Master Box 1/35 German Military Car
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New Tool Kit|
The Mercedes-Benz W136 (and similar W191) was Mercedes-Benz's line of four-cylinder automobiles from the mid-1930s into the 1950s. It became the foundation on which the company rebuilt after World War II because the tooling had survived Allied bombing.
From May 1949 the car was offered with an exceptionally economical 38 PS diesel engine. This was the world's third diesel fueled passenger car, and the first to be introduced after the war.
The Mercedes-Benz 170 SV and 170 SD were also built briefly in Argentina from 1953-1955 in sedan, taxi, station wagon, pick-up and van versions.
Master Box's kit is very nicely molded on four sprues of grey plastic, one clear and one vinyl sprue that contains the tires. As you might guess, Master Box decided not to pay royalties to Mercedes-Benz and so left the brand off the box, but that is what it is. It was also called the W136 for civilian sales and the 170V was built from 1935 to 1942 and again from 1946 to 1950. Of course, the military version had little chrome, as befits its role, but those willing to do a bit of extra work could probably add these features.
Anyway, most US car modelers would probably be used to a single piece body, but this doesn't fit the usual European way of doing things, so the body itself is in multiple sections, all to be fit onto the floor piece which also includes the front fenders. The kit is not a curbside and includes a full engine with complete suspension pieces. There is a great deal of detail ranging from separate handles on the inside and outside of the doors. Even the doors are separate pieces. It seems that one could pose one or more of these open if one wishes.
As the car is a cabriolet (which means it has a soft top), one can build this one with the top up or down. These sorts of cars did not have glass wind up windows as is standard on just about every car now sold, but they had what is known as a side curtain. These were frames that hadglass or plexiglass windows which were inserted in the top of the doors for inclement weather. These parts can be installed or left off as one wishes. The other options are for standard or low light headlights and there are rifles that can be installed on a mount behind the front seat.
One thing I noticed right away is that the instruction sheet is huge. It consists of CAD drawings for the various construction steps. There are 48 steps and they are numbered using Roman Numerals (really). As seems to be the trend with some companies, there is no color information included during the buil. The back of the box is the only painting guide and shows the vehicle in Panzer Grey. The nicely printed decal sheet provides license options for Luftwaffe, Heer, and Kreigsmarine. You get several choices of each, which is rather nice. You even get one for the police. Instrument and tire pressure markings are also on the sheet.
It is really nice to see this being produced. Some of us really like these wartime era cars and this is one that has been lacking for quite a while. Though the amount of detail might put some off, the kit is very nicely molded and should go together with little trouble if one is patient during construction. I think you'll like it.
Thanks to www.dragnomodelsusa.com for the preview kit. This should be at your local shop today.
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