Armored 1/4 Ton 4 x 4 Truck w/.50 caliber Machine Gun - Smart Kit
Dragon Models Limited 1/35 ‘39-‘45 Series
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description||Dragon Models Limited 1/35 ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6714; Armored 1/4 Ton 4 x 4 Truck w/.50 caliber Machine Gun - Smart Kit|
|Media and Contents:||165 parts (136 in grey styrene, 25 etched brass, 4 clear styrene)|
|Price:||Pre-order price US$31.95 via Dragon USA Online|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||New mold kit of a popular subject; makes good use of slide molding|
|Disadvantages:||Some shape problems; ejection pin marks on body; very high price for small kit
|Recommendation:||Highly Recommended for all Jeep fans
DML has now followed up its “Desert Raider” version of the Willys MB Jeep with another conversion favorite, the “armored” version seen late in WWII. This kit now comes with the floor-mounted pedestal for a machine gun (here the M2HB or “Ma Deuce”) and a set of thin armor plates for the grille and that wrap around the driver’s and commander’s seats.
As with previous kits by companies other than Tamiya, since Chrysler Corporation demanded royalties for using the name “Jeep” this kit, like the previous one, does not state what it IS but just sort of what it DOES.
This kit exchanges a number of sprues from the first kit for ones that more accurately represent the US model of the vehicle as a standard model. It comes with the back seat, top bows, and more of the details visible on the normal vehicle; all of the kit provided with the LRDG variant is gone. The body is slide molded with all but the rear plate in one go. There are some serious injection pin marks on the bottom of the body and under the fenders, but other than the fender wells I don’t think most modelers will bother with removing them.
The frame is also one piece with all braces and the rear “bumperettes” molded in place. A so-so tow hook is also molded in place on the frame, but as the opening section of the military hitch is provided (part B45) as a separate part it will probably look better when assembled.
The drive line is typical of modern kits, axles with differentials and a separate differential cover, separate shock absorbers, steering links and a tie rod. The transfer case comes with the front drive shaft in place but the rear one is a separate part. The wheels are conventional front half with all tread/rear insert type (staggered tread pattern) and separate brake drums. Springs are the usual type, but the skid plate comes with the muffler attached (part B41) which is new to me for an assembly. Note that hard-core Jeep fans noted the wheels on the first kit were not correct and had the wrong shapes to the dish portion; this one appears more accurate but I leave it to the fans to sort it out. Also it comes with a new grille, and the fans also noted the first “cutaway” one had the blackout lights in the wrong place. This one appears better but again I leave it to the faithful.
The engine consists of 15 parts and looks the part, and it comes with a separate radiator. This consists of three main parts, but it also has the headlights and blackout lights attached. These take clear lenses (for those who wish to use them) and must be installed before the radiator is mounted to the body. It also comes with an expansion tank (part B21) but no hoses are provided to connect them.
All seats have separate pads and backs, and the controls are very complete, to include pedals.
The vehicle’s armament consists of a .50 caliber M2HB model; for some reason TWO are provided in the kit with one having much more detail than the other. This seems odd as one is a new mold for this kit in specific whereas the other comes from DML’s late model M4 tank kits. with the aviation sleeve on the barrel. Both are slide molded with hollow bores and come with ammo boxes but only one per gun. A pedestal mount with braces is included for use with either gun.
The etched brass for this kit appears to have gotten fouled up at some point, for the diagram and the fret do not match. The fret includes two MA2 parts and part MA10 is provided separately on a tiny fret. But this is to no avail as neither one is called out in the directions! Somebody at DML needs to QC this and sort it out.
One painting and marking option is offered: US Army, Western Front, 1945 (OD with white stars and USA W20495533-S registration number). A “number jungle” sheet of Cartograf decals is provided for the latter.
Overall this is not a bad kit, but the disconnects in the directions do not help with assembly. It is also a very expensive kit at $12 more than the excellent Tamiya one (which paid the money for royalties and apparently received factory assistance for their efforts).
A 17 1/4 Ton Truck - rear seat, bows, hood, jerry can
A 1 Body
B 75 Undercarriage, seats, hood, engine
B 9 1/4 Ton Truck - M2HB machine gun, vehicle mount
B 1 Underframe
C 21 1/4 Ton Truck - wheels, tires, brake drums, grille
D 4 Clear styrene
J 12 M2HB machine gun, ammo cans, bracket
MA 24 Etched brass
MB 1 Etched brass
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.