MiniArt 1/35 Dingo Mk.II with crew

KIT #: 35074
PRICE: $51.50 SRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes two crew figures.


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 II differed from earlier versions by having just front wheel steering.

MiniArt has been gaining a reputation for well engineered and well detailed kits. From the looks of this one, that reputation is well earned. Molded in a grey plastic, the detailing and quality of the molding is first rate. No flash, no sink areas, few ejector marks and those in areas that will be hidden or easily sanded away. The 212 parts are located on 6 sprues and one goodly sized photo etch fret. In fact, many of the really small parts (like bolt heads) are on the photo etch fret. This fret is covered on both sides by a somewhat thick clear plastic film. The etched parts are attached to the fret by a very fine line so do require some cutting to set them free. I think the plastic film is to help keep them in place until actually placed on the kit. This photo etch is also used for hinges, grab handles, screens and the usual fine detail pieces.

There is detail on the inside of most of the hull pieces as well. Hatches are designed to be posed open or closed as one wishes. As this is an open topped vehicle, there is a great deal of interior detail and many of the 51 construction steps are dedicated to fitting this out. As you see in the image, the wheels are plastic and have molded on tires. These are separate from any sprue. The kit includes two crew figures
to add some interest to the kit.

Instructions are well illustrated, and the sheet is quite dense with information and construction steps so one needs to pay close attention to the sequence. There is a separate full color painting and markings sheet with multiple paint references. Markings are for three vehicles. Of course, there is the captured one from sPz Abt 503 in 1944, one from Royal Canadian Dragoons, 1st Canadian Corps in 1943, and one from 2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry, in Tunisia during 1943. Decals are well printed and quite colorful.

So this one pretty much completes the Triumverate of Dingos. We now have kits of all three major versions. It looks like a very nice kit and should make into an equally interesting model.


August 2009

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