ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Armored 1/4 Ton 4 x 4

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 =9139-=9145 Series Kit No. 6714;
Armored 1/4 Ton 4 x 4 Truck w/.50 caliber Machine Gun - Smart Kit; 165
parts (136 in grey styrene, 25 etched brass, 4 clear styrene); pre-
order price US$31.99 via Dragon USA Online
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
Rating: Recommended
Recommendation: for all Jeep fans
DML has now followed up its =93Desert Raider=94 version of the Willys MB
Jeep with another conversion favorite, the =93armored=94 version seen late
in WWII. This kit now comes with the floor-mounted pedestal for a
machine gun (here the M2HB or =93Ma Deuce=94) and a set of thin armor
plates for the grille and that wrap around the driver=92s and
commander=92s seats.
As with previous kits by companies other than Tamiya, since Chrysler
Corporation demanded royalties for using the name =93Jeep=94 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=92t think most modelers will bother with removing
them.
The frame is also one piece with all braces and the rear
=93bumperettes=94 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 =93cutaway=94 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=92s 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=92s 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
=93number jungle=94 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).
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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