MiniArt built up its reputation with the modeller releasing a good range of figures and buildings in 1/35th scale. They have always released vehicles in small numbers, but that aspect has really taken off in recent years with far more vehicle releases than figures and there are some unusual releases in the mix as well. On this occasion we are offered a civilian or military vehicle by MiniArt in the form of a new delivery wagon offering of the Mercedes Benz type 170V.
This offering from MiniArt arrives in a cardboard tray with a card top which is robust enough to manage normal handling. Inside there is a single plastic bag containing all of the parts needed for the model and hasanother bag inside containing the clear parts for the vehicle and the decals; I again question the choice seen her where the actual decals are facing the clear sprue and so could have easily been damaged. Also in the bag is the now regular practice of MiniArt, a card envelope with a photo etched fret inside. There are some ejector pin marks present, but these look to be hidden in most cases after assembly. There are the usual flow marks on the mouldings, but again the eye, touch and nail test did not locate any issues with these in this example.
MiniArt has gone down the route of providing an excellent engine in this offering. Looking at the instructions and parts leaves me with the belief that the engine will require some wiring, brake and fuel lines to dress this up a treat and make it a visual feast. A really nice touch here by MiniArt sees them provide diagrams for bending wire to represent the brake cables and I commend them for taking this step. Further checking leaves me with the belief that a battery will need to be added, but I am unsure of its location in this vehicle. The chassis is provided as one main moulding which is then added to; the result is a vehicle that should be easy to build and won’t trip you up due to a twisted chassis. There are some fine photo etched parts that need to be added to the chassis that will require care.
The rear suspension is a very pleasing assembly having excellent coiled spring detail; these are not workable but could be shown underload by cutting the length of the arms on parts (A14 and 15). There are photoetched retaining loops here that will require some patience on the part of the modeller and as they need to be looped I suggest using the chassis part itself or a suitable sized drill bit to bend them over. The front wheel assembly suffers from my pet hate in that the wheels cannot be shown or assembled in a turned orientation. With that said the detail here is pleasing especially the twin leaf spring assembly that goes left to right rather than front to back. The vehicles exhaust has a good level of detail present, my only niggle here is that the end of the exhaust is solid and would have been better if slide moulded.
The floor of the vehicle has good detail on both faces and provides a nice area for painting the underside. Looking at the upper side and starting with the front fire wall you will find that MiniArt has provided a very nice fuel tank and even some tools that are stored on a panel in the engine bay. On the other side you will find the steering column, foot pedals, gear stick and hand brake. The instrument panel has been particularly nicely detailed with decals for the dials and clear plastic covers for them. The seat provided has a brand new appearance and is an area I would like to see roughed up a bit.
The tyres for this model have been supplied in the famous MiniArt sliced fashion. These do look good when finished, but it requires very careful clean up and assembly to get the most out of these tyres. I particularly like that effort on the spare is equally as good.
The panels of the vehicle are the area that will require the most work as regards ejector pin marks on the inner panel faces as there are some very large ones present here. I am not going to count these as a negative as they are easily accessed and a common issue with plastic models. The three doors are all designed to be open or closed with the driver and passenger door having very nice door card detail and while not mentioned in the instructions it would be easy to show the windows wound down to any degree the modeller wishes.
The radiator is another area where MiniArt has put in extra special effort with good plastic detail in all regards and is topped off with a very nice photo etched grill. The engine bay panels have been given consideration and MiniArt has provided the option of a closed or a correctly detailed open panels; I am especially impressed that the louvers on the engine panels are open and show especially good moulding.
MiniArt has provided a roof rack with this offering which is a nice touch as it will enable the load to be clearly displayed even if not used in a diorama display. The rack has been supplied using photo etched parts and so will require care to get the most from the inclusion. 21 different box designs have been included and if that is no enough just scan some until you do have plenty.
MiniArt has provided four very nice finishing options withthis release that could be used to add a nice splash of colour to a diorama setduring World War 2. The options provided are:
Dautsche Reichbahn, Germany, 1940-43
Reichpost, Germany, 1940-45
Unknown Platoon Sanitary Vehicle, Wehrmacht, 1941-43
Unknown Unit, Wehrmacht, 1943-45
This offering from MiniArt has a lot to offer and praise; the open louvers on the bonnet panels being especially good. I would have liked to see the front wheels have the option of being assembled turned as it is a pet hate of mine to only show them in the forward position. The products being delivered by the finish of choice are nice inclusions. The details taken as a whole offers the modeller an especially good model with some very nice colour finishing options. My only real complaint about the model is the unknown German military units rather than specific.