MiniArt has combined their trailer with the Mercedes L1500S truck and for good measure thrown in a cargo of beer barrels. From memory I believe the Mercedes L1500S is the oldest model offering, but from what I have seen that should not cause you any concerns. MiniArt has provided 2 finishing options, both of which are in civilian use and these two elements will result in a substantial sized model. So let’s see what we get with this release.
This release from MiniArt arrives in the usual cardboard tray with a separate card lid, the lid has a pleasing artists perception of how the contents may look when finished. Inside the instruction booklet is loose with everything else in a single plastic bag that also holds a bag containing the clear sprue and decals and a card envelope containing the photo etched fret; the cab of the truck is also protected within its own card box which is a good choice considering everything is in the one bag. My only gripe about this is the risk of damage to the decals from the clear sprue, something I have found occur on occasion. Looking over the sprues causes me no concerns beyond the care needed to remove some of the finer mouldings without causing damage. I will say that access to the parts is good.
The truck portion of this model release is made up using a multi part chassis which has enabled MiniArt to offer a high degree of detail to the modeller on all faces, but the modeller will need to be careful to ensure that the chassis assembly remains square. I have found the easiest method was to use a cutting mat with squares drawn on it and it has not failed me yet, and due to there not being any stabilizing aspects to the chassis this is a real must. This area of the model is quite parts intensive with items like the ‘U’ clamps that secure some chassis elements being individual parts just like the real thing; I can hear some groaning already, but this approach does mean that exposing areas of the model does not require extra work as the company has supplied it for you to utilise. The result of all this is an extremely pleasing and accurate chassis provided you take your time as your effort will pay dividends in this area.
Also provided by MiniArt is a very nicely done engine and gearbox that only requires some wires be replicated to add that extra touch that catches the eye. Following the detail back from the engine and gearbox finds a well detailed drive shaft to the rear axle. One thing that identifies this model to me as an older release is that the brake lines are not covered, something MiniArt has started doing a lot of lately. The leaf spring suspension may need some extra effort during clean up and this effort is worth the while. The front suspension and steering assembly I believe means the front wheels can be orientated as desired by the modeller and while this is not mentioned in the instructions I am 100% sure it can be. This model has some very fine photo etch and plastic assemblies that will make this difficult for the modeller without experience. looking at the front the radiator has been plumbed into the engine and so I am very happy with the dirty aspects of this model in all respects.
The wheels of the truck have very well done detail on both faces, especially in areas such as the wheel bolts. The tyres are good as regards tread detail and offer manufacturer data. Due to these offerings not being the tyre slices that seem more usual in the current releases I feel the detail is very slightly less crisply moulded. With that said they are perfectly serviceable and would only benefit from some weighted detail.
The cab of the truck is another well tackled area of the model due to just how much detail it offers. The seat has good lived in detail which I feel adds so much to a look inside. The fire wall has very good detail on both faces and even provides an oil can in its storage place. There is a device strapped down in the cab and I am struggling to identify it; I am thinking water heater or just as heater, but please jump in if you know. The instrument panel is covered but no decals are provided to enable easy detailing. The glazed aspects are of a good thickness and are provided with a photo etch wiper arm and blade. The doors have good detail inside and out and very pleasing is the option of depicting them open or closed. The hood of the truck can be assembled open and closed and so allowing the display of the well done oily area. The front grill has been tackled with a photo etched grill and then the Mercedes emblem is positioned over that giving the correct raised detail. I have seen an ‘S’ in the top left hand corner of the grill in some examples, but that is not replicated here. The cab moulding itself has great detail on the both faces and only requires a nipple be cleaned up on the top of the roof.
The wooden loading deck has been provided with separate front, rear and side panels and the detail is lifted by some very small photoetch elements. The small photo etch elements are something that needs to be considered. Having any of the bed side elements open is not covered, but it does not look a difficult task to me.
The trailer provided in this release has a multi part chassis rail system, and as such I would suggest that the wooden bed of the trailer is prepared and ready to go in order that you can locate the chassis and ensure its orientation is correct. This particular trailer is unusual as it is provided with leaf spring suspension, and that adds a visual interest to the underside of the vehicle. The wheels for the trailer are metal rims with solid rubber tyres, with the detail well represented. The front axle sits on a swivel plate, and so being articulated will add some visual interest if you were to show the vehicle in the process of turning. The sides of the trailer are all in the upright position, but the tailgate can be shown folded down or up. The detail overall is very pleasing.
This offering from MiniArt provides you with eighteen barrels in two sizes, that have been split in half to be put together, separate wooden end caps are provided, and due to a wooden structure being provided on the interior face of the wooden barrels means you can display it on its end with one end removed, and it being partially empty or being used as a storage container for any number of items. The barrel being split in to two halves does mean that the modeller will need to make sure that the metal bands that hold the wooden planks together will need to have the joint seam hidden on that aspect only. The sealed opening used to fill the barrels with liquids has been replicated and is pleasing to see, the rack for supporting the barrel on the ground is also provided in the set for all barrels. If you wish to show the barrels stacked remember that only the ground one has the frame under it, and the rest stack pyramid style, to avoid wasted space. Another nice aspect of this set from MiniArt is that a tap has been provided for every one of the barrels, and is another very nice inclusion. A decal sheet is provided with two different designs covering the alcohol of choice originally stored.
This being a civilian vehicle gives it a good time span for the modeller using it with other vehicles of the same scale. Once built it will result in a decent sized model that will have eye appeal due to not being green and not military. It is hard to criticise the model offered here by MiniArt and I will restrict it to packing decals with sprue mouldings. I do have one wish which would be that I would have liked a suitable figure included to finish the completeness of this rerelease.