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Typ 170V Lieferwagen (38040)

1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

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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.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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