MiniArt has taken one of their early German tractors in 1/35th scale and released a 1/24th scale version. I was initially concerned that this may just be an up sized version of the 1/35th scale offering. I am however, pleased to say, that the parts on the sprues are significantly different and so not a direct copy of the previous release.
This offering from MiniArt arrives in a cardboard tray, with a separate card lid. Inside the sprues are packaged in a single plastic bag, which may cause damage in the form of breakage in some cases - depending on the handling the product receives before delivery. I am pleased to say that that is not the case with this example, with the only marks I can see being some flow marks in the plastic, but no obvious issues appear to have surfaced due to this. The instruction booklet is loose in the box, and the decal sheet is packaged in its own small plastic bag.
The body of this release represents the central structure, and can be considered like the chassis of an ordinary vehicle. Surface detail throughout, such as the heavy bolt features are well replicated and these help to portray the vehicles industrial attributes, and give the model its heavy duty look. When the body of this vehicle is completed and looking at the heavy industrial parts, you could be forgiven for mistaking it for a steam powered tractor, which is not the case. From looking at on-line information on the vehicle the engine itself was one of those rare beasts that was designed to burn lots of different types of fuel, which is an important attribute, as fuel can be one of those items that is difficult to obtain during war.
The engine cover for the vehicle is a multi part assembly and in this scale I would have liked to have seen MiniArt to provide a model of the engine within. The checker plate on which the operator is placed, has been well detailed with all the relevant controls - minimal that they are. The seat itself is the metal spring supported option correct for this vehicle. What in effect it is, is a spring arm between the body and the seat and then a coiled spring from the bottom of the seat back down to the base plate, which was designed to give the operator some comfort. I myself would consider doing away with the model spring, and creating my own with wire wrapped around an appropriate size drill bit, as I believe this would provide a more visually pleasing result.
The wheels of this vehicle are quite clever in design, as they are an all metal construction with an outer ring to provide traction on hard surfaces, and then an inner toothed ring to provide traction on soft surfaces such as soil. The detail in this release are a very good match for the real thing, and quite a clever piece of engineering for the time. The exhaust is a well detailed part and I see no problems with it. The front axle and steering arm have a good level of detail, but no options are provided to show the wheels turned. When tackling the front wheels themselves - note that there is small bolt head detail that need to be added and that this is covered in the instructions.
On the right side of the model, is a huge fly wheel with a casing to protect the operators, and I believe this is for the operation of other farm equipment perhaps in time MiniArt will provide some of these. This fly wheel can be assembled with the cover in place, or it removed with the fly wheel exposed which would be used to drive a belt and so provide that power to the extra piece of equipment. A single finishing option is included, which is a basic grey vehicle, with red oxide wheels and the painting guide covers the vehicle in 4 plains.
When MiniArt started to release models of tractors I suspected that there would only be a very small market for them. However, as a stand alone model, they do have appeal of their own to modellers generally and I would imagine there is a following specifically as well. The numbers of 1/35th scale tractors, which is now being followed by this 1/24th scale option would indicate that would be the case.