Saturday, December 25

Construction Review PtI: “Repairing on the Road” Type 170V Cabrio from MiniArt in 1/35th scale

Adam O'Brien really loves the look of MiniArt's 170V Cabrio, and when he saw the combination of the car & an interesting scene on the road, he thought it was very tempting. Today he gives us the first part of his build of the kit, completing construction on this Merc in his review...

Construction Review: “Repairing on the Road” Type 170V Cabrio
From MiniArt
1/35th scale
Kit No# 35295
6 marking types are included in the box.
Price: $45USD from Hobbylink Japan

The Subject: The Mercedes-Benz Type 170V
The Mercedes-Benz Type 170V debuted at the Berlin Auto Show in 1936. It had a displacement of 1.7 litres and was available in a number of different body configurations and styles. 
The 170V was ideally suited to military use as it had a robust tubular frame that could withstand even the toughest of uses as staff cars and transport vehicles. Over 70,000 units were made and it was the most popular pre-war Mercedes-Benz passenger car.

A carefully preserved version in next to pristine condition
The Kit: MiniArt – 1/35 “Repairing on the Road” Type 170V Cabrio
The A4 sized glossy instruction booklet consists of grayscale 2D drawings used to produce the kit. The construction process looks reasonably clear on the exploded views, with exact location points looking quite precise – I’ll comment on any part locations that are unclear as I progress through the model. There are 6 coloured profiles detailed and some coloured artwork for the included 4 figures – all excellent reference for the build.

The six marking choices included in the box 
The kit is housed in a very sturdy, top-opening box, with a splendid piece of artwork illustrating a possible vignette that could be built from the contents within. As noted on the box, there are 6 decal options, 4 figures, a small PE fret included in addition to the car itself.
An examination of the sprues really highlights the superb engineering and detail crammed into this (quite small) model. This is a kit that can be built with absolutely no aftermarket detailing sets required. The figures included are very nicely detailed (for styrene) with good faces and heads and natural folds to the uniforms. Definitely not resin quality figures, but certainly useable. A small amount of flash appears on most sprues, which will be easy to clean-up. It is noted that in my example, the clear sprue supplied was incorrect (it was for the hard-top version of the car), and I was missing one small regular part that had fallen off the sprue at some point. MiniArt service was very quick to provide replacement parts.

The mainframe and chassis of the 170V on this sprue, along with the bonnet, bumpers, doors and controls of the car to name a few.
The main parts of the engine, the linkages and connections underneath the car are all over this sprue with many parts, but few of note.
The inside door cars, the fabric roof and window frames are on these two sprues...
The multi-layer sandwich-type tyres, the front bucket seats and the 
If done right, these sandwich layer type tyres are excellent and easy to make
The kit contains four figures, two men repairing the vehicle...
Another junior and a senior officer...
The turned down cloth top is part of what makes this Cabrio special.
The MiniArt Cabrio features some photo-etch detail that comes secure in a cardboard pack
As does the main body part which is also securely packed because of the delicateness of the "A" pillar.
The clear parts also come on one sprue...
Lastly, decals are included for 1x Polizei, 3 x Wehrmacht, 2 x Luftwaffe service...
Construction of the model starts with the engine and chassis. Apart from the chassis itself, which is a large single part, the engine and suspension components are made up of many, quite small, highly detailed, individual parts – so care and patience is needed to assemble everything. I would advise following the instructions here, as several parts do need to be assembled in a particular order. 
The fit of the components was extremely precise, a credit to MiniArt’s engineering. This initial phase of construction was quite slow for me as many of the parts, while exhibiting superb detail, there was had quite a lot of seam line clean-up required. 
Given some of these parts are tiny, this process took some time. The one-piece chassis was the worst of all, requiring a couple of hours to remove seams and fill sink-holes. As the chassis will hardly be seen on the finished model, especially if it will be attached to a vignette, then this clean-up is probably not required.
On to the bodywork, which again, is beautifully detailed. Clean-up of the parts here is much less severe than the engine/chassis and was completed quickly. The soft MiniArt plastic is easy to work with and responds to sanding well. 
The underside of the floor pan and fenders exhibited a few ejector pin marks that needed filling, along with a seam line near the engine bulkhead.
At this point, before I went too far with the construction, I thought about how I would paint the model, and how I should split the model up into sub-assemblies to ease the painting process. 

I decided to go with three main sub-assemblies –
1. The chassis and engine,
2. The body pan and fenders, and
3. The upper body/engine covers/radiator.

Other parts I will leave separate are the seats, steering wheel and column, dashboard and wheels. This split of sub-assemblies should allow me to get into all areas of the model for painting and weathering prior to final assembly.

The upper body of the model was assembled to this point, including the attachment of the engine covers (which can be left off completely if you wish) and the radiator. This was done to allow complete painting of this sub-assembly. 
Adding parts like the radiator and engine covers after painting (for me) is not desirable as fitting these parts may cause damage to the paintwork and a lot of touch-up.
Progress on the sub-assemblies
The wheels from the kit are superb. They are made up of 6 parts each (4 for the tire and 2 for the wheel and hub). The detail here is fantastic. Once the tire components are joined, the tread pattern exhibits a very nice depth and is very realistic.
As I have previously noted, this kit could easily be built with no aftermarket at all, and still be a superb replica of the real thing. However, the canvas cover for the car’s soft top is a little lacking in fine detail. To remedy this, I routed out a small section of the cover’s sides as shown in the photos.
Prior to installing the clear headlight lens covers, I painted the internal reflectors with a Molotow chrome pen. These pens make painting small chrome pieces a breeze as no primer is required, you can colour the parts directly on the bare plastic from the pen. I also used the chrome pen on the rear brake lights, prior to installing the clear covers.
Another part that was replaced (not really required) was the steering column. I did this as the plastic part was very thin and fragile, and the seam lines would have been difficult to remove.
A series of all-around views of the fully constructed model. It is a credit to Miniart as my completed sub-assemblies dry-fit together quite well with no “tweaking” required. An absolutely superb model to construct, full of precise detail.
The model disassembled – ready for the airbrush...
Next up - Part Two – Painting & Weathering - Coming Soon

Adam O'Brien

Thanks to MiniArt Models for sending this kit to Adam to build and review. You can see more about this kit and the others on their website...