bed cargo bin door open with items hanging out on the same visible side. I won’t include a build log or build step pics as member Lummox is recently in the process of a detailed build of the L4500 where he scratch-builds many items and adds photo etch. He also addresses the shortfalls and addresses the issue of some inadequately moulded parts and missing components. Apart from being a little creative in the cab by adding a few additional items including a fire extinguisher and adding rudimentary cooling pipes to the engine my kit is pretty much built out of the box. What was essential to address was the strange tyres included with the kit. As they are moulded with the hubs an aftermarket set was purchased. As both vehicles were likely to have had camo applied in the field, I was happy to create my own patterns. I started with the trailer which was Dunkelgelb base coated then lightly colour modulated. After a few attempts I was finally happy with this artistic pattern. Although I didn't copy this from any ref pic, it does have a fleeting similarity with the box art, although that has been long since binned. The details on the rear door exteriors are extremely crude and there are no details on the inside faces. As both doors will be displayed open, and the exterior features hidden it gave me a chance to add them back to front. A few missing hinge plates were added along with some interior details like side rails. A door mechanism catch plate on the floor was also added. To fill the void at the back of the interior some old rubber tyres and containers from the spares box were attached to a piece of card that was cut out to locate behind and between the wheel arches. This could be dry fitted and would form the basis of the visible load which would be complimented with more items that will be added fallen over and out of the back. These will be painted and added at a later stage. The trailer was then weathered in the following steps which occasionally required going back and forth and repeating to create a layered effect. Step one was some oil mapping and fading. Raised areas were also treated with a highlight colour of the base coat and shadows with a darker shade. This was then sealed with a coat of Tamiya semi clear gloss mixed with Clear yellow to bring back the colour tone and protect it from further steps. Oils were used again to create a pin wash and create faint streaking and chipping. The next step was a sprinkling of rust and dirt-coloured oils. These were flicked over the trailer from a distance along with some mud splatter marks carefully added closer behind the wheels and at the front where it would have attracted a lot of dirt build up. Any un-realistic larger spots were blended in to ensure a scale friendly appearance. I then felt it then required an opaquer layer of dust around the lower areas, so a dust-coloured acrylic mix was created with Tamiya flat brown, German grey and Buff. This was lightly blown over the lower areas with an airbrush. Finally, some small, selected areas of exposed metalwork were treated to rusty stains where the paint had chipped off. Although the trailer wheels are more oval shape than circular, they have been improved and will be employed and dry fitted for now. I am still searching ref pics (which there are very few) so see if any alternative wheels and tyres may be suitable. The load item parts will all be painted and weathered as I move onto positioning the vehicles on the groundworks so for now, we can move on to the L4500
  6. Type G4 Partisanenwagen WWII German Car (35530) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Mercedes aren’t massively keen on being linked to their work on vehicles used by the Nazis during WWII, for obvious reasons. This huge touring car was developed by them on the W31 platform that was notable not only because of its size, but also the fact that it had a third axle at the rear, with both rear axles driven by a 5 litre V8 engine that could lock out the differential for maximum traction, and used a four-speed gear box, some of which were synchromesh – a luxury feature at the time. It was complex and expensive to manufacture, so only a small number reached the German military, and these were soon co-opted into use by the SS and senior members of the party. By 1938 a larger engine was installed, and it was this later model that was used by Adolf Hitler during parades and other such high-profile appearances. Only 30 of the last variant were made, with production finishing in 1939 as war broke out. They were used throughout the war by the Nazis, and thanks to their cost and cachet, the Wehrmacht never saw sign of them for their use. Their seven-seat passenger compartment was luxurious by comparison to other vehicles of the era, and the drop-down hood was ideal for their use as a VIP transport, although Hitler’s cars were fitted with additional armour and bullet-resistant glass, further slowing its top speed thanks to the extra weight. It was capable of driving on all terrain, depending on whether the correct tyres were fitted, but this also limited its top speed to just over 40mph. How fast the armoured variants were(n’t), you can probably imagine. The VIP examples had rear-view searchlights installed to blind anyone aggressively chasing the vehicle, and a pair of MG34 machine gun mounts could be installed, although the passengers probably wouldn’t have appreciated the hot brass raining on them in the event of an ambush. These were used as convoy protection from ambush by Partisans, hence the name. The Kit This is a reboxing with new parts of ICM’s 2011 kit of these six-wheeled monster, which has been reboxed a few times since its original release, and is now with us in the Partisanenwagen guise, complete with a pair of MG34 machine guns mounts in the passenger compartment. Inside the box are eight sprues in grey styrene, a small sprue of clear parts, a tiny decal sheet containing instrument dials, and the instruction booklet with a page of colour profiles on the glossy back cover in full colour. Construction begins with the V8 engine with block, cylinder head, transmission, exhaust manifolds and ancillaries all depicted, which has a short drive-shaft attached at the rear, directing the power toward the back wheels. The box-section ladder chassis is next with numerous attachments to the outer edges, then cross-braces are fitted along with the big 5 litre engine. The two sides of the chassis are joined, with other additional parts supporting the central section, a stowage box on the left rail, then the lowest parts of the bodywork is attached to the front of the chassis around the engine, and the steering column is mounted on the left chassis rail. The front suspension consists of a pair of leaf-springs separating the chassis from the front axle, which has pivots for the front drum-brakes and links to the steering arm, with smaller parts completing the assembly before it is glued into the underside of the front chassis, after which it has dampers fitted on each side. The rear suspension has two inverted leaf-springs per side, one above and below the central pivot, with a pair of axles and their differential housings in between the two sides. It attaches to the chassis and drive-shaft, which also has another shaft linking the two diffs from above, plus a few control arms, then the exhaust is made up with two ribbed header tubes leading from the manifold into a single wider pipe that has a muffler and the final long exhaust that leads to the rear of the vehicle. This attaches to the right chassis rail and a linkage between the steering and front axle is dropped into place. In a rather confusing move, the rear axles are shown as being in place in step 48, but are installed in step 49, along with the steering linkage. Someone had a little hiccup there, I suspect. The six wheels are of two types, and four are made for the rear, with the front hub, tyre and contact surface moulded into one part, and the rear wall a separate part, as is the centre of the hub and drum brake housing. The front wheels don’t have a centre part, as this is already on the front axle. The vehicle can now stand on its wheels for the first time, while you attach the running boards and front wheel arch to the chassis, and the L-brackets that were fitted earlier. The firewall is made from three sections, with the windscreen and wiper arms moulded-in, that has the clear windscreen part added from inside. The dash panel with two supports is also inserted from behind, and has decals for each of the dials in the centre binnacle, with a horn and fluid pot on the engine side of the firewall. The floorpan is a single panel, but it needs a single 2mm hole drilling in the rear of the forward section, with a scrap diagram showing the correct location of the hole to help you get it in the correct place. A trio of foot pedals are glued to the angled front of the pan, then the firewall is joined to the front along with the rear section that is made from two side sections and the rear. Flipping over the bodyshell allows you to put the two double arches in place, which both have a foot-hold and stowage box hidden in the fairing between the two cut-outs, and rear light clusters attached. The boot is a trunk that is attached to the rear of the body on pegs, which has two main parts plus brackets and handles added before it is glued in place. The fuel tank and three-part armoured surround are built next, with filler tube, tie-down lugs and rear searchlight added before it is glued in under the back seats, then a pair of lower body panels under the front doors are joined while the body is upside down. Flipping the body back over, the rear bench seat is made from six parts and includes a pair of luxurious arms, plus generous cushions to keep the passengers comfortable on even the roughest terrain. The centre seats are individual units, with grab-handles on the rear, and “proper” arm on the outer side, plus a smaller tubular arm with comfort pad on the inner side. These are dropped into the bodywork and located on a couple of pegs each along with their door handles on both sides. The front seats have separate bases, but a bench rear, and while these also have grab handles for the passengers behind, they’re the only ones without arms due to the proximity of their sides to the door. A pair of B-pillars are added to the sides of the bench backs, then the two doors per side are each made up as a single unit, having glazing added to the front along with handles, winders, décor strip, and a pistol holster on both of them. These are glued into the frames on the body, and a rear glazing panel that includes the window for the rear door and the fixed quarter light in one part per side. Now the body can be joined to the chassis and I’ll be totally honest here, a weird-looking two-part pistol-shaped “box” is glued together and attached to an oval hole under the chassis. If anyone can tell me what this is, they’ll get a Tufty badge. There is a spare tyre on each side of the engine compartment, resting in a dished area in the front arches, and attached via a twist-on nut with handle. The tyres are made up from two parts in the same manner as the front wheels, and they are dropped into place along with the prototypical Mercedes grille, complete with three-star logo. You ain’t seen this, right? The side panels have six moulded-in vent-doors on both sides, while the right side has cut-outs for the down-pipes from the manifold, and both have latches and a central grab-handle, then they are topped off with the cowling top, with moulded-in vents and piano-hinge where the cowling folds up for maintenance. Headlights are added on a bar with convoy light in the middle, sidelights and number plate board are inserted between the two front fenders, with latches, handles, searchlights and short flag poles either side of the grille are all dotted around the front and sides of the vehicle, and strangely the gear lever and handbrake are installed in the front of the cab at this late stage, to be joined by the two-part steering wheel, rear-view mirror and two flip-down sun visors that fit on the top of the windscreen frame. The folded-down hood is appropriate for this vehicle, as the MG mount would baulk its closing, so the folded hood is made from two parts representing the fabric, and two additional parts for the visible parts of the framework on either side. These fit into two holes in the outer lip of the body at the rear, and can be glued in place for safety’s sake. The two MG34s are on separate mounts, and each one has a separate breech top, folded bipod and drum mag, then each one is clamped between a two-part perforated bracket and have a corrugated guide fitted to direct the spent brass downward and away from the passengers as far as possible. The longer mount installs in the hole in the floor you drilled earlier, and the shorter mount is fitted to the rear on the left by drilling another 1.4mm hole just inside the hood. Markings There is only one option offered for this kit, and that is panzer grey. It’s not going to light any fires, but that’s the colour they were, unless you wanted to do something fanciful. From the box you can build this big lump: Decals are up to ICM’s usual standards, and the tiny sheet contains just one decal for the vehicle’s instruments. Conclusion A welcome rerelease of a brute of a car that was used extensively by the Nazis. If you get a few, you could depict a convoy of them on their way to or from an arm-lifting engagement with Mr Hitler sat in one of them. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Dear fellow Britmodellers, here's my 1/72 Attack Kits Mercedes L1500 Personnel Carrier (aka "Kübelwagen"), built from the box. The "Profi Pack" box contains flawless plastic parts, resin wheels and a photo-etch fret. Due to scale, assembly was rather fiddly, and the instructions are sketchy in places. I painted with Gunze/Mr.Hobby acrylics, according to instructions, representing a vehicle of 8. Panerdivision, France 1944. Photographs by Wolfgang Rabel. Thank you for your interest, best greetings from Vienna!
  8. Another subject I've been working on for some time. Scratch work doesn't come easily to me and takes me forever. I'll pore over reference material for hours on end as an excuse not to perform any physical work. So cutting away a small element because it doesn't quite fit in with my sense of authenticity can be very dangerous! It is hugely satisfying though in the long term. 66 years to the day (1st May 1955) since this car won the event. Revell 'Classic' 1/24 Mercedes 300 SLR 1955 Mille Miglia worki in progress
  9. Finished the Mercedes, I am very satisfied with the result. I scratch built the hydraulic brake hoses, the reference shows straight couplings. Further I added micro LED to the rear lights and replaced the bulbs for the front with LED. For some reason it's not possible to light them both when in parallel connection. Guess I have to add a resistor to the micro LED's to make it work. The windows work well, only one of the pins is a bit too long but besides that they move up and down well. The upholstery and roof went quite well, the vinyl of the door needs to be cut to fit (due to the handle bar). Seats were no issue but they don't look like real sheets. I upgraded the dash board with PE meters, looks better than the stickers. I completed all the wheels. Compared to the wheels of the Alfa and Rolls, the wheels of the Mercedes need more adjustment/time. The 2 plastic rim halves don't fit, all the nipples of the spokes had to be redialled (hole too small) and all the spokes had to be bend on one side. For the bending I made a small jig out of a plastic pipe. I drilled a hole with the diameter of a spoke and the depth to the point where the spoke needed a bend. As the inner and outer spokes were not the same I had to drill a 2nd hole on a thicker part of the pipe. The bending of the spokes was needed to make a better pattern but even if you would follow the Porcher pattern, bending would be required to be able to fixate the spokes. There was a lot of plastic protruding under the steel center covers, removed this so that it's not visible when the covers are mounted. The balance weight I pushed first in place using a soldering iron. The hole is does not fit properly, so it will melt it to the correct size. Afterwards I glued them in place. The steel ring on the outside needed to be adjusted such that the nipples would be visible. This was quite simple by using a big socket and pliers. Then press the ring in the desired position. If some of the nipples were not proper in place at the end, I pushed them in using a hot soldering iron. Finally I painted the sidewalls white using Tamiya white primer. And with these tyres I experienced the same as with the Rolls. The primer dried nicely but after 2 weeks it becomes sticky, caused by the plasticising agent in the tyre. It should eventually become dry but it will take quite some time for that. Guess for the next time I should use a water base acrylic. The hub caps I painted one ring black (the body colour), this is a matter of paint the ring black and the excess amount you wipe off once the paint is dry. I spent some time in scratch building the steering rods. Although the MMC parts look nice I wanted to give it a try to do better. I made ball joints, adjustment clamps and dust covers. For the ball joints I used 3 mm stainless steel beads with a 1.5 mm hole. I tapped M2 thread in these holes so that M2 threaded rod could be mounted. For the housing of the ball joint I used 4x0.5 mm brass rod. Length about 4 mm, the top I cut on 8-10 positions in about 1 mm with a serrated saw (Proxxon)of 0.1 mm thick. With a small hammer I pushed the top a bit inwards, as the cuts are very small it will only go in a bit. Enough to keep the bead inside the housing and still give the joint play. The top I closed with 0.2 mm brass plate and filed it to match the housing. The adjustment clamp is made of 4x0.5 mm brass rod with on top 3x0.5 mm brass rod soldered. After soldering and filing I cut it open so that it can clamp. The dust covers are made from Plasti-dip, this is a liquid vinyl and I followed the suggestion of Ken Foran. Is made a mandril of 4x0.5 mm brass rod and connected that with a 2 mm rod (to match the dimensions of the housing and thread). Dipped it in the Plasti-dip, 2 times, let it dry and first cut the access part and removed it from the mandril. At the end assembled and painted the whole. Although not perfect it came out quite well.
  10. This is my first go in the comprehensive italeri truck kits! Colour is tamiya TS58,pearl light blue. I like the scale,things aren't too small!,plus my hands aren't as steady as they once were! Good detail,some flash on some of the parts. Ive lost a few parts,by accident, and my workstation isn't the tidyist!,so finding them,a bit tricky!. I used tamiya aerosols,and some airbrushing, mainly the cab interior. I used AK pigments and washes, i did like the engine,came up quite good. One thing,quite a few parts were a tight fit,especially if been painted, so i was doing a lot of scalpel work!,the cab roof especially...theres a gap on the passenger side where the roof meets the top of the door section. I didn't want too squeeze parts together too hard,....its plastic after all! Lol! Currently searching for the sun visor!,yet to fit small lights on the roof section, a square part on the bottom rear drivers side and some clear parts,painted clear orange,which im going to use for the indicator repeaters.(i lost one!) Bit of glue on the a pillar,and the air snorkel on the cab doesn't line up! ( the instructions didn't really give you a reference when you fitted the air filter assembly,where it sould be to line up with the snorkel assembly!)..maybe sort those later!
  11. Benz Patent-Motorwagen 1886 (24040) 1:24 ICM via Hannants We’ve been addicted to petroleum for over a century now, but in the late 1800s the predominant power source was still steam, although that just used another form of fossil fuel. When Karl Benz applied for a patent for his Motorwagen in 1885, it became the first petrol-powered production vehicle that was designed from the outset to use this method of propulsion. When you look at its three-wheel design it appears to have been the product of the mating between a horse carriage, a bicycle and a grandfather clock, with a little bit of chaise longue thrown in for good measure. A rear-mounted engine with a solitary cylinder, two seats without any weather protection and a kind of tiller for steering doesn’t really gel with our understanding of what represents a car now, but they had to start somewhere. There were only 25 made, but the precedent had been set and travelling at 16kmh was found to be quite fun and started us down the long road to becoming petrol-heads, much to our environment’s distress. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling of this important vehicle, and although it’s way out of my usual wheel-house I’m quite taken with it, especially when I opened the white-themed box to reveal the contents. There is one main sprue for the majority of the parts, with three smaller sprues in the same grey styrene for the wheels and a jig to complete the spokes on a Photo-Etched fret, which is secreted within a thick card envelope. The instruction booklet has been printed in an olde-worldy style, and a replica of the patent application is also included on thick card in case you wanted to use it as a base or backdrop. The bicycle car has spoked wheels that would normally give most modellers conniptions, but ICM have really pushed the boat out in terms of the engineering that should allow you to create a model that looks pretty realistic if you follow the instructions carefully. The supplied jig is mind-blowing both in its simplicity and cleverness that every time I examine it I end up smiling. Construction begins with the subframe and suspension, which looks more like a carriage than a chassis. Leaf-springs support the main axle beneath the slatted foot well, and an additional frame is applied to the rear with a set of three small pulley-wheel parts fit on a bar and form a transfer point for the drive-belt that’s added later, with a choice of two styles for the centre section. At the very rear of the chassis is a stub-axle that mounts a huge flywheel made up from two parts to create a rim, then the single-cylindered engine is built, bearing more than a passing resemblance to an air compressor that you might have under your desk somewhere. There are a few colour choices called out along the way, and the finished assembly is then mounted on the cross-rail, overhanging the flywheel. Various small ancillary parts are added to the engine “compartment”, another drive pulley is mounted perpendicular to the large flywheel, then the two are joined by the drive band, which you can make up from the two straps on the sprue, or by creating your own that fully wraps around the pulleys for a more realistic look. A toolbox is added next to the engine, then fuel and radiator tanks are built and installed along with their hosing. There is a surrounding frame for the seat added to the small upstands on the chassis, which holds the moulded upholstered cushions to which the framed back and side-rests are fixed, with extra padding attached to the back and arms before it is inserted and glued in place. Now the PE fun begins! The power that has been transferred to an axle under the foot well is sent to the wheels by a bike-style chain, which is layered up from three PE parts that form the rings as well as the links, with one assembly per side. Now comes the really clever part. Each of the pneumatic tyres are moulded within a circular sprue runner, which has four towers hanging down. These towers fit into corresponding holes in the jig, with a small one for the front wheel and larger one for the outside, all on the same jig. This allows the modeller to keep the tyre stationary while locating the little eyes on the ends of the spokes into the pips on the inside rim of the tyre. It also sets the correct dish to the wheels when you add the temporary centre boss during construction. You create two of these assemblies per tyre, cut them from their sprues once complete, then glue them together with a hub sandwiched between them just like a modern bike wheel. You carry out that task thrice, two large, one small and it would be well worth painting the spokes beforehand. The main wheels slot straight onto the axle, while the front wheel is clamped in place by a two-part yoke, much like a set of forks on a bike. In order to steer the vehicle, the tiller is made up from a few parts and slots into the footwell floor, with a small step added to the right front corner of the well to ease access. A steering linkage joins the fork and tiller together, a small wheel pokes out of the footwell, possibly a fuel valve? I don’t know, as I’m not quite that knowledgeable on the subject. The final part is a long brake lever, which is probably intended to make up for the lack of servo assistance by using leverage. Markings There are no decals in the box, as there isn’t enough of a vehicle for anything other than paint. The colours for each part are called out in boxed letters as the build progresses, and that’s a very good idea for such a stripped-down framework with parts strapped to it. The codes refer back to a chart on the front of the booklet that gives Revell and Tamiya codes plus the colour names in English and Ukrainian. Conclusion A totally left-field hit from my point of view, as it’s detailed, very cool and quite endearing. If you’d asked me if I would ever build a car from 1886 I’d have said no way. Now I am seriously considering it, although if you gave me a full size one to drive I’d need a few beers to drive anything that doesn’t float but is steered with a tiller. Extremely highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Typ 170V Lieferwagen (38040) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The Mercedes 170 was based upon their W15 chassis, which was their first with all-round independent suspension, and was available as a bare chassis for coachbuilders, as a saloon, cabriolet or as a light van, debuting in the early 30s with sales affected by the worldwide depression that started in Wall Street. Sales picked up after the recession eased, and later versions had internal boot/trunk-space and sleeker lines, moving with the times. As well as sharing a chassis with the saloon, the van was essentially identical in the forward section and inside the crew cab. The bodywork from the doors backward were designed with the same ethos but different due to the boxy load area behind the drivers. The Kit This is a partial re-tool of the original 2012 saloon and subsequent Beer Delivery vehicle (reviewed here), with the same new sprues and parts added to create the necessary changes for the wagon. The original kit is highly detailed, and this one is no different, showing just how far MiniArt have come in their design and moulding technology. There is superb detail throughout, with slender racks, realistic-looking fabric door pockets as well as a full engine and interior to the cab. Inside the shrink-wrapped box are twelve sprues of grey styrene, one in clear, a decal sheet and a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass for finer details, protected in a card envelope. Construction begins with the 1700cc engine and transmission, which is made up from a substantial number of parts that just need a little wiring to do it full justice, and in fact the brake hoses are shown in diagrams to ensure that you obtain the correct bends, but you’ll need to find your own 0.2mm wire to begin with. The X-shaped chassis is prepped with a few mounts and a PE brackets, then the rear axle, differential and driveshafts are fitted on a pair of very realistic styrene springs that have hollow centres and individual coils thanks to some clever sliding moulds. Drum brakes, straps and brackets finish off the rear axle assembly, then the completed engine and drive-shaft are installed in the front to be joined by a pair of full-width leaf-springs from above and below with a stub-axle and drum brake at each end. The exhaust is made up with an impressively neatly designed four-part muffler, a pair of PE mounts, straight exit pipe and a curved length leading forward to the engine. With the addition of the bumper-irons at the front, the lower body can be fixed to the chassis after drilling a single hole in one of the front wings. The front firewall is next to be made up, and the pedal box is installed one side, with a set of tools and another neatly designed cylinder, this time the fuel tank, which is curiously situated in the rear of the engine bay. This fits over the transmission tunnel that is moulded into the floor, with more driver controls such as the gear lever, hand brake and steering column with PE horn-ring added at this time. The dashboard is integrated into the windscreen frame after being fitted with decals within the instrument housings, then covered over with clear faces for realism. There is also a nicely clear curved windscreen inserted before this is dropped over the firewall, joined by a rear cab panel that has a small rear window and the back of the bench seat applied before fitting. The base of the bench seat is also fitted on a riser moulded into the floor. Vehicles need wheels, and this one runs on four with a spare one lurking under a false floor in the back. Each wheel is made up from a layer-cake of three central sections to create the tread around the circumference, and two outer faces that depict the sidewalls of the tyres, with maker’s mark and data panel moulded into the sides. The hubs are inserted into the centres of the tyres, with a cap finishing off the assemblies. They are built up in handed pairs, and the spare has a different hub and no cap to differentiate it. The flat floor for the load area is a single piece with the pocket for the spare tyre to fit inside, and this sits over the rear arches and is supported at the front by a lip on the rear of the cab. The load area is then finished by adding the slab-sides and roof to the body, with a few ejector-pin marks that will need filling if you plan on leaving the door open. Speaking of doors, there are two options for open and closed, with moulded-in hinges and separate door handle, plus the number-plate holder above the door in the centre. The front doors are handed of course, and have separate door cards with handle and window winders added, and a piece of clear styrene playing the part of the window, which is first fitted to the door card before it is added to the door skin. Both doors can be posed open or closed as you wish, and are of the rearward opening "suicide door" type. At this stage the front of the van needs finishing, a job that begins with the radiator with a PE grille and three-pointed star added to a surround, then the radiator core and rear slam-panel with filler cap at the rear. This is put in place at the front of the body at an angle, with two cross-braces reducing body flex along with a central rod that forms the hinge-point for the side folding hood. Small PE fittings are fixed first on the louvered side panels, then added to the top parts in either the open or closed position. A pair of PE and styrene windscreen wipers are added to the windscreen sweeping from the top, a pair of clear-lensed headlamps, wing mirrors and indicator stalks on the A-pillars finish off the build of the van. To differentiate this from the previous kit, MiniArt have included a PE roof rack that is folded up and fitted to the exterior drip-rails around the roof, with a whole page of the instructions devoted to a set of card boxes that are folded up and glued together to give the truck something to carry. In addition, there is also a sack-truck on a separate sprue with a choice of short or long scoop-rail at the front, a pair of small wheels and rests near the top handles. This too can be loaded with boxes if you are planning a delivery diorama. Markings Get your sunglasses out again folks! These were commercial vehicles during peacetime, so they were designed to attract attention. There are three options depicted in the instructions, with plenty of decals devoted to the branding on the sides. From the box you can build one of the following: Chocolate delivery, Berlin 30-40s Delivery of ink & poster paints Food delivery, Westphalia, Germany 30-40s Deutsche Post, German 50s Decals are by DecoGraph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is another well-detailed kit of an old Merc van, and even if you’re not a vehicle modeller it would make for great background fodder for a diorama, either intact or in a semi-demolished state thanks to urban combat. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Hi all, I just got across the finish line with the Stirling Moss build, who was unbeaten after 10 hours, 7 minutes and 47 seconds of racing and the only British driver to win the event. Fit issues aside, I think it looks the part. I thought the pin badge sat nicely on the rear of the car. The Revell kit did not come with the union jack decals, but I got them from a set of flags for a ship model kit I had in my stash, they were the perfect scale for the car. This is an out of the box build, I substituted some clunky kit parts such as the side trims for silver solder and short lengths of cut up old airbrush needle. Also the front air vent was very poorly reproduced, I replaced it with some mesh from a paper paint strainer. I used a 2K clearcoat finish with a silver fox ford finish which matched the paint of the Mercedes, finished with a detailed up engine bay.
  14. After hearing about the sad passing of the great Stirling Moss, I had to bring this kit out of hibernation; it’s been in my stash for the past 5 years, looks a superb kit, one of Revells better offering I think. I will try and make a start on it later this week.
  15. Here's the CLK GTR completed. One of the best cars ever, in my opinion. The kit is hard but rewarding in the long run.
  16. Cabriolet B German Car Typ 170V (38018) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The Mercedes 170 was based upon their W15 chassis, which was their first with all-round independent suspension, and was available as a bare chassis for coachbuilders, as a saloon, cabriolet or as a light van, debuting in the early 30s with sales affected by the worldwide depression that started in Wall Street. Sales picked up after the recession eased, and later versions had internal boot/trunk-space and sleeker lines, moving with the times. The cabriolet option was sporty and offered the well-to-do buyer luxury and wind-in-hair fun on dry days, and a slightly less windy experience with the fabric roof deployed. It shares many of the panels of the saloon version, although with no pillars behind the windscreen for a sleek look. The Kit This is a partial re-tool of the original 2012 saloon (35095), with new sprues and parts added to create the necessary changes. The original kit is highly detailed, and this one is no different, showing just how far MiniArt have come in their design and moulding technology. There is superb detail throughout, with slender racks, realistic-looking fabric door pockets as well as a full engine and interior to the cab. This boxing has 14 sprues in grey styrene plus a bodyshell part in a protective box, clear parts, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE), and decal sheet. The instruction booklet completes the package and the cover is printed in colour and covered in profiles to assist with painting. Construction begins with the 1700cc engine and transmission, which is made up from a substantial number of parts that just need a little wiring to do it full justice, and in fact the brake hoses are shown in diagrams to ensure that you obtain the correct bends, but you’ll need to find your own 0.2mm wire to begin with. The X-shaped chassis is prepped with a few mounts and a PE brackets, then the rear axle differential and driveshafts are fitted on a pair of very realistic styrene springs that have hollow centres and individual coils thanks to some clever sliding moulds. Drum brakes, straps and brackets finish off the rear axle assembly, then the completed engine and drive-shaft are installed in the front to be joined by a pair of full-width leaf-springs from above and below with a stub-axle and drum brake at each end. The exhaust is made up with an impressively neatly designed four-part muffler, a pair of PE mounts, straight exit pipe and a curved length leading forward to the engine. With the addition of the bumper-irons at the front, the lower body can be fixed to the chassis after drilling a single hole in one of the front wings. The front firewall is next to be made up, and the pedal box is installed one side, with a set of tools and another neatly designed cylinder, this time the fuel tank, which is curiously situated in the rear of the engine bay. This fits over the transmission tunnel that is moulded into the floor, with more driver controls such as the gear lever, hand brake and steering column added at this time. The dashboard is put together with decals within the instrument housings, then covered over with clear faces for realism and put to one side while the twin font seats with PE fittings and the simpler rear bench seats are installed onto their supports in the cab area. The exquisite little rear bodyshell is retrieved from its protective box, and it is immediately evident that it would never survive shipping without this, so it’s a godsend. The rear sides of the cab are fitted with interior and windows on each side, indicators on the A-pillar, the dashboard, rear lights and bumpers/fenders, while the wheels are made up. Each wheel is made up from a layer-cake of three middle parts to create the tread around the circumference, and two outer faces that depict the sidewalls of the tyres, with marker’s mark and data panel moulded into the sides. The hubs are inserted into the centres of the tyres, with a cap finishing off the assemblies. They are built up in handed pairs, and the spare has a different hub to differentiate it, and it fits on a boss at the centre of a recess on the boot/trunk later on. The main wheels are added to the corners, and the radiator with a PE grille and three-pointed star added to a surround is assembled, then the radiator core and rear slam-panel with filler cap are added at the rear. This is put in place at the front of the body at an angle, with two cross-braces reducing body flex along with a central bracket that forms the hinge-point for the folding hood. Small PE fittings are fixed first on the louvered side panels, then added to the top parts in either the open or closed position. The new bodyshell is lowered into place, the steering wheel and PE horn ring are installed, and the windscreen is assembled from frame, PE wipers, clear glazing and other small parts inside the frame, then slid down between the two arms moulded into the bodyshell. The suicide doors are made up from outer skin, door card and clear window, with an optional window stub if you are posing them wound down. Handles and winders finish them off, and you can install them closed or any angle to allow egress. If you are leaving the hood down, the folded hood is provided as a single part that has the mechanism added to each side. In the up position the complete hood is one piece, with the mechanism applied to the sides and an ovalized window filling up the hole in the rear. The main headlights have clear lenses, a wing mirror is attached to the left wing, and an optional luggage rack is provided for the rear, made up from two layers of boxes, a delicate frame and PE straps to give it extra realism. The final parts to be used are the figures with a young lady driving, and a gentleman in a suit and hat (homberg?) standing beside the car in the same pose as depicted on the box top. Markings The decals extend to number-plates, and six examples of colour schemes are printed in the instructions for your convenience. You can of course paint them any colour you like, or follow the guide, which gives you these options of which you can build one: Belgium, 1940s France, early 1940s Berlin, German. Early 1940s Silesia, Germany. First half of the 40s Anhalt, Germany. First half of the 40s Kyiv, Ukraine. 1948 Decals are by DecoGraph, with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It’s a highly detailed rendition of a rather slick cabriolet from the pre-war era, with the figures adding a little class to an already great kit. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Lieferwagen Typ 170V German Beer Delivery Car (38035) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The Mercedes 170 was based upon their W15 chassis, which was their first with all-round independent suspension, and was available as a bare chassis for coachbuilders, as a saloon, cabriolet or as a light van, debuting in the early 30s with sales affected by the worldwide depression that started in Wall Street. Sales picked up after the recession eased, and later versions had internal boot/trunk-space and sleeker lines, moving with the times. As well as sharing a chassis with the saloon, the van was essentially identical in the forward section and inside the crew cab. The bodywork from the doors backward were designed with the same ethos but different due to the boxy load area behind the drivers. The Kit This is a partial re-tool of the original 2012 saloon (35095), with new sprues and parts added to create the necessary changes. The original kit is highly detailed, and this one is no different, showing just how far MiniArt have come in their design and moulding technology. There is superb detail throughout, with slender racks, realistic-looking fabric door pockets as well as a full engine and interior to the cab. Inside the shrink-wrapped box are six sprues of grey styrene, four in a deep yellow colour, two clear brown and two clear green. There is also a decal sheet and a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass for finer details, protected in a card envelope. Construction begins with the 1700cc engine and transmission, which is made up from a substantial number of parts that just need a little wiring to do it full justice, and in fact the brake hoses are shown in diagrams to ensure that you obtain the correct bends, but you’ll need to find your own 0.2mm wire to begin with. The X-shaped chassis is prepped with a few mounts and a PE brackets, then the rear axle, differential and driveshafts are fitted on a pair of very realistic styrene springs that have hollow centres and individual coils thanks to some clever sliding moulds. Drum brakes, straps and brackets finish off the rear axle assembly, then the completed engine and drive-shaft are installed in the front to be joined by a pair of full-width leaf-springs from above and below with a stub-axle and drum brake at each end. The exhaust is made up with an impressively neatly designed four-part muffler, a pair of PE mounts, straight exit pipe and a curved length leading forward to the engine. With the addition of the bumper-irons at the front, the lower body can be fixed to the chassis after drilling a single hole in one of the front wings. The front firewall is next to be made up, and the pedal box is installed one side, with a set of tools and another neatly designed cylinder, this time the fuel tank, which is curiously situated in the rear of the engine bay. This fits over the transmission tunnel that is moulded into the floor, with more driver controls such as the gear lever, hand brake and steering column added at this time. The dashboard is integrated into the windscreen frame after being fitted with decals within the instrument housings, then covered over with clear faces for realism. There is also a nicely clear curved windscreen inserted before this is dropped over the firewall, joined by a rear cab panel that has a small rear window and the back of the bench seat applied before fitting. The base of the bench seat is also fitted on a riser moulded into the floor, with the steering wheel and PE horn ring added late on. Vehicles need wheels, and this one runs on four with a spare one lurking under a false floor in the back. Each wheels is made up from a layer-cake of three middle parts to create the tread around the circumference, and two outer faces that depict the sidewalls of the tyres, with maker’s mark and data panel moulded into the sides. The hubs are inserted into the centres of the tyres, with a cap finishing off the assemblies. They are built up in handed pairs, and the spare has a different hub and no cap to differentiate it. The flat floor for the load area is a single piece with the pocket for the spare tyre to fit inside, and this sits over the rear arches and is supported at the front by a lip on the rear of the cab. The load area is then finished by adding the slab-sides and roof to the body, with a few ejector pin marks that will need filling if you plan on leaving the door open. Speaking of doors, there are two options for open and closed, with moulded-in hinges and separate door handle, with the number-plate holder above the door in the centre. The front doors are handed of course, and have separate door cards with handle and window winders added, and a piece of clear styrene playing the part of the window, which is first fitted to the door card before it is added to the door skin. Both doors can be posed open or closed as you wish, and are of the reaward opening "suicide door" type. At this stage the front of the van needs finishing, a job that begins with the radiator with a PE grille and three-pointed star added to a surround, then the radiator core and rear slam-panel with filler cap at the rear. This is put in place at the front of the body at an angle, with two cross-braces reducing body flex along with a central rod that forms the hinge-point for the side folding hood. Small PE fittings are fixed first on the louvered side panels, then added to the top parts in either the open or closed position. A pair of PE and styrene windscreen wipers are added to the windscreen sweeping from the top, a pair of clear-lensed headlamps, wing mirrors and indicator stalks on the A-pillars finish off the build of the van. The dark yellow sprues are there to give you some cargo to fill the doorway, and each one has the parts to make up one beer crate with dividers inside to reduce clinking as it was moved around. These are then filled up with the 80 bottles in brown or green that are found on the transparent sprues. You’re even treated to set of decals to add as labels. Markings Get your sunglasses out folks! These were commercial vehicles during peacetime, so they were designed to attract attention. There are three options depicted in the instructions, with plenty of decals devoted to the branding on the sides. From the box you can build one of the following: IIC-406396 Winkler Brau, Mainburg, Germany, 30/40s IM-83369 Zwickauer Vereins-Weißbier, Zwickau, Germany, 30/40s VH-59610 Lauterbacher Biere Spezialität: Weizenbier, Lauterbach, Germany, 40s Decals are by DecoGraph, with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is such a well-detailed kit of an old Merc van, and even if you’re not a vehicle modeller normally it would make for great background fodder for a diorama, either intact or in a semi-demolished state thanks to urban combat. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Hi all! It's been a while, but I'm back with a little fun! I recently bought a couple of old Airfix 1/32 carkits, among those were this 1/32 1904 Mercedes. The kit had already been started and there were glue smears and the build wasn't that good, but it was cheap, so I thought 'why not'! Now I've hatched a plan and I put this to you - what if - just with a stretch of imagination - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang wasn't a fantasy, but reality! This is then set a couple of years after Chitty Chitty Bang Bang where the sight of flying cars isn't a novelty anymore! So here we go (just for the fun of it!) The start: The status quo: Soeh! - let's see how this turns out - shall we? Cheers Hans J
  19. Here's the Tamiya kit with Studio27 detail up and composite sheet. Any comment is welcome
  20. Well that took a while, about 15 years to be exact! I started this model when I was in my teens and finished it tonight aged 30. It’s been done in stages with varying equipment and skill levels. From what I can remember… Sorry photos haven't turned out the best, the "soft focus" hides some of my blunders I did all the chassis stuff years ago, it’s all brush painted. To be honest I don’t think I did that bad a job of the engine and suspension components. The larger areas that I have brushed are a bit pants but overall its not bad. Worth saying at this point is that my biggest gripe with the model is the colour I have painted the rear brake ducts and inside of the body (not that you see that). It’s the mix stated on the Tamiya instructions which turns out a yucky sick colour, it’s meant to be carbon fibre colour... I painted the body TS-17 rattle can, quite pleased with it. The paint came up ok, can’t remember if I wet sanded any of it, think I just used the Tamiya finishing compounds on it. Couple of blemishes but nothing major, the TS silver colours are quite hard to get a consistent finish on in my experience. I tried to carve out the panel lines a bit and my hand slipped in a couple of places . I filled in the panel lines today using the 0.05mm Stadler pen technique, excellent and so easy. There’s no clear on any of it. I did consider giving the whole thing a whiff but I applied the decals probably about 8 years ago and don’t want to risk it. At some point a few years ago I invested in an airbrush. It’s the cheap unbranded set you get on ebay. Compressor is excellent, the 2 airbrushes in the kit are ok (don’t have anything to compare them too) they do the job but I don’t doubt a more premium one would give better results. My airbrushing skills are still at the level where it is more likely to be me that’s wrong than the tools though. I airbrushed the rear wing and wheels X-18, might have been a TS-29 can though. The airbrush has got more use in my subsequent model. I made a pretty good job with the decals if I say so myself. I use the microscale solutions. One bad bit is the large black decal below the windscreen, the microsol solution makes the decal shrivel up then dries out flat, well it should, this one dried down with a couple of very thin creases, didn’t look too bad at the time but as time has passed and the model handled the high bit has worn away in places so you see silver paint shining through. Its not quite perfectly aligned either but it was an absolute nightmare to put on, I didn't want to tear the very thin end bits, looks worse in the photo than it does in real life actually. Bits that annoy me. The aforementioned sick colour of the brake ducts The aforementioned below the windscreen decal My painting of the windows, I don’t think this kit came with a set of masks for the windows, I either didn’t paint a wide enough bit black or should have painted the body under it black too, you can see an outline of silver. N.B. I absolutely hate painting window outlines, I seem to get paint bleed no matter what I do! Any tips? Hopefully some light coats with the airbrush will give better results than brushing. The front brake ducts, the instructions say paint them white, all the pictures I have seen of the car in real life they are silver. I’m not really a detail freak, you won’t catch me scratch building anything any time soon, but this annoys me! I had painted them and glued them on before I really thought about it unfortunately. Glue marks! What do people use to stick their beautifully painted models together? I use the Revel stuff and it just seems to melt everything! I put all the old ones down to my youthful self being a bit rough but even when I stuck the body onto the chassis today I managed to make a mess being (what I thought to be) sparing with the glue, melted a bit of the silver paint along the bottom of the body but it’s not that noticeable. Its a kit issue but the front panel on the real car is all part of the body so there's no panel line, it also sits a bit to prominently and is straight whereas the real car has a slight curve. Could get rid of the panel line with some filler but that would be a difficult job. Guess I am more of a detail freak than I admit Any feedback or tips very welcome. I concentrated on the bad bits as one tends to but overall I am pretty happy with the model, as long as you don’t look too closely . For my next one, I am building the Revel Jagermeister 956 kit. It’s a kerbside so no engine. I'm using it really as a training model for my airbrush, will try and get round to posting it up. Going ok so far, having lots of fun with masking tape!
  21. German Staff Car "G4" 1:72 Revell The Mercedes Benz W31 type G4 was a large, three-axle car designed specifically for use as a staff car by the Wehrmacht. Powered by an eight-cylinder inline engine, the cars weight an impressive 3.7 tonnes. Maximum speed was limited to 42mph as a result of the chunky all-terrain tyres. Just 57 cars of the seven-seater cars were produced, of which at least three exist in their original state. One is located in Hollywood and is regularly used for war films. The vehcle is, of course, most famous for being used by Adolf Hilter during parades and inspections. The front passenger seat could be folded in order to allow the front passenger to stand during such events. Inside the surprisingly large end-opening box is one large frame of grey plastic, a much smaller frame of the same, a small clear frame, three steel rods which are used as axles and a set of soft rubber tyres. A small decal sheet is also included. I had wondered whether this was a brand new kit from Revell, but on closer inspection it's clear that this is the ICM kit which was released in 2015 and marketed as a snap-fit model. This is no bad thing however, as the ICM kit is well-regarded and nicely detailed. Surface detail is clean and crisp, and first impressions are very favourable. The instruction omit any mention of snap-fit assembly, so presumably you need to crack open the glue before carrying on. Assembly begins with the interior and body. The rear seat and door trim is painted gloss black to represent a leather finish, and the reat seat itself, as well as the wind screen, are integral parts that join the sides of the body together. Once the body has been joined to the floorpan, the bonnet, instrument panel and radiator cover can be fitted in place. At this point the model can be flipped over and all of the mechanical detail can be added. The eight-cylinder engine is pretty good, although not the most detailed I've seen in this scale. The ladder chassis is moulded with the front wings in place, and the engine mounts into this part from the top. After this, the chassis can be glued to the body, with the engine sandwiched between the two. Now that the substantive part of the car is complete, the exhaust and the wheels can be added. As mentioned above, the axles are made from steel rod and will allow free movement of the wheels if fitted correctly. Presumably the tolerances will be tight enough to make supergluing these parts superfluous. If you're wondering why Revell supply eight tyres with the kit, it's because two of them are for the spare wheels that fit either side of the bonnet. finishing details include fitted luggage and the folding roof (in folded position; ICM released a separate version of the kit with the roof up). Small flag poles and nicely detailed headlights are also included. Two different options are provides for on the decal sheet. The first is for a Wehrmacht staff car based in Berlin in 1942. It is finished in the light grey and black scheme featured on the box artwork. The second option is for a vehicle located in France in 1941. As you might expect for a vehicle used in occupied territory, it is finished in a more sombre dark grey finish. The decal sheet is small but nicely printed, however the swastikas have been omitted from the flags for the usual legal reasons. Conclusion This was a great kit when it was first released and nothing much has changed since. It's strange that Revell don't mention the snap-fit origins of this kit as kits of this nature can be virtually impossible to test fit prior to assembly (at least without a high risk of breaking the parts when trying to separate them again) but overall this should be a nice kit to build. Highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  22. Just finished this. This is the first car of a clients father.
  23. Hi guys, got this preordered and arrived yesterday, so just GOT TO build it!! LOL!
  24. Hi guys, this is the final reveal of the Mercedes AMG GT3 race car. This was a challenging kit to build for me, the kit decals were very thick, I had to use Tamiya X20A thinner to soften the decals on the rear wing and the carbon decals to get them to settle down, also I found the rear lights tricky to install. In order to preserve the matt finish on the body, I used Deluxe Materials Glue and Glaze to attach all of the lights and the windows etc, including the door handles and the mirrors to avoid marking the matt finish. Overall, for my first performance race car that I've ever built, I am happy with how it turned out. Enjoy the ride guys! Finally, you can see my work in progress of this build below.
  25. Finally got this built. Here it is in all its glory: On the whole, an enjoyable building experience. Tamiya kits are really at the top of the tree for quality. The only issue I had was with the number plate decals. As soon as they hit the (painted) plastic, they stuck right where they were placed. Didn't happen with any of the other decals from the same sheet. Weird. Hope you enjoy it. The build can be seen here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235007398-tamiya-124-mercedes-benz-amg-500sl/ All the best, Alan.
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