1/35 Dingo Mk.II Scout Car w/Crew|
Pz.Kmpf. Mk.I 202(e)
|Kit Number: 35074|
|Reviewed by Tom Jett, IPMS# 46082|
Kit supplied by Dragon Models USA: www.dragonmodelsusa.com
If you're looking for a nice, quick, and clean out of the box build, may I recommend the MiniArt Dingo Mk II.
This was my first vehicle kit from MiniArt and I must say I was very pleasantly surprised. The model contains 262 parts molded in light grey styrene, a small photo-etch fret, and two German crew figures (the box art depicts this as a captured Dingo) and markings for three allied and one German version. Overall, the injection molding is first rate, with very little if any clean up required of the parts. Some of the injection molded parts are very small and extremely delicate, and require careful removal from the sprue.
The photo etch is very crisp and clean. My only gripe about the PE is that it seemed a little thin and therefore seemed a little out of scale, particularly on the visor mechanisms. This is actually a minor gripe, really more of a nit pick.
The two crew figures are in my opinion better than the average plastic figures but still could benefit from some resin heads to add to their overall appearance.
I followed the well illustrated, 51-step directions and began by assembling the chassis. This consists of a floor, the two sides and front and rear panels. Fit was very good. Next, I turned my attention to the very nice albeit cramped fighting compartment. The interior consists of the two crew seats, steering wheel, foot pedals, radio and I believe the vehicles fuel tank (I have very scant references for British vehicles).
I built the interior as a sub assembly but did not add the walls to the floor until after all the painting was completed. (See picture). Again, the parts required very little clean up and the fit was very precise.
Once the interior parts were completed, painted and weathered I added the side and rear walls around the floor sub assembly, but left off the front wall. Fit was excellent, join lines came at weld seams and were largely invisible when everything was in place. The only filler I used was a tiny drop of Gunze, Mr. Dissolving Putty, where the right rear wall met the rear of the right side wall (Looking at the rear of the fighting compartment).
I turned my attention back again to the chassis and added the suspension arms for each wheel. This is probably the trickiest and fiddly part of the kit, as many of the parts are quite small and the intent is for the wheels to articulate. In addition, the illustrations require careful study to make sure you have the parts oriented correctly when building up each suspension arm. Caution is also required because the joint where the various suspension parts attach is fairly weak. Careful handling is required throughout this step of the build. My suggestion is to remove from the sprue and build one suspension assembly at a time, let them cure completely then go back and add the suspension springs. I left the tires off, and painted and weathered them separately. These were added last, after the vehicle had been painted and weathered. While this was all setting up, I built up the stowage boxes, oil/water cans, radio mounts, etc.
Once all this was done, I primed the sub assemblies with some primer red and let everything set up over night. The next day I came back and began putting it all together.
I had no problems fitting the fighting compartment to the lower chassis and side walls. Again, fit was excellent and I had no gaps to fill. The only area that required careful fit was when I added the roof of the engine compartment (behind the fighting compartment).
As I mentioned earlier I'd already primed the exterior subassemblies, so I could get right to painting the camouflage. To begin with I pre-shaded everything with a coat of straight Tamiya XF-61, Dark Green. Over this, I airbrushed on a coat of the base color mixed with a few drops of Tamiya XF-58 Olive Green to lighten things up and establish the look of that distinctive British Green. The next few coats were done using this mix with successively more Tamiya XF-57, Buff. My goal was to end up with a very light shade of British green. Successive weathering and filters would darken it down again.
Once the paint was dry, I clear coated everything with Future floor wax, and dried with the help of a hair dryer. Next, the few decals were added and snuggled down with a little Solve-a-set. A chemical reaction occurs between solve-a-set and Future, resulting in a chalky white film around the decals. Don't worry, this will disappear when you seal the decals again with Future or Dull-coat.
I chose to leave things glossy for now and faded and distressed the paint using a technique called "Oil Paint Fading". I had to let this set up overnight due to the slow drying oils, but the next day I sealed everything with Dull-coat, and hit the model again with the hairdryer to speed up the process. Next came a light application of Mig Pigments. It's important to apply the pigments over a flat surface to produce the desired effect. Once I was satisfied, I sealed them with some Mig Pigment fixer, before applying a few well-placed pin washes using Mig Dark Wash.
The last step was to slap on the tires, to complete the build. Again. Like with the other suspension parts, the joint where the tire rims attach to the suspension is rather weak, take care during this step.
I was really pleased with this little kit from MiniArt. The details were really exquisite and in many cases quire delicate. The result is a very nice model of this tiny British armored car. Highly recommended!
A very big thank you to Dragon Models USA for the review sample.