Soft skinned vehicles used to be few and far between, and for those fans of these military vehicle types often had to look at the aftermarket manufacturers and short run resin producers. Today MiniArt among a small number of mass manufacturers that have been making a point of satisfying this demand and rather than just supplying a single version they tend to follow the family of vehicles and so modellers can get exactly what they want. One of the latest offerings from MiniArt is the US Army G7105 4x4 1.5t Panel delivery truck in 1/35th scale. Due to novel look of this vehicle I am expecting it to prove a popular release and so let’s take a look at what is on offer.
This offering from MiniArt arrives in a cardboard tray with a separate card lid. Inside the sprues are packaged in a single plastic bag, which due to the finesse of some of the mouldings does risk damage at various stages from packing to your opening. Access to the parts is generally good, however, the fine parts that I referred to earlier do tend to have an excessive number of gates, which while small in size risks damage during removal from the sprue.
My personal knowledge of this vehicle is minimal beyond what I have found on line. I have not been able to find detailed information on the mechanical and underside structural elements of the model. What I can tell you, is that the chassis is a multi part assembly with the cross members in my opinion not providing sufficient mating surfaces of a size to guarantee correct orientation. That said, MiniArt has not let me down as yet when it comes to structural elements of Chevrolet trucks. So while I cannot refer to accuracy, I can tell you about what is provided. The clamps for securing the axles to the chassis uses C-bolts which risks damage if care is not taken, but it does provide an accurate representation of this method for securing axles to chassis. The fuel take is protected between the chassis rails and photo etched support brackets have been provided for it.
A detailed battery is provided with a pleasing level of detail, and judging from on-line images it is correctly located. What surprised me, is that the battery is let exposed to potential enemy fire or general risks on the road. MiniArt has provided a full engine and gearbox, which compared to available on-line images appears accurate. Of course this could be further improved via the application of wires and tubes that would be present. Looking at a vehicle with the side panels removed, the braces for items such as the radiator housing do appear to be accurately detailed and positioned. The exhaust system is an area that I cannot comment on accuracy, but MiniArt has provided photo etch clamp detail, that I suspect will have some swearing involved. The wheels of the vehicle and tyres are injection moulded, with good detail and is a feature I know will please a good number of modellers. The firewall between the cab and the engine has a very good level of detail mounted on it on the engine side, but I can’t guarantee accuracy.
Moving to the cab of the vehicle, the instrument cluster and controls matches on-line images very well with individual dial detail and placards provided on the decal sheet. The seat mount is correctly angled and the seat design matches on-line images. However, on-line the seats are leather and I would expect to find canvas seats in a vehicle during WWII. Moving to the internal structures, and area of the vehicle that I do have visual reference for, all I can really say is spotty dog. The external panels have separate internal detail, which means it provides a very pleasing look and enables a manufacturer to hide ejector pin marks. The floor of the bed appears to be one of the wooden planks with metal connector rails, with an excellent level of detail on both faces. MiniArt has not forgotten the roof, and you have an internal piece to represent the internal piece of the cab and separate support rails to support the roof going back into the cargo area. The rear doors look accurate from the outside, but I cannot comment on the accuracy of the internal detail. The rear doors can be positioned in an open or closed position, and so provides the modeller with options. The cab doors look to be visually accurate in shape and form on the outside, including the position of the interior door detail and exterior wing mirrors. The internal bracing detail of the interior of the door matches on-line reference perfectly. You also have the option of the doors being assembled open or closed and the same for the windows which can be wound down or up - this detail extends to the windscreen which can be opened from the bottom and the support brackets to enable this have been provided.
The exterior of the model is an area that I have been unable to fault as regards the detail replicated. The stamped detail on the panels appears to be accurately replicated and the weld point above the cab doors is an accurate feature, which is a nice touch on the part of MiniArt. Step plates and mud guards match what I can see on-line. The side panels for the engine bay, have the option of one for a plastic or photo etched radiator parts. The protective frame for the radiator and lights is provided in photo etch, and former have been provided to enable the accurate construction of this element. The hood of the vehicle has been provided with the option of being finished open or closed, and a support arm device is also present. The fuel filler pipe extends out of the right side of the vehicle body, and looks accurate to me. Moving to the left side, and you have another pipe of unknown purpose. 2 brackets sit either side of this pipe and the spare wheel mounts to them. I have one concern, and that is that the bracket is on the outside of the pipe in the model, but appears to go behind the pipe in the on-line image. But assuming that you are going to place the spare wheel it will not be a problem either way.
The finishing options for this kit are:
15th Army Air Force, Combat Camera Unit, Guadalcanal 1943
1st Signal Company, 1st Infantry Division, US Army ETO 1945
French Army, French Indochina, Late 1940’s
161st Sig. Photo Corps, US Army, Fort Benning, 1942
This release from MiniArt of a G7105 4x4 1,5t panel truck is a very pleasing release, which I am please to say is accurate as regards what I have been able to check apart from one detail. I have no concerns about the chassis and oily parts, as I have yet to pick MiniArt up on Chevrolet structure and power plants. The area of the model that will be most important to the majority of modellers is the external body details, and detail such as doors having displaying finishing options. The super detailers out there, who tackle the various wires and pipes in the engine bay will have the possibility to end up with a truly stunning model that should attract a lot of attention. Lastly, I commend MiniArt for providing detailed finishing options for the modeller.