by: Vinnie Branigan [ ]
introductionPart of the attraction of modelling axis subjects, rightly or wrongly, is that although undoubtedly evil, they are perceived to have had a certain 'style' all their own. This was often exhibited in their choice of Officer's Staff cars!
the kitAlthough Trakz market this kit as a 'German' WWII Staff car, it's quite clearly a Mercedes, although which type I can't be sure. As you can see from the pictures, it was possibly only driven by very high ranking officers. The kit arrived in the usual sturdy cardboard box, all the 80 various parts being split up into 5 separate polythene bags, and then the lot wrapped in bubble wrap. This proved to be adequate protection, as all parts arrived safe and sound.
The kit is made of cream coloured, average-hardness resin. The usual pouring blocks are present on all parts, but what was annoying was all the flash. It seemed to be everywhere, and will take some cleaning off!
Detail-wise, the kit looks good, very fine detail being evident on areas like the dash and inside doors, seat etc. The rear of the car is moulded as a solid, heavy block, which will give the finished kit a nice solid feel.
shortcomingAlthough it looks at first glance that it can build into a nice looking kit, getting there isn't going to be easy. The instructions sheet is abysmal. Very poor, black and white, grainy images of a completed kit, with arrows pointing to where the parts go. I'm sorry, but coming from the VLS Corporation, this sort of 'instruction' is woefully inadequate. It makes building the kit very difficult indeed. There is a picture of all the parts laid out, with numbers superimposed, for parts identification however.
The kit includes a window-screen frame, and hollowed out headlamps. It does not include anything that can be used for glazing though. In a kit of this price I would have at least expected a small sheet of acetate and two lenses.
Lastly, the tyre detail is not really good at all. Three lines running around the circumference do not make a tread pattern I'm afraid.
in conclusion If you are prepared to put a lot of work into it, supply some 'extras' yourself, and have lot's of experience with resin kits, then a nice model can result. With this in mind, and the price... I'm afraid I can't really recommend this kit other than to the experienced resin modeller with money he doesn't need.