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German Agricultural Tractor D8500 Mod.1938 (38024) 1:35

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German Agricultural Tractor D8500 Mod.1938 (38024)

1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd




The Lanz Bulldog was a peculiar early tractor, powered by a single-cylinder “hot bulb” diesel engine with a single piston, which although it was ahem… agricultural, was very effective and easy to repair, so it became very popular in Germany, manufactured at its base in Mannheim and built under license in other countries.  The D8500 used a three-speed transmission plus one reverse gear, and the curious engine was upgraded over time with output eventually reaching over 50hp.  The upgrades were evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and by 1938 they were still available with metal wheels that must have been horribly loud on any hard surface, but gave enough traction to carry it over rough or muddy ground so that it could carry out its job.  Pneumatic tyres were often added later once they became commonplace, making farming a quieter endeavour.  The last of them rolled off the production lines in the 60s, ending a hugely long run, although a number have survived to the present day.



The Kit

This is a brand new tooling from MiniArt, and a little out of the left field in terms of subject matter.  They have clearly done their homework though, and in due course there will be variants with rubber tyres, so keep your eyes open if you aren’t ready for a tractor with metal “tyres”.  It arrives in a medium-sized top-opening box, and inside are seven sprues in grey styrene, a small Photo-Etch (PE) fret, a sheet of decals and the instruction booklet with colour cover on glossy paper.  The nippers have been active again on one long sprue, which has been cut into two to fit inside the box, while the PE is safely cocooned in a card envelope, however the tiny size of the fret is kind of jarring when you first open it.






Construction begins with the big, bolt-riddled chassis, which is made from forward and aft sections that both mate to opposite sides of a central bulkhead and adding axles, accessible ancillaries and towing arm at the rear.   The top cowling is made of separate panels that are mated under a curved top panel that has filler caps fixed into holes in the top.  It is shaped to fit snugly onto the surface of the chassis, and is joined by a large tread-plated deck on which the driver will later sit.  Pedals and other driver controls are attached, then a sprung seat with perforations to drain off water and allow the driver’s butt to breathe are placed off-centre to the right, plus some linkages to the important areas.  A large bell-housing glues onto the right, and another teardrop fairing that protects the drive-belt is attached on the left side, then the large rear mudguards and rear bumper are fitted under the driver’s deck.  The underside is finished off by making up the front axle with steering arms, then two stacks are constructed, the aft one a slightly tapered pipe with mushroom cap, while the larger hot one at the front has a bulged section near the top, and is prevented from swaying by a PE bracket wrapped around it, much like those on your downspout at home.


The smaller front wheels are simple two-part assemblies that you make two of.  The large toothed rear wheels are laminated from five sections to depict the various traction surfaces that are present on the real wheels.  Again, you make two, and all four wheels are added to their respective axles, then the fifth wheel that the driver uses can be either fitted in place at the top of the steering column, or inserted into the bell-housing on the right flank of the machine, for purposes that remain a mystery to me.  If you are fitting the wheel in the usual position, there is a cover with PE ring that fits over the socket, and that is shown hinged down when the wheel is inserted into the bell-housing, while the nub at the top of the steering column should be cut off for accuracy.  That’s all there is to it, apart from the painting and weathering.




Anyone that has lived or even visited a farm will know that a tractor is a beast of burden, and as such there isn’t much care lavished on the cosmetics of the thing.  The mechanical parts will be horribly oily, and over the years the paint will chip and rust, while the greasy parts will become caked in a mix of dust, oil  and grease, with frequent spills and impact marks adding to the patina.  We are only given one scheme on the back of the instruction booklet, but the world is your oyster if you want to depict other colours that you have either seen, or want to portray.






The decals are small and simple, printed 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.



While it’s hardly everyone’s cup of tea, it’s an interesting model and could even be built just to hone your weathering an distressing of the paintwork skills.  The detail is excellent, and the sheer practical nature of the design is well depicted in miniature.


Highly recommended.



Review sample courtesy of


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  • Mike changed the title to German Agricultural Tractor D8500 Mod.1938 (38024) 1:35

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