|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Ford V3000 was used extensively by German forces in WWII, being manufactured throughout the war by the German operation of the Ford Motor Company, Ford-Werke, in Cologne. This was one of the most numerous of the various 3ton trucks used by the Wehrmacht during WII. The truck was equipped with the flathead V8 that made Ford famous pre war and was the engine of choice by many early post war hot rodders in the US.
Since this truck was rear drive only, its off road performance was quite poor and so it was the basis of a Maultier half track. This vehicle was used on every front where the Germans fought. Some of theses tracked vehicles were used post war and others were converted back to standard truck configuration.
This is yet another well molded and nicely detailed kit from ICM. I have heard comments from some that say the kit has too many small parts, but it is these small parts that make the detail really show in the finished product. Some are quite small so the builder will need to be very careful removing and cleaning the parts.
As you can see from the sprues diagram, ICM pretty much gives you the basic truck kit and adds in a sprue for the new rear drive. You get a very nicely detailed flathead Ford V-8 and this fits into a chassis that is built up of separate main frames and crossover pieces. The front wheels are attached in a method that has you put the inner wheel bit onto the spindle and then it is held in place by a large cap. The theory being that the wheel will turn. You then put the outer wheel/tire onto it. I am sure that many of us will simply glue it all solid.
The cab and hood section are made up of several sections. The interior of the cab is well appainted with separate pedals and a nicely done dash. Decals are provided for the instruments. It does not seem to me that the hood can be displayed open as there is no hinge mechanism. However, you can simply lay it in place to show off the engine if you should so desire.
The rear box is made up of a separate floor and sides. There are cross pieces to allow the bed to fit onto the frame when it is finished. I am sure you could drop the rear gate or leave off the rear and sides if you wanted to do a flatbed version. The rear track assembly is nicely detailed and it consists of link and length tracks, which I know many would rather have in place of individual links or 'rubber band' tracks. This offers the detail of separate links for going around the sprocket and idler wheels with the ease of having all the straight sections pre-assembled.
ICM instructions are very nice, consisting of well drawn construction steps on slick paper. Generic and Model Master paint information is provided with any in-work painting information provided, unlike some kit makers. There are four options provided with no unit information provided for any. One is overall panzer tan based in Germany in 1943. Another is in overall panzer grey, also based in Germany during 1943. Next is a tan truck based in Poland during 1944 with large green splotches on it. The instructions show the camouflage only on a section of the vehicle. With a fine green camo is the last one from Italy in 1944. The nicely done decal sheet provides basically license plates, though the Italian option has unit markings of some sort as well.
It is nice to see a Maultier that is based on something other than an Opel Blitz. This one is as well detailed as other kits in the ICM line and it is nice that they do not put one through the separate track link ordeal that turns off many modelers. A fine addition to their non-combat vehicle line up and one I think you will like.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.
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