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Cabriolet B German Car Typ 170V (38018) 1:35

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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.




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.






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



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