MiniArt 1/35 Dingo Mk.III British Scout Car w/Crew
KIT #: 35077
PRICE: $51.50 MSRP ($29.95 from )
DECALS: Four options
NOTES: Recommended for the modeler with several multi-part kits under his belt


In 1938 the British War Office issued a specification for a scouting vehicle. Out of three designs submitted by Alvis, BSA and Morris, the one by BSA was selected. The actual production was passed to Daimler, which was a vehicle manufacturer in the BSA group of companies. The vehicle was officially designated Daimler Scout Car, but became widely known as Dingo, which was the name of the competing Alvis prototype.

Arguably one of the finest armoured fighting vehicles built in Britain during the war, the Dingo was a small two-man armoured car. It was well protected for its size with 30 mm of armour at the front. The engine was located at the rear of the vehicle. One of the ingenious features of Dingo was the transmission; a pre-selector gearbox and fluid flywheel that gave five speeds in both directions. Original version had four-wheel steering; however this feature was dropped in Mk II because inexperienced drivers found the vehicle hard to control.

Although the Dingo featured a flat plate beneath the chassis to slide across uneven ground, it was extremely vulnerable to mines. No spare wheel was carried, but it was not really necessary because of the use of run-flat (nearly solid) rubber tyres instead of pneumatic. Despite the hard tyres, the independent suspension gave it a very comfortable ride. A swiveling seat next to the driver allowed the other crew member to attend to the No. 19 wireless set or Bren gun when required.

The Dingo was first used by the British Expeditionary Force (1st Armoured Division and 4th Northumberland Fusilers) during the Battle of France. It turned out to be so successful that no replacement was sought until 1952 with the production of the Daimler Ferret. In mid-70s the Dingo was still used by Cyprus, Portugal and Sri Lanka.

The Mk III differed from earlier versions by having a waterproofed engine and no roof. The Lynx was basically a Canadian built Dingo.  (Wikipedia)


One of the more recent releases by the Ukrainian company of MiniArt in a series of Dingo scout vehicles is the British Daimler Dingo Mk.III scout/reconnaissance car. Molded in quality light gray styrene the kit also features a medium sized fret of etched brass parts. Decals are in register and feature 4 options for Dingoes from the Northwest European Theatre of Operations during World War II.  There are 10 separate sprue trees that hold the more than 190 plastic parts that make up this small vehicle!  It seems that MiniArt is trying to emulate Dragon in number of parts for each kit, depending on the vehicle’s size.  In my opinion, this kit falls into the category of “over engineered”.  The instruction sheet is well drawn but the way certain parts are supposed to fit can, at times, be confusing.  Unfortunately, many of the parts have attachment points on the sprue that makes sanding off the stubs difficult at best.  Also included are two of the figures from MiniArt’s British Armored Car Crew kit.  The two featured are a standing commander holding a microphone and the frantic-looking driver figure.  Since Dingoes were only crewed by two, this makes sense. 


The body of the Dingo is built as per the prototype.  The two sides and two end bulkheads are added to the bottom.  This part of the instructions is the first hint of confusing times to come.  One has trouble determining which end of the bottom piece is the front and which is the back.  After much test fitting and many thoughts on MiniArt’s instruction sheet, most of which can’t be printed in a family-oriented webpage, I think I got it right.  The rest of the first page of instructions is concerned with the building of the interior bits.  Here MiniArt was determined to leave no stone unturned.  Every bit and piece that can be molded separately is molded separately.  This can lead to placement and alignment problems.  For example, the driver’s seat is made up of 4 pieces and the commander’s seat is composed of 4 separate pieces as well.  These seats could just as easily have been done with half that number.  Since the Dingo was an open topped vehicle, I painted as I went along.  The main paints I used were Tamiya acrylics and Vallejo acrylics.  I recommend that one look at any available pictures that one can find of interior shots of the Dingo before painting.  I was lucky enough to find a video on YouTube of a walk around of either a restored Mk.III or an original Mk.III.  The film is narrated and shows several close-up views of both the exterior and interior in full color. 

Be careful installing the steering wheel, try as I might I could not get it to sit up above the driver’s seat.

The tires and wheels are next.  Here MiniArt chose to mold them in a funky way.  Each wheel consists of the tire and outer wheel molded as one piece and the inner portion of each wheel as a separate insert.

Page 2 of the instructions continues with adding various bits to the interior walls of the main cabin.  Many photo-etched pieces are used throughout this build.  I strongly recommend that the builder anneal the p-e before using it.  I held the fret over the flames of a gas range to anneal it.  Annealing the brass makes it easier to bend and work with.  After the inner bits have been added each individual side is added to the cabin floor.  Thankfully fit here is very good although I did have to use some filler here and there.  I like to use either Tamiya putty (if you can find it) or Apoxie-Sculpt two-part filler, depending on the size and location of the area to be filled.   

The individual suspension parts are also constructed on page 2.  Each suspension unit is made up of 7 individual parts and is supposed to replicate the movement of the original Dingo suspension.  This is all well and good, but it makes for a very fiddly build and trouble later on getting each individual wheel aligned correctly on the finished model.  Again over engineering rears its ugly head.  

On page three things start to come together.  The completed suspension builds are installed as are a few of the many hatches that festooned the Dingo.  The builder has the option of showing these hatches opened or closed.  I chose open for most of the ones I used.  A word about the radio aerial supports is necessary.  The supports themselves are not too difficult, but the funky way that MiniArt uses to attach the parts to the sprue make the use of the aerials themselves problematical.  The sprue representations of the aerials are way over scale anyway, so I replaced both aerials with piano wire cut to size.  I found the piano wire at CRM Hobbies in St. Louis and I recommend this shop highly for all of you aftermarket needs.

Be careful trying to build up the shock absorber units.  They must fit precisely to look right.  Getting them to fit right is another story.  I worked and I sweated and I said many things I later regretted before solving the mystery of the shock absorber installation.  There is really no way to describe how to do it, you’ll just have to experiment yourself to see what best works for you. 

The Dingo had one or two jump seats behind the main cabin.  According to the instructions, one is supposed to bend two flat pieces of p-e to get the seat backs.  Yeah, right.  The p-e pieces are flat, almost two-dimensional strips that you are supposed to magically be able to bend into a 3D seat support.  I’m not saying that it can’t be done, I’m just saying that try as I might I couldn’t do it.  My last effort ended up looking like Silly Sting!  No problem, I replaced them with Evergreen sprue rod bent to the appropriate shapes then glued in place.  Voila, instant, and in my opinion, better looking, more to scale seat back supports.

The kit comes with a great representation of the Dingo’s main weapon, the Bren Mk.I machine gun.  In some Dingoes a Boys antitank rifle was substituted for the Bren.  Since the Dingo was only meant to be used as a limited scouting vehicle, it was presumed that a heavy offensive weapon would not be needed.  After all, the Dingo was supposed to scout out enemy positions then skedaddle, not stand and try to fight with even enemy infantry let alone armored cars or armor. 


As mentioned earlier, most of the airbrushing was done with Tamiya acrylics, in this case XF-62, Olive Drab.  The main body of the vehicle was painted with the wheels off.  Next the decals were added.  First, the area where the decal is to rest is given a light brush coat of Future floor polish.  The decal is then slid into place and pressed down.  After the decals had dried thoroughly (about 24 hours), a mixture of Testors Dullcote lacquer thinned 50/50 with Testors Metallizer Thinner was sprayed over the decaled areas.  No silvering of the decals was observed using this method.  The Dullcote can also be thinned with regular lacquer thinner with the same results.  I have models that are several years old now that have been finished with this method with still no sign of any yellowing, even on white areas.

After the wheels were added, and being sure that all four wheels touched the surface at the same time, the weathering began.  I use a modified Chris Mrosko method of weathering.  First, a thinned mixture of Testors flat black, the little square bottle works just fine, is sprayed all over the outside of the vehicle.  The thinning ratio I use is one part flat black to 10 parts thinner.  The resultant mixture flows into all of the low areas, cracks and crevices of the model, a wash of sorts.  After that dries, a very thin mixtures on Raw Sienna and Raw Umber oil paints are allowed to flow from top to bottom at various points on the vehicle where rain and other elements would stain the finish.  Careful here!  A little of this effect goes a long way.  After I’m satisfied with the results so far, I begin to drybrush a lighter coat of the base coat on various parts of the vehicle where the paint would have begun to fade.  Since Tamiya acrylic paints are notoriously bad for brush painting, I substituted Testors OD mixed with a little Testors Faded OD.  Large flat areas and edges were subject to special attention.  Next another coat of Dullcote is sprayed over the vehicle to blend everything together.  After that is dried, I like to use pastel chalks to replicate dust, rust, and general use.  I recommend that, if you can, you get a set of TV chalks (various shades of gray) as well as Earth tones.

The figure was next.  I like to have at least one figure either on or standing next to the vehicle being displayed.  I think it adds interest and a feeling of perspective as to the size of the vehicle.  I also try to either find a figure that is posed as naturally as possible by the sculptor, or, as in this case, construct one myself from available sources.  In this case I used the figures that came with the kit.  The legs, lower torso, and upper torso are from the commander figure.  The left arm, head, and beret were from the maniacal driver figure.  I must admit that I cheated to get the right arm for the pose I had in mind.  This piece came from the original MiniArt British Armored Car Crew kit.  I don’t remember which figure I stole it from.  Painting figures is the subject of another discussion.  Suffice it to say that the figure was painted and detailed using Panzer Aces (a division of Vallejo) and Vallejo acrylics.


 This is not a kit for the faint hearted.  The finished product was wrestled into submission.  I ended up substituting many parts for kit parts.  I’ve already mentioned the radio aerials and the seat backs.  I also had to substitute Grandt Line nuts for some of the kit’s ridiculously small and almost impossible to work with p-e bolt heads. I also used an M.V. Products lens to replace the headlight eaten by the carpet monster.

Things I said while building this kit:

“Why, I oughta…!”

“You dirty fricken fracken piece of…”

I also called it a working lady of the street on more than one occasion.


The above mentioned You Tube walk around video was of tremendous help.

Drew Nix

May 2010

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