IPMS/USA appreciates the continued support of Atlantis Models for supporting the IPMS USA reviewer corps with another step back in time for us old guys!
Atlantis Models continues their release schedule of one more kit I did not remember being on the shelves in my younger years. This Tractor/Trailer is advertised as a multiple use model, for both civilian and Military use. Included in the box are bright green injection molded parts, and a decal sheet for “Dino the Dinosaur”, company mascot for the Sinclair oil company.
I found this particularly intriguing, as one of my favorite gasoline companies when I was living in Rapid City, South Dakota was Sinclair oil company with it’s trademark Dino the dinosaur. If you are familiar with the “Dinosaur park” on one of the hilltops overlooking “Bacon Park” in Rapid city, you know their largest concrete statue of the many dinosaurs memorialized from the “badlands” fossils found to the East of Rapid City is a large Brontosaur, or “Dino”.
Yes, I’m easily amused. And used to have a large inflatable “Dino” as well. Who would not envy such a cool toy?
On to the kit... The parts are extremely well detailed, accurate in fit, and produce one model. The fuel tanker trailer is removable, and has opening doors on the side to access the fuel valves and distribution manifold. Fuel lines are prevalent on the underside of the trailer, and the lower chassis includes forward extended trailer roller braces for assisting connection to the fifth wheel in real life, and an eight tire rolling truck with brake accumulators and leaf spring details.
The tank fits perfectly onto the lower trailer chassis, with a ladder leading to the six upper tank maintenance covers. The ladder for the back of the tank is a mandatory accessory for tank inspection and filling. Detail on the tail of the trailer includes brake lights and turn signal lights.
The Tractor is a cab-over, and if you construct it correctly during assembly, it will hinge forward to allow access to a detailed engine, transmission, battery, and basic chassis with dual rear wheels under the fifth wheel plate. A steering wheel, bench seats, and a couple of instrument recessions are included, although (common at the time) no clear parts are included. Two rear view mirrors and one set of horns (which I drilled out with a #11 blade) for the cab roof are also provided
After painting the model overall with flat black spray automotive primer, I filled in a few sink marks on the fuel tank sides, and then carefully (and lightly) sprayed several light coats of yellow gloss paint over the entire model. I had masked off the cab interior, and ended up touching up the black paint inside. Wheels off for this part!
Let’s spend a moment on the wheels and tires. There are 14 of these boogers, and if you dislike repetitive repair as much as I do, you will be crawling the walls with these. The wheels were single part items, with detailed wheel faces for the outer wheel and tire assemblies. I had painted them overall yellow, and realized afterwards I should have masked the tires first, because gloss paint over flat primer without misting it on will result in (1) paint film shrinkage and (2) cracks in the gloss color coat. Several of the tires therefore had radial cracks in the flat black applied over the tires, requiring minute but difficult touch up. This is just an “old man who knows better by experience” afterthought for y’all for future efforts. I had used a circle cutter for the first time to make yellow masking tape discs to mask off the wheels, and that part actually worked pretty well.
After the vehicle chassis had dried a few days, I pressed the wheels on the axles. In retrospect I’d HIGHLY recommend you test fit first to ensure they will press over the axle boss… I almost destroyed the trailer with the amount of pressure I applied, and this was not necessary.
Using some clear plastic from a vacform blister container from Eduard (save these for “free” clear sheets!) ensured I had glass in the rear and side cab locations. I left the door panel glass “rolled down” (you younger guys don’t know what I am talking about, huh?) and tried to “force form” a windshield. No go… but it’s mostly there.
You may want to do this yourself with a vacform and rudimentary balsa armature. But maybe not. I don’t see any aftermarket showing up over this anytime soon.
I did not apply the decals, as I’m still searching for detail pictures showing this truck being used on a flight line with large aircraft. In the interim, I have a 1/48 tanker to use for a visiting B-36 to be refueled. My experience with Atlantis decals is they work great… but I don’t need a Sinclair decal on my AGE fuel truck.
Well done Atlantis, and please continue to bring out the older kits. I’m preordering when possible… and the prices are particularly welcome, especially in cases such as the T-56 Turboprop… It’s great fun to enjoy the hobby again with some good-‘ol old time modeling.