Just as the military leading up to and during World War 2 were advancing into mechanical warfare in a big way, so was farming changing from steam and horsepower to petrol and diesel power. MiniArt has dipped their toes again with a later model German tractor in the form of a German tractor Lanz Bulldog D8506Mod 1937. This offering seems to represent a tractor in the form that I can remember them from many moons ago and even offer the shaped metal saddle. A search online provides a good quantity of photographic reference images and many of these show a shelter which if sales determine I expect to see available in time.
This offering from MiniArt arrives in a cardboard tray with separate card lid. The card lid could be stronger but it does fair job of protecting the contents. Inside there is an instruction booklet and a plastic bag containing all of the sprues. There is a further bag inside with the clear sprue and decals which risks damage from past experience. This offering also has a lot of space around the contents which increases the risk of damage.
The chassis of the vehicle looking at online images is made from a number of castings which from what I can see look to have been well replicated here. There is a bell shaped housing on the front with a seam running from left to right over the front, this seam should be visible and may require enhancement to make it clearer. This aspect of the model is its heart and is a great part of the super detailer and weathering painter to get access to. The axle of the drive wheels is moulded as a part of this area. I like that the lights have been provided with clear lenses and these are mounted on a simple light bar.
The engine housing needs to be assembled into its blocky structure, unfortunately no engine detail has been provided with this not being the end of the world as all of the needed detail does look to be present. The front wheels axle is a very visible aspect of the model and MiniArt has not disappointed. From what I can see every mechanical aspect has been tackled in good detail; the front wheels are not covered in a turned orientation, but I see no reason why this could not be tackled with minimal effort. I like how the company lettering has been tackled on the front of the model in this area using photo etch to provide the bold raised detail.
The driver’s area is functional in that the controls are fully replicated as regards what can and should be seen. The diamond chequer pattern on the upper floor has been replicated well. Looking at the metal saddle with its support bar with a spring beneath and it is a great representation aspect, but the spring is a solid moulding and would look better if the modeller wrapped wire around a suitable cylinder to replace this part. This area of the model with the improvement I have suggested will be very pleasing in my opinion.
The wheels have good detail on both faces and so should please everyone. Perhaps most importantly the tyres have been supplied as injection moulded plastic rather than vinyl rubber. The front wheels have been tackled using the slice method which means especially good tread detail, but clean up by the modeller will dictate how good a finish is obtained. The large rear tyres have been tackled using separate side walls and the main tread and this has again resulted in especially good detail.
There are two pipes mounted on the vehicle; the one at the front is the exhaust and the one near the rear the air intake. I am unclear as to why the intake is as high up as online searches provide a wide range of heights and for that matter the shape of both pipes and so the modeller could add some individuality to their build while retaining accuracy. The finishing options cover a grey and a green model only, but online searches reveal blue as a possible colour as well.
This offering from MiniArt appears to be accurate in all respects when checked against online reference I could find. The rear tyres and cab have been especially well tackled and I also really like the photo etched name plates for the front of the engine cover. A beautiful kit offering with this one from MiniArt and I can only hope that there is potential for machinery to put on the tractor. I like the idea of a tractor trying to tow a tank out of trouble or collecting destroyed vehicles.