by: Brian O'Donoghue [ ]
IntroductionMeng Model certainly caused a stir with their first pick-ups, they have subsequently also released a 1/24 Ford F-350 in association with the Ford Motor Company. This recent release from Meng Model is the same F-350 but scaled down to 1/35.
The kit arrives in a typical Meng Model box with an illustration of the F-350 and information about the kit there is an error on the box top. The box refers to the inclusion of ‘Realistic metal reflecting mirror film is provided for rear view mirrors’. This item is found in the 1/24 release and not this model, this error is not a missing part but a misprint.
Inside the box there are four black sprues, one body shell, one clear sprue, a set of poly caps, five vinyl tyres and a small decal sheet. The tyres exhibit a number of fine details and display the manufacturers markings the tread looks accurate. The kit is supplied as a kerbside model without an engine, none of the doors are supplied a separate item and there a number of options available during construction.
Construction appears to be fairly straight forward with the first stages dealing with the suspension and the impressively long chassis. Despite this being a kerbside model the chassis is very detailed and it almost a shame that it will not be seen once complete. The first option is to choose what style of wheel is to be used. One style is a ‘steel’ utility and the other is an ‘alloy’ type. The steel type are frequently seen on utility vehicles – Police, security and others. The alloy style would be seen in civilian owned vehicles both wheel designs look slightly different to photographic references.
The interior is well detailed and will require to be fully painted and finished prior to closing up the interior. The potential disappointment concerns the one piece glazing, although it is slightly better than the first pick-up. The cab is closed up and the optional side steps are added if required. Typically the side steps are seen on some civilian vehicles and ones operated by Private Military Contractors while Police and utility vehicles often do not have them fitted. The final stages deal with adding a number of the smaller details, bumpers, the large radiator grill and the cargo bed. The load bed also has the optional load bed extender can.
Painting and finishing options are included in the instructions and give five colour options of course the modeller would be free to choose any of the available colours. The limited decals do not include any vehicle registration numbers so the modeller will need to provide their own.
ConclusionHighly recommended for all modern era fans. The modeller could easily depict one of the many foreign Police/security vehicles seen in some Middle East countries or a Private Military Contractor’s vehicle. Some of these vehicles sometimes sport additional armour packages and weapon mounts. The model features plenty of very detailed mouldings but I do feel that the glazing is a backward step as is the choice to supply a fairly high specification version. Overall this is a very welcome release of a vehicle that has seen widespread use around the world. The conversion potential is huge as this chassis is widely used for many other types of vehicle espically if the aftermarket producers release new rear tyres and wheels.