Introduction - ArsenalMArsenalM
is known in the Braille Scale community for high quality resin kits cast in a vacuum chamber. Some are multi-media with plastic tracks and turned aluminum gun barrels.
Complimenting their success with resin, ArsenalM has expanded into injection-molding and fielded ARMOUR87
. This is ARMOUR87 kit 222200011 – Einheits Diesel 3 Ton Truck.
In 1936, as the Nazis re-armed, the Wehrmacht looked to standardize their fleet of trucks. Thus was created the leichter geländegängiger Lastkraftwagen “Einheitsdiesel”
, or Einheits-Lkw.
The development of the Einheits-Lastkraftwagen – which means standard-lorry – started in 1934. It was planned to develop vehicles with 2, 3 and 4 axles with payloads of 1.5, 2.5 and 4 tons. In the end, only the model with three axles and 2.5 tons payload entered serial production. Officially, it was designated as leichter geländegängiger Lastkraftwagen, offen – which means translated light open cross-country lorry. It became famous under the name Einheits-Lkw or Einheits-Diesel – literally translated: standard-lorry or standard-diesel.*
These vehicles were built by many automotive companies. Over-engineered and complex, production ended in 1940, with between 11,000-14,0000 trucks built.
In the box
ArsenalM packed the contents in a zip-lock bag. Inside are four sprues and several loose parts:
54 x gray or black styrene pieces
1 x clear styrene windshield
3 x metal axles
Molding is high quality. Parts are crisp. Texture is molded into some parts. Only a little flash surrounds a couple of parts in one corner of the main sprue. There are ejector marks but none that will be visible when the truck is assembled. I did not notice any meaningful mold seam lines, nor did I spot any sink marks. Many of the parts are fine of scale. The sprue connectors are big in ratio to the size of many parts. This could be a problem when separating the pieces from the sprue. Use a nice sharp blade or sprue nippers.
Raised and recessed detail is molded as appropriate. Unfortunately, some items, like a shovel, are molded on, which is curious considering all the smaller individually molded parts.
Judging by the instructions, I think there will be other Einheits-Lkw
versions in the future.
With almost 60 pieces for a medium truck, plenty! I count eight items to build the cab. Hub and tread detail graces the wheels. Several pieces build up the suspension. While some of the frame and chassis components are molded as one piece, the drive shaft and gear box are separate. Side mirrors and loading gauge staffs are individual parts, too. Also, I counted seven lights including the Notek.
Molded detail is high, too, with engine cowl louvers and catches and locks, radiator grille, and tread plate. The three single-molding suspension pieces are impressive, with open molding on all three sides.
The cargo bed and cab are molded to allow modelers to separate the doors and gate. ARMOUR87 also includes parts to build the kit with the tarps up or stowed. For a braille-scale model, this kit is engineered with an impressive number of parts, enhancing overall detail.
The drawback to all that detail is that many of the parts are difficult to handle and work with due to their size.
A single two-sided page leads one through the nine-step assembly process. While well illustrated, it is confusing to me. Many parts are shown covered by a big "X" along with arrows showing where they go. I read this as 'Part not used,' but the part is shown in the next assembly illustration.
Each part is numbered. A number in a square identifies, presumably, what color to paint the piece. However, there is no corresponding list of paint colors. However, there are six painting examples for Einheits Diesels on the sheet, and each has a color option.
There are no decals.
Softskin vehicles have been popular and well represented in HO for decades. Happily, HO military makers have not rested on their laurels and more and more of these interesting subjects are being released. Modern technology in resin casting and injection molding offer great detail that sometimes rivals the big scales. Einheits Diesel 3 Ton Truck
is one of those kits that should build into an impressive model. The small pieces will require careful handling yet that is the price we pay for the level of detail.
The low points of this model are the thick sprue connectors and the confusing instructions.
I look forward to building this model and adding it to my HO scale Wehrmacht. The biggest challenge is deciding the year and theater of operation for which I will build it.
I gladly recommend this model.
Please tell vendors and retailers that you saw this model here - on
* Kfz. der Wehrmacht. The leichter geländegängiger Lastkraftwagen “Einheitsdiesel”
. [http://www.kfzderwehrmacht.de/Homepage_english/Motor_Vehicles/Germany/Einheits-Fahrgestelle/Einheits-Lkw/einheits-lkw.html] n.d.