|KIT:||Italeri 1/24 American Cargo Trailer|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Not really a whole lot to say about this. This kit is a standard trailer that one sees on the roads all the time. Though the size is not mentioned, It is probably one of the really large ones (80 or 100 feet?) that one sees all the time on the Interstate highways, but, due to their high weight, have helped cause so much damage to the smaller roads of America that were not designed for such heavy traffic.
Though the size has increased, the design of these is the same as it was in the 1940s with a basic steel chassis covered by light-weight aluminum sides and tops. These are quite capable of withstanding the usual rigors of life on the roads, and it is only when one of these tips over, spilling out its cargo that one can see how light the construction actually is. Outside the US, many nations have stricter regulations on the size and strength of these trailers; as much due to the small size of their roads as anything.
Some countries have mandated a unique safely system fitted under the trailer. This consists of a long rubber mat that rolls out from under the trailer. The rear wheels run over this and this not only helps the truck safely slide to a stop (especially in mountainous areas when the brakes have failed), but helps to stabilize the truck to prevent tip-over. As all 'braking' is from the back, jack-knifing is greatly reduced. Of course, this weighs a ton or so, reducing the amount of cargo that can be carried by that much so these devices have been fought by the trucking industry in the US.
This kit is surprisingly heavy for what seems to be so simple. Much of this weight is due to the large slabs of plastic that make up the basic box of the trailer. Molded in multiple colors, one will eventually be painting most of this into whatever colors one wants. The tires are solid rubber/vinyl and have excellent detailing.
One basically builds up the rear axles assembly, then joins the various portions of the box. Each long length is made of two pieces that are locked into position. Were these molded in one piece, the kit box would have to be nearly twice as long. In the front, are the stands that are normal for vehicles like this. Two 'I' beam sections are then attached near the rear for the wheel assembly. I saw no way to have these forward stands built to be folded so that one could attach the trailer to a tractor. However, I'm sure that it would be easy enough to accomplish. There is a mounting pin in the very front to fit to the tractor's fifth wheel.
Instructions are quite well done and have superbly drawn construction steps. Color information is provided with generic and Model Master references. There is a huge decal sheet that is very colorful and sure to appeal. The printing on this sheet is superb and one can hope that it will work with setting solutions to get it to snuggle down into the crevices of the sides. I've shown as much as I can for it is larger than my scanner bed. One does hope that somewhere out there are decals for actual trucking companies to use with this kit.
If you have any of the Italeri tractor kits, then this is something that you must have to complement it.
Thanks to for the review kit. You can find Italeri kits at your favorite hobby shop or on-line at www.testors.com
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