This offering from MiniArt is provided in a cardboard tray with a separate card lid. Inside the model is packaged in a single plastic bag, with another plastic bag containing the clear sprue and the decals. The moulding quality is good in all respects, as is access to the parts. However again, due to finesse of a number of the parts damage may occur during removal.
The chassis for this release is a multi part offering, meaning that care will need to be taken during assembly to keep it square. The fuel tank has some nice detail, in that photo etched bracketry is used. The axles have a nice level of detail, but the securing clamps are all individually supplied, meaning that care will need to be taken during their application. And so very nice detail, but could prove problematic. Drive shafts are well replicated as is the steering mechanism, and while not indicated I believe the wheels could be shown turned without the need for surgery. It is also pleasing to find details such as battery and its securing plate.
MiniArt has provided a very well detailed engine and transmission, exhaust manifolds and cooling fans are all nicely replicated as is the air breather system. What is missing here, is the cabling and the like that needs to be added, and unfortunately I cannot find any details on exactly what needs to be added and the routes that the items would take. The exhaust system is a multi part assembly, with good detail provided in the form of photo etch bracketry or securing the exhaust in the correct position. The fire wall between the engine bay and crew cabin has good detail on both faces, and a number of mechanical elements needs to be added to the firewall on the engine side. The radiator grille and fan housing are all separate pieces that should make for a very pleasing addition to the engine bay.
The cab of the vehicle has an internal roof lining, and so fears about possible ejector pins markings can be forgotten. They have even remembered the rear view mirror. The doors of the vehicle have been provided with separate door cards and door furniture, and this approach even allows the door windows to be shown wound up or down. The dashboard has the instruments replicated using decals, whicjh I believe will serve the function well. The seating is quite simplistic, but I would have liked to have seen some details on the seats next time. The wheel arches have nicely replicated curves and MiniArt has also taken the trouble to allow the bonnet to be open or closed. The photo etched grilles that protect the lights and radiator are quite a complex assembly, but to aide in the ease of this MiniArt has provided a number of jigs to allow for accurate bending. I would perhaps to have liked a plastic offering included with the kit, to help those modeller uncomfortable with photo etch. The powered winch, has been well considered in that you ahve a option of an empty spool or full spool. But due to the spool being in two halves, I would go for the empty one and add my own cable.
The bed of the truck has good detail in all respects, including the chain for securing the drop back. The sides of the lorry bed have the raised option provided, the open areas being filled if the seats are folded up rather than deployed - which I think is quite a nice addition to the kit. Separate ribs are provided, and so you have the option of having them deployed or stored and also if you wish to add a tarpauline you can. Two figures are included with the release, one shown tightening or loosening wheel nuts, and the other using a stirrup pump for inflating the tyres. I am fairly sure that I have seen these figures previously, but none the less the crease detail on the uniforms is very good and the hand and facial detail is also of a high standard, so with a little careful painting you have a good crew to use with your model.
Seven finishing options are included with this release and these are as follows:
93rd Infantry Division, Fort Huachuca, Arizona 1943
8th Air force, 56th FG, 62 FS Halesworth, England 1943
45th Division, 120th Engineer Combat Battalion, Sicily, Italy 1943
US Navy, 1944
Red Army, Germany, February 1945
Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB), First Expeditionary Infantry Division, Headquarters Company - Special Transport Troop, Italy, 1944-45
Brazilian Expeditionary Force XXII Tactical Air Command, 350th Fighter Group, First Brazilian Fighter Squadron, Pisa, Italy, 1945
This release from MiniArt has a lot of very nice details, but I would have liked to have seen included details for adding cables and wiring to the model, and I would have preferred that the decals were not packed with the clear parts. Another area that I am very pleased about is the number of finishing options and the fact that they are all well detailed as to what they represent. I also commend MiniArt for including jigs for accurate bending of the photo etch protecting the front of the vehicle.