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German Tractor D8506 with Trailer (38038) 1:35


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German Tractor D8506 with Trailer (38038)

1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd




Tractors were a boon to farmers when they were introduced soon after the reliability of the motor car became a thing, as they were especially useful for lugging around heavy equipment around the farm, as well as the typical ploughing, sowing and reaping of crops.  They also had power take-off points that could be used to drive other stationary machinery, further expanding their usefulness.


Lanz were the leading maker of farm machinery in Germany, and their Bulldog range were the “hoover” of the tractor world in their country for many years.  They were good quality and reliable, which led to them being copied by a number of countries, and as the initial 1921 model was improved the model number was increased until well into the 9,000s.  One of the primary selling points of the vehicle was the simple “hot-bulb” single-cylinder engine that could be run on a variety of fuels and had very few moving parts, which made it easy to repair and maintain.  They started off as 6L and grew to 10L engines, and their slow turnover high-torque output suited the tractor’s work very well.  In 1956 they were sold to John Deere, and the name slowly fell out of use.  There are still many working examples to be seen at country fairs and historic events, kept in splendid condition by their loving (some may say obsessed) owners.



The Kit

This is another rebox of MiniArt’s D8500 range of kits, with this being the fifth that we know of.  This boxing brings together one of the tractors with a large cargo trailer, plus a quantity of milk churns and barrels that you have probably seen elsewhere in their range before now if you’re either a reader of our reviews or owner of any MiniArt kits.  Detail is excellent as we’ve come to expect from MiniArt, with a female driver figure is included to give it some human scale.  It arrives in a standard top-opening box, and inside are twenty-eight sprues of various sizes in grey styrene plus two tread parts for the big wheels on their own sprues, a clear sprue, a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) in a card envelope, decal sheet and the instruction booklet that has colour profiles of the decal options on the inside covers.




















Construction begins with the tractor, which has a large cast metal chassis that is made up from two halves each end around a centre-point, with lots of parts used to create its distinctive shape, plus a few PE parts on the forward end cap.  The superstructure is roughly rectangular, having various filler caps on the top, radiator panels on the sides, and a PE name-plate and number plate on the front, which should be curved ever-so-slightly to match the shape of the cowling.  The driver’s foot pedals are long curved linkages to the underside of the chassis, and with these in place the driver’s tread-plated floor is installed and a big handbrake is fitted to the deck, with a stowage box under the lip at the left rear.  The driver’s seat is mounted on a sturdy spring, a couple of hand controls are inserted into depressions in the deck in front of her, then the large drive housing is mounted on the left side of the chassis, with a bell-housing on the opposite side, and two large fenders/sidewalls over where the rear wheels will be, plus a sturdy bumper-bar at the rear with some PE cross-braces.  Two large exhausts are made up from various odd-shaped parts, and the front axle is built with a central leaf-spring and steering arms, then attached under the chassis in several places, with a pair of large clear-lensed headlamps on an oversized cross-member on the topside.


The wheels on this tractor have heavy tread, which is built up by layering five parts together to make a tyre-sandwich at the front, and a three-part layer for the larger rear wheels.  The tyres have their hubs moulded-in, while the rears have additional rear hub parts added between the wheels and rear axles.  This edition has a rudimentary hood, with a flat windscreen in a frame at the front and two upstands sloping backwards at the rear that support a curved canopy that is the last thing to be fitted in the instructions, presumably after inserting the driver in her seat.  The fifth wheel is the steering wheel, which can be fitted atop the steering column as you’d expect, or detached and used on a shaft to manually start the vehicle via the input shaft hidden behind a cover in the centre of the right-hand bell-housing.


The flatbed for the trailer is next, made up on a ladder chassis with two sections of bed, which has fine engraved wood texture on both sides, as do the other wooden structures in the kit.  The towing hitch to daisy-chain trailers together is attached to a cross-member at the rear, and in front of it are a pair of leaf-springs for the fixed rear axle.  The front axle is similarly built, but on a frame that has a turntable between it and the bed to enable the axle to rotate freely for easier manoeuvring.  The pneumatic tyred wheels are supplied as a five-part sandwich to achieve a realistic tread, and each one slots into the end of its axle when complete.


A small bench seat is added to the front of the shallow headboard of the flatbed, with two long sides and rear tail-gate with tiny styrene clasps giving the impression of holding it in place.  To model it with the sides and tail-gate down is simply a matter of gluing them in place folded down and fitting the clasps loosely against the sides accordingly.  The cargo consists of eighteen barrels with separate ends, some of which have taps on the sprues, plus twelve churns in two sizes, and nine hessian bags of various shapes and sizes.


As already mentioned, there is a driver, who is a young woman, and is seated for obvious reasons, wearing a simple shirt and trousers, tucked into the cuffs of her socks over a pair of sturdy boots.  She is also wearing a headscarf to keep her hair in check, and is looking over her shoulder at the trailer behind her.  Sculpting and parts breakdown is up to MiniArt’s usual excellent standard, and her head is broken down into front and rear halves, with two locating pins assisting with alignment.



There are two schemes available from the small decal sheet in civilian use, so quite colourful.  From the box you can build one of the following:


  • Regierungs Bezirk Leipzig, 30-40s
  • British Occupation Zone, 40-50s






Decals are by MiniArt’s usual partner DecoGraph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas.



It’s a perfect complement to a country diorama, and could be juxtaposed with the brutality of war on the other side of a fence, or just on its own.  Exceptional detail helps with its appeal of course, and the figure adds extra interest.


Highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of


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