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German Traffic Tractor D8532 (38041) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd


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German Traffic Tractor D8532 (38041)

1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd

 

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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 new boxing following the brand new tooling from MiniArt, and a little out of the left field in terms of subject matter.   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.

 

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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 the seat goes on, 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 a large single tube exhaust is made up which goes on the underside rather like a normal car exhaust then a tractor one which sticks up. 

 

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The smaller front wheels are laminated from five sections to depict the various traction surfaces that are present on the real wheels.  The ;large rear wheels are again laminated but with two large hubs either side around the main tyre part, again, you make two, and all four wheels are added to their respective axles. The steering wheel is added along with the frames to support the windscreen and a light bar at the front to  hold both head lights. Finally at the rear the two support stays for the roof, and then the roof itself are fitted. The very last item is a PE wiper for the windscreen. 

 

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Markings

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.

 

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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.

 

Conclusion

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.

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Review sample courtesy of

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