This offering of the Mercedes L1500S German 1.5t Truck from MiniArt in 1/35th scale is one of those models where multiple models with slight variations from military to civilian use can be covered, but of course there are also options within military and civilian use as well and something MiniArt excels at. The model offered here of the Mercedes L1500SGerman 1.5t Truck is a vehicle in civilian use with 6 varied uses during and after World War 2 and so some interesting options for history such as the Berlin Blockade.
This release from MiniArt is provided in the typical packaging with the card lid being most likely to be damaged if roughly handled. Inside there is a single plastic bag and a loose construction guide. In my case everything has arrived in a fair standard with one of the photo etch frets being slightly bent and so the only damage. I do like that the cab of the model is packed inside a card box of its own in the bag and the envelope that the photo etch frets are protected by. I do not like that the clear sprue is packed with the decals as I have seen this cause damage in the past. An examination of the contents reveals no concerns beyond the mentioned photo etch fret. I should mention that MiniArt has done a good job of avoiding ejection pin marks.
Chassis and Oily Bits
The chassis of this model is a multi part offering which is a double edged sword; the plus is that it enables MiniArt to provide a lot more detail than would otherwise be possible. The downside of this increased detail is that the modeller needs to take a lot of care during assembly to insure that the chassis is square when complete and due to being the heart of the model this really does require the utmost care. A particularly nice detail is that the exhaust has been slide moulded and so realistic in its finish. The leaf spring suspension will require some attention when it comes to seam lines, but they are not excessive despite the moulds having a few years on the clock.
A full engine and gear box is provided with this release and looks the part when compared to online images. Another nice aspect is that the painting is covered as you progress and so all the hunting and in some cases guess work is no more. Looking over the engine the modeller needs only to add some wires and such to really bring this area up to a very high standard that will add a lot to the finished model if displayed on show. The axles have a good level detail and I am very pleased to see the ability to finish the model with the front wheels turned which I something I like to see. On the tow hitch there is a small length of chain which is supplied as photo etch and I feel this would be better replaced with actual chain.
The cab of the model is an especially well moulded and protected part with clean up restricted to a small sharp spot on the roof that just needs sanding. It is also nice to find some of the roof bracing moulded as part of the cab. The firewall between the engine and cab is very well detailed on both faces and on the engine side even provides some tools which all add to the visual appeal of the engine bay. Inside the cab and secured to the floor is what I am told is a jack and while I struggled to work out what it was I believe what I am told. The instrument panel has good moulded detail and that includes the dials, but painting the dials will require a much steadier hand than mine and so some generic dial decals may be a better choice. I also like that the seat panels are detailed and textured rather than just the correct shape and proportions.
The mudguards have nice lines that are well replicated and flow well and it is really nice not to find ejector pin marks on the underside that would have been hard to get at. The hood is hinged from the centre only and this has been well replicated in the model including the support arm. The vents in the side panels are open and while moulding technology effects thickness I appreciate the effort put into this area. The doors have inner and outer panels and so offering a high quality finish that has a visual appeal. The radiator grill is a photo etch part as is the Mercedes Benz badge and both look to be very accurate parts and the Mercedes Benz badge on the water cap is the icing on the cake. In addition to having the bonnet open the modeller has been provided with alternate parts that enable the doors to be finished open.
The wooden truck bed has been tackled well being both detailed and cleanly moulded. The approach taken by MiniArt has made assembly relatively straight forward with the exception of photo etch catches that will make those with poor eyesight or unsteady hands struggle; I have started to use Microscale Micro Krystal Klear to attach photo etch that is not going to be put under any stress as it avoids all of the issues that can result from the use of superglues. I have looked closely at the flaps of the cargo bed and I believe that with care they could be assembled in the open positions if required, but that is no covered in the instructions.
This offering from MiniArt has been supplied with a great selection of stowage to use as wished by the modeller. There are three sizes of wooden crates supplied with a selection of decals for use on them. Then there is a mix of furniture which is as follows:
Chest of draws
Four rugs in different sizes and styles
Furniture transportation, Vienna, Austria, 40’s
Coal company, Gottingen, Lower Saxony, 40’s
Reich’s post (Imperial Post), Germany, 1941-1945
Deutsche Post (Postal service), Germany 50’s
Cargo transportation, British occupation zone, Hansestadt Hamburg, 1947-1949
Cargo transportation, Germany (BRD), early 50’s
This release from MiniArt is new as regards the finishing options and with that being the case it really boils down to what the modeller is looking for as to if this is for you. What I will say is that I can only critique two aspects of the release; the model all being packed in one bag does open up the risk of damage, this is especially true when packing the decals with the clear sprue is concerned. The only other negative is the lack of decals or similar for the dials in the cab. On the plus side this is a very nicely detailed model in all respects especially where the oily parts are concerned. I am very pleased to have the option of orientating the front wheels as the modeller desires, I also praise the mix of items that are provided for adding a load to the vehicle.