The MiniArt German Passsenger Car Typ 170V Saloon 4 Doors kit is a 1/35th scale kit ideal for dioramas. This is the 5th incarnation of the MiniArt Mercedees 170V kit and includes the addition of a single female figure. There is a total of 265 parts supplied on 7 grey spue of simi-soft grey plastic with the body cast in one piece and boxed separately, 1 sprue of crystal clear plastic, 1 card of photo-etched brass, and a set of decals that include 11 different marking options. The detail is beautiful and exquisitely cast with no flash and only the subtlest of seams, which are easily removed. The instruction booklet includes beautiful color pictures of the 11 different options as well as well rendered cad drawings of each 48 steps. Color call outs are broken down for Ammo Mig, Humbrol, Mr. Color, Testors and Vallejo paints.
The build begins with the engine and chassis. As with any MiniArt kit, there are many extremely small and overly complicated assemblies. Following the diagrams, the engine builds up quite nicely. The parts are tiny so removing and carefully cleaning each piece is time consuming, however the fit is fantastic. Let your repressed inner German Engineer out to bask in the elegant design of the construction. I was amazed at the subtle detail on the sprue and shared my joy of the plastic springs on the suspension with colleagues. The only difficulty I had was when it came to attaching the muffler, the drawings in the instructions made it hard to see exactly how it connected and thus the piece was moved several times. The engine fit well into the frame and the bumper guards were attached.
I had a hard time choosing which design to use so I asked my wife and she choose the Grey Blue and Cream option. After acquiring Vallejo paint in the corresponding numbers I found that the Grey Blue did not match very well so I dug into my collection of paints and found a Polly Scale that I thought matched the artwork better. The detail around the trunk was a little faded so I re-etched the lower section. There are some deep injection marks on the inside roof of the cab, and I figured that somebody (me) would find them unsatisfactory if you looked in and up through the windows, so I patched them up.
Masking and painting went well with only the occasional touch up required. The whole body assembly can be painted individually as they all fit together quite nicely. The only problem with putting it together was the slightly obtuse dashboard assembly, be careful and make sure you have all the parts together before painting. The tires and wheels are separate as are the hubcaps so they’re easy to paint you have options on how you can display them. I had a small issue with the bars covering the engine not laying level but it could easily have been that I had the radiator slightly off level. The engine covers are a little tricky to balance but they fit well in the end. The only real frustration I had was the hinges on the doors. They are molded on and are so thin that they damaged easily during painting and masking. I thought that everything else on the models was so over engineered that to have not molded separate hinges was a bit short sighted. Be careful with them.
I felt at this time that I had conquered the build and that I had a fairly nice little Mercedees in front of me. So, all I had to do now was just toss on the fiddley bits and I’d be done. Not! Now depending on your attitude of very small PE and plastic bits this part could be to your liking, however it’s not for the timid. Breaking out the Super Glue I went to town. It would be gracious to say I spent a ‘little time’ on my hands and knees digging through the carpet and that I learned a few new ‘vocabulary words’ but … let’s leave it at ‘Gracious’. There are a lot of small bits that are glued flush or butt ended to their surface attachment points and with not much surface to adhere. Pieces will pop off if you look at them wrong. Now don’t get me wrong, each piece is beautifully cast or etched and they really are a pleasure to work with, and once on look fantastic, but take your time here and be sure to stop for an occasional beverage and a good back stretch.
MiniArt has offered up a beautiful little model of a very versatile car that fits in well with any number of diorama displays. It comes with a figure of a woman that fits together easily and goes well with the civilian baggage rack for a cross country journey. At times this model can be a little over complicated or over engineered, but persistence and patience can build a fine replica of war era transportation
My thanks to MiniArt for the opportunity to review this kit.