MiniArt 1/35 German Staff Car Type 170v Cabriolet
|Scott Van Aken
The Mercedes-Benz W136 (and similar W191) was Mercedes-Benz's line of four-cylinder automobiles from the mid-1930s into the 1950s. It became the foundation on which the company rebuilt after World War II because the tooling had survived Allied bombing.
From May 1949 the car was offered with an exceptionally economical 38 PS (28 kW; 37 hp) diesel engine. This was the world's third diesel fueled passenger car, and the first to be introduced after the war.
The Mercedes-Benz 170 SV and 170 SD were also built briefly in Argentina from 1953-1955 in sedan, taxi, station wagon, pick-up and van versions.
The Mercedes 170V was built in both sedan and cabriolet forms from 1935 until 1942 and again from 1949 until 1952. These cars were popular as staff cars during WWII.
It is quite surprising how many companies are producing staff cars. It is probably because most think that all the 'good stuff' in terms of tracked vehicles has been done and now it is time to do something a bit different. Well I am quite pleased to see this being done. These were equally as prevalent as tanks and often had a much longer life span as they were rarely in the front near the fighting. Not only that, but the majority of these kits offer at least one civilian option and this one is no different.
MiniArt has really done a super job on this one. The molding is excellent and there is a ton of detail. I particularly like that they packaged the main body in its own small box to keep it from being damaged during shipment. The care is not a curbside and has full engine and suspension detail. The kit also includes a nicely done photo etch fret as there are a lot of places throughout the build where photo etch is quite appropriate. I should also mention that the kit comes with superbly molded springs for the suspension that are quite open and will compress like the real ones. I guess this is part of the magic of slide molding as I have seen this in only a few other kits. It is something that just a couple of years ago we would never have seen done with injected plastic.
Another neat thing is that there are scale diagrams in the instructions on how to bend wire to produce brake lines. Something else that I have not seen in kits in this scale before. The kit has a complete frame and suspension detail as you would expect. The tires are the type that are several wafers that are glued together. This provides you a complete tread without having to resort to sanding a seam. I have to say that I am one who prefers plastic tires as they are so much easier to paint.
Once the chassis is done, then the body bits are added and built up from there. The car is a cabriolet so includes side curtains that will fit into the doors. If one wants to build the kit with the windows down, there is an insert that can be installed instead. There is both an erect and folded top so you have a choice there. The doors are also separate as is the engine hood. Though shown in the closed position, one can easily portray them open. It would be almost a shame to build all that detail in the motor only to hid it from view. For the civilian option, there is a rear luggage rack and luggage.
Instructions are superbly drawn and there is color information supplied. The color reference chart has listings from a number of different companies so finding one in your area should be no issue. Five options are provided. Three of them are in overall Panzer Grey; one for the Russian Front in 1941, one in France in 1940 and another in Paris in 1942. I mentioned the civilian version so you will need to break out the chrome paint for that one. The fifth option is shown on the box art and that is from another Eastern Front unit in 1944. Seems like this car was popular with the Luftwaffe as two of the schemes are from that service. Decals are nicely done by Begemont and provide plates and unit markings.
Thanks to www.scale-model-kits.com for the preview kit. Visit the link to get yours.
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