by: Jim Rae [ ]
IntroductionFirst of all, my thanks to MiniArt Ltd. for giving me the chance to be one of the first to Review this model. I was lucky enough to get one of only five copies (then available) at the Nuremberg Trade Fair.
Curiously, this is another subject which having been done as one of Tamiya's first 1/35th scale releases, has been released using 21st century moulding and design techniques. To say it was long overdue is, putting it mildly, an understatement. Once again, the 'trend' (if we can call it that) is towards Allied/Commonwealth subjects and the manufacturers are looking towards the many wheeled Scout and Armored Cars which have been ignored for so long as a source of capturing an increasingly large part of the modeling market.
MiniArt's DingoBefore I start looking at the kit, there are a couple of omissions. As it's a pre-production sample, I can't make any evaluation of either the Photo-Etch or the Decals - both of which were missing. I'm also unfortunately missing a couple of sprues. The major parts of the model ARE there however, so I'll base my thoughts on these. As it's an in-box review, I won't be going into other areas I'd normally go into in a build-review. These missing sprues apart, my intention, as always, is to give the 'flavor' of the model and what you can reasonably expect to get from it. The more observant amongst you will also notice that the instructions which are reproduced at the side are for the earlier Mark 1 Model which, although it's essentially the same, does have a few different details such as a two-part roof.
35077 - Dingo Mk. III Scout Car is a 1/35th scale model of the British-built, Daimler vehicle and not to be confused with the Australian vehicle of the same name - this was built by Ford on a 30-cwt chassis. The model is produced in dark-green styrene and contains 262 parts (including PE). Reflecting MiniArt's 'philosophy' the vehicle includes two crew figures which I'll cover later on in this Review. The 262 parts come on 10 sprue-sections with a separate sprue for the two figures.
The 'Dingo' in detailIt would be an absurd and pointless exercise to compare this model with the older Tamiya one, so let's assume that this is the first model produced of the vehicle and leave it at that...!
The first thing one notices going over the sprues is just how many parts it contains. The Dingo was probably one of the smallest (armored) vehicles of WWII and it's surprising just how many parts were deemed necessary to reproduce it. This is, in part due to the fact that it's an open-topped vehicle and not including a full interior would be counter-productive. The other problem where the modeler has to be reasonable with (as if we EVER weren't) is the thickness of the walls of the crew compartment. Looking at them from several angles, they look good and give an IMPRESSION of scale. Short of producing them in Photo-Etch (with added entertainment value of bending to get the correct angles) the designer has done an excellent job.
Another well-considered area has been in the design of the wheels. The tread is impeccably reproduced and each wheel is a one-piece moulding which avoids any damage to the tread and problems with alignment. Each wheel is provided with a separate insert for the hub on the axle side.
Turning to the internal details for a moment, everything is as it should be. The Nē 19 radio is well done, along with its battery, and the seats are extremely nicely-detailed and follow on from the design of the originals. The super-detailer may well want to add additional wiring to areas such as the radio (the protective 'cage' is included in the PE sheet) and the cabling on the interior but, apart from that, pretty much everything is there.
The hatches on the hull are delicately done although there is a very thin film of flash round them which will need careful cleaning-up.
The suspension is all there although, for those who dislike complex constructions - Good News! - the Dingo suspension is pretty simple. The large spring shock-absorbers will also need a little attention as in my view the coils are a little too close together. Not any kind of issue - a few minutes work with a file should arrange them. The Nē 19 Aerial mount is nicely done also as are the distinctive 'British' fire extinguishers. Sidelights, main lamps etc. are excellent reproductions of the originals - once again the company has done its homework on the small details.
I've only done the most cursory of measurements using my own plans but from what I can tell, there are no glaring errors in angles or dimensions.
With the delicacy of some of the smaller parts, real care will have to be exercised in taking them off their sprues - this is a VERY highly-engineered model and the small parts reflect this.
The Crew FiguresHey! They're from MiniArt and they're British. What more could one ask for? Well, in fairness, they ARE a very good couple of figures. Both are portrayed wearing the denim AFV crew coveralls. Checking my references, once again, all that should be present, is there. One figure is seated as the vehicle's driver, the other, standing, is the vehicle commander. Some slight cleaning-up to eliminate some moulding lines but apart from that two excellent figures. Detail is crisp and correct, heads are good though perhaps some may wish to use Resin AM heads (particularly to change the head gear). In themselves though, a good sign of things to come.
ConclusionsMiniArt, like all the serious manufacturers out there, don't follow 'whims'. They invest in mouldings and toolings which are going to maximize their investment. I'd expect to see the Italian Lince in the future along with the Mk.1/2 in German service.
Once again, the long wait has been worth it. This is an excellent model of a very common vehicle which was in service for more than 30 years. Quality of the moulding is superlative and while not in the 'shake 'n bake' category, it will build into a superb model with some basic modeling skills. Although I was missing a sprue, going through what I had was enough to tell me that MiniArt have done some serious work on this kit which should be reflected in sales - this deserves to sell in large quantities.
Finally, once again, my thanks to the team at MiniArt Ltd. for giving this Network the opportunity to get one of the first looks at this excellent model!