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In-Box Review
135
Dingo Mk. III Scout Car
Dingo Mk. III British Scout Car with Crew
  • 350771

by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]

Introduction
First 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 Dingo
Before 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 detail
It 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 Figures
Hey! 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.


Conclusions
MiniArt, 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!
SUMMARY
Highs: Finally, a modern model of this excellent subject. MiniArt have excelled themselves in the execution of the model.
Lows: Not being able to evaluate some of the missing parts such as the PE sheet and the decals.
Verdict: Superb.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35077
  Related Link: Item on manufacturer's website
  PUBLISHED: Mar 11, 2009
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.06%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 85.89%

Our Thanks to MiniArt!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Jim Rae (jimbrae)
FROM: PROVINCIA DE LUGO, SPAIN / ESPAņA

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright Š2017 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. All rights reserved.


Reader Reviews
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Comments

great to see this reviewed. I've read about Tamiya's offering . I will have to pick this one or the desert one up. Any news when the desert one is due out? I wouldnt mind doing a Bronco Staghound Mk. 3
MAR 12, 2009 - 07:28 AM
Thanks, Jim!
MAR 12, 2009 - 07:34 AM
Thanks, Jim! I've been anxious to see a review of the MiniArt Dingo kits.
MAR 12, 2009 - 08:03 AM
James, two of us posted Release Dates (2-3 posts before your own).
MAR 13, 2009 - 04:14 AM
Jim, Many thanks for this review. As soon as I heard this was being released, I knew I had to add it to my collection. Your review has confirmed this to be a wise decision on my part!
MAR 27, 2009 - 11:37 AM
No criticism Of Jim Rae particularly, but I must say- anyone who REALLY BUILDS these things shouldn't depend on "first look"- type reports. All they manage is to verify whether a few dimensions are accurate, whether the wheel is the proper type for the variant, etc. NO WHERE CAN THEY SPEAK TO HOW HARD OR EASY THE KITS ARE TO BUILD! Some years back, on the strength of a "first look", I was induced to build AFV Club's M10 w/17 lb. gun "Achilles." Oh, it's accurate, but it was a NIGHTMARE to assemble- so many heavy sprue connections, and the instructions had to be vigorously interpreted to avoid errors. Further, it lacked much interior detail- something not possible to realize just by perusing the frets. Likewise with the Dingo I built, though the sprue connection points were easier to clean up. The killer is that AFV Club, MiniArt, Dragon's "smart kits", Tristar, and others are highly regarded companies that routinely boast value-added detail, but brother! If it isn't quick, shoddy engineering, it's unintelligible instructions. Small wonder Tamiya continues to rate so highly- sure, we'd all like to see more from them, but what we get practically falls together on its own, by comparison. I appreciate that there's been an explosion of new kits in recent years- so many that it'd be hard to cover them adequately by traditional build-and-review. It's naturally tempting for the expert to comment on the parts as viewed on the frets. But I respectfully assert this is no service to the modeler. Nothing personal, Jim, I say this everywhere. If we don't speak up, the companies will inevitably throw us anything at any price- hoping the boxes stay unopened in our collection closets. Kristoffer
JUL 02, 2009 - 04:36 PM
Hi Chris As a "In-box Review" this is exactly what it is intended to be, a look at the parts contained within the box, outlining the details, parts, etc. At armorama you'll also find "Build Reviews", and blogs which many reviewers such as Biil Plunk has done recently. I don't disagree with the main point of your post though, and agree that I wouldn't buy a kit based on an in box review, unless its one I'd set my heart on, but its certainly valuable and helps to come to an informed decision if you think the kit is worth buying. As regards builds, whilst I'm in no doubt kits can have poor engineering, bad fit and misleading instructions, to be fair you must also factor in modellers come in varying degrees of skill and capability, so somebody may find a kit difficult or challenging whilst another might find it detailed and straight forward. Alan
JUL 02, 2009 - 06:00 PM
Kristoffer, I take your point completely. The build was something that, before I left for England this month, I had to put it on the back-burner as there were other items which were simply more pressing. That IS going to be rectified next month and i'll be adding in the Review of the Mark I as well. I had started some construction of the interior, and there are issues which I WILL be covering. Particularly important, are some details/omissions in the interior details which I had to get some good reference sources on. Bear with me. On the other hand, a lot of other people have the model. A build from them would be more than welcome?
JUL 03, 2009 - 04:45 PM
Please accept my apologies. I am new to this forum and was unaware of the "dual review" process here. That said, please consider all that I said as rescinded. I would like to note, further, that you, Jim, and the other posters are obviously first-class gentlemen- a real rarity on the internet! I look forward to visiting again shortly. Thank you all, again. Chris
JUL 03, 2009 - 06:11 PM
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