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Liefer Pritschenwagen Typ 170V w/Canvas (38072) 1:35


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Liefer Pritschenwagen Typ 170V w/Canvas (38072)

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 coach-builders, 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 in 1930.  Sales picked up after the recession eased, and later versions had internal boot 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 differed due to the practical but boxy load area behind the drivers.  These vehicles were often used for years after their original purchase passing through the ownership of several operators for dwindling sums of money, especially after the war years where funds were sometimes short following the devastation in Europe.



The Kit

This is a reboxing of a partial re-tool of the original 2012 saloon and subsequent Beer, Furniture and Cheese Delivery vehicles (reviewed earlier), with the same base sprues and another sprue added to create the tilt for this covered flatbed variant.  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 delicate framing, realistic-looking fabric door pockets as well as a full engine and interior to the cab.  Inside the 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.


















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 various hoses are shown in 1:1 and 3:1 diagrams to ensure that you obtain the correct bends, but you’ll need to find your own 0.2mm wire to begin with.  The curved X-shaped chassis is prepped with a few mounts and 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 an angled length leading forward to the engine.  With the addition of the bumper-irons and number plate at the front, plus the supports for the front fenders, the lower body can be fixed to the chassis and PE mudflaps fixed under the rear of the front arches.


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 the same time.  The dashboard is inserted below the windscreen frame after being fitted with decals within the instrument housings, then covered over with clear dial faces for realism, and three blowers attached to the roll-top.  There is also a nicely clear curved windscreen with PE rear-view mirror and windscreen wiper motor housing fitted before it is inserted into the firewall, joined by a rear cab panel that has a small window and the back of the bench seat applied before fitting, plus two strips with upper hinges for the doors inserted into the edges of the rear frame.  The base of the bench seat is also fitted on a riser moulded into the floor along with a couple of half-height body panels that links the cab to the rear fenders.


Vehicles need wheels, and this one runs on four.  Each wheel is made from a lamination of two central sections to create the tread around the circumference, and two outer faces that depict the sidewalls and shoulder tread of the tyres, with maker’s mark and data panel moulded into them.  The hubs are inserted into the centres of the tyres, with a cap finishing off the assemblies in handed pairs.  The flat floor for the load area is a single piece to which headboard and tailgate that hinges on PE brackets are fitted, followed by shallow sides with moulded-in rails and cross-braces running underneath, and PE brackets for the number plate and rear light clusters added beneath the tailgate made from PE and styrene elements.  The tailgate retention clips are PE, as are their latches that extend into the corners of the tailgate to strengthen it.


At this stage the front of the van needs finishing, a job that begins with the radiator that has a PE grille and three-pointed star added to a styrene surround, then the radiator core and slam-panel with filler cap at the rear.  This is put in place at the front of the body at an angle, locating on a feeder tube to the radiator, with two cross-braces reducing body flex along with a central rod that forms the hinge-point for the side folding hood.  A pair of combination PE and styrene wipers are added to the windscreen sweeping from the top, adding reflectors on the rear arches.  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, and these are joined on the vehicle by the rear cab hinges.  To complete the bonnet, small PE fittings are fixed first on the louvred side panels in open or closed options, then they are glued to the top parts in either the open or closed position, inserting the open clasps to the front of the compartment for the open variant. A pair of clear-lensed headlamps, a choice of two styles of wing mirrors on the A pillar or the wing finish off the build of the van, leaving just the canvas tilt to be made.


The tilt is on the new sprue, and can be built with the canvas at the rear open or closed.  To close it, a single part covers the open rear end, adding PE clips along the lower sides for both open or closed options.  To portray the canvas rear tied open, the curved header part is glued into the open end, then is partially covered by the rolled canvas in styrene, which has two PE straps added to the synch-points that are moulded-in.  Three PE straps are applied to both sides of the opening to stop it flapping in the wind, and different PE parts with the buckles visible are used for the closed option, while the parts for the open cover have no buckles and should just hang loose.  The buckles on the real tilt will be rolled up inside the canvas, so won’t be seen.  The last task is to mate the tilt to the raised sides of the load area.




These were commercial vehicles during peacetime, so they were designed to attract attention with more colourful liveries, although the hardship of post war Europe shows a little wear and tear evident on the profiles.  There are four options depicted in the instructions, and from the box you can build one of the following:


  • American Occupation Zone, Bavaria, late 1940s
  • British Occupation Zone, Late 1940s
  • Bavaria, Munich, Early 1950s
  • French Occupation Zone, Early 1950s






Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas.




This is another well-detailed kit of an old Merc commercial van, and even if you’re not a vehicle modeller it would make a great background subject for a diorama, especially if a cheesy, furniture-y or boozy version doesn’t suit your needs, possibly with post-war Allied or Soviet armour making its way through town.


Highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of


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11 minutes ago, Enzo the Magnificent said:

It means united ball bearing factories.

Maybe it's "Unted Ball Bearing Factories" instead? :D


I'm pretty sure you could add an I in there, as it's a simple font.  I bet most of us have some yellow decal knocking about in our stashes, or some Fantasy Printshop decal stripes, which are available in yellow, as well as all the other colours you might need. :)

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7 minutes ago, Enzo the Magnificent said:

I like the Britmodeller.com number plate.  :fool: 

:poop:  Must have pressed Shift-F8 twice in my sleep and not noticed :doh:

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