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In-Box Review
135
ACV Dorchester DAK
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

Introduction

During the North African campaign in World War Two three command versions of the AEC Matadors were captured around Derna and two of those three were used by General Erwin Rommel for his own needs, the two vehicles were given names by the Germans who called them “Moritz and Max” who were characters from a cartoon movie. These vehicles were discovered near Cap Bon after the defeat of the Axis powers in North Africa and returned to British service.

SKP Model has been unlucky to some extent with the ACV Dorchester, due to its release being followed by announcements from at least one of the major manufacturers. However all is not lost as despite it not having an interior it does offer detail that is not going to be included with kits from their competitors. The model offered by SKP Model is a dedicated multimedia kit including a combination of injection moulded plastic, resin parts, photo etched parts, and a set of SKP Models vehicle specific lenses and taillights.

Contents

The model is packaged in a standard card box which has a print of the two vehicles this product is designed to build into on the front. Inside you will find;

• Three injection moulded sprues inside a single polythene bag.
• There are five zip lock bags which contain the resin parts.
• A zip lock bag containing the photo etched fret, lenses and taillights, and decals.

Review

I am not an expert on this vehicle by any stretch of the imagination and as such I will be concentrating on the quality of the product rather than the accuracy. I do have access to a Matador on occasion at the same location where we renovate the artillery guns. Starting with the injection moulded plastic portion of the model I was impressed with the cleanly moulded components with clearly defined details such as rivets and bolt heads. There are no defects at all in the sample I have such as ejector pin marks or flash. The large plastic mouldings are still true with no warping evident. The only complaint I can level at the plastic mouldings is that some of the gates/connection points are on the heavy side or over lapping the smaller mouldings which will make the clean up more difficult of these small or thin parts, otherwise these are very well moulded parts.

Moving onto the resin parts I will start with the resin wheels which are exceptionally well moulded with no air bubbles that I could see with the naked eye. The tread pattern looks right and is a good match for the wheels on the Quads and 25pdr field guns I work on, if you look carefully you can also see AVON in raised detail on the tyres which is a tyre company that has been going since 1904. Lastly the gates on the tyre should be easy to remove without leaving a lot of clean up to do.

Moving onto the next bag of resin parts we have what I believe are two rolled canvas sheets and a frame work. Again the parts are very well cast with none of the issues you can encounter when working with resin. One of the frame works which are very fine had broken away from its casting block but I believe due to the consideration given to the packaging of parts the part is undamaged and shows the ease with which parts can be removed.

In the third bag of resin parts there are hundreds of very small pegs that I can’t work out what they are used for as yet, a very large number of this pegs have broken free of the carrier during transit but all seem to be in the bag and undamaged despite being broken off. Also in this bag are some of the tools for the vehicle and again they are excellently cast.

The last bag containing resin parts for the model consists mostly of parts that make up the drive for the vehicle and a wire coil for the rear of the vehicle, and these parts are again free of defects that I can see.

The last bag contains a bonus resin figure of a German wearing boots, shorts, and short sleeved shirt, the head of the figure has been cast separately and has very nice facial detail and wearing a German tropical helmet which has the raised areas on the side for the badges. The arms, which are also separate, have very good hand detail and include a watch cast on the left wrist.

The model has a reasonable number of photo etched parts which have good detail and are on a nice gauge of brass for working with similar to ABER. The bending locations are clearly indicated and should add nice detail to the finished model. Also in the bag with the photo etched parts are a set of SKP Models lenses and taillights which are an excellent way of adding some eye catching detail to any model. This set contains ten lenses which are shaped and sized perfectly for the model and also have detail under the clear lenses that adds to the overall look.

Lastly in this bag are the decals for the model, colour is good and they have minimal excess carrier film. The decals do not, however, have anything to indicate who SKP Model has make them for them.

The instructions for the model are a little odd in that you get the instructions and painting guide in the box for the earlier released Allied Dorchester and then included in the box is an addition to the instructions for the DAK specific vehicle. The painting and decal placement instructions are on the front of the box which peels off easily should you need or want to keep it in the box.

Conclusion

This looks like an excellent model of the Dorchester which if an interior is not important to you should be more than a match to any injection moulded plastic kit, and at least an equal to a resin offering. The use of various medias only add to the desirability of the model as it means that SKP Model have not been confined by the abilities of one material to carry detail. The inclusion of the lenses and taillights is just icing on the cake. This model used in a simple diorama with a figure of Erwin Rommel and some of his officers sheltering under a tarp from the side of the vehicle could look stunning in its simplicity.

SUMMARY
Highs: The inclusion of the lenses and taillights in the kit is a big plus for me as is the bonus German figure.
Lows: The only low I can really think of is if a modeller wants an interior a lot of scratch work will be needed.
Verdict: This is in my opinion an excellent example of the Dorchester that due to being multimedia has all the details most would want while also keeping down the price. If an interior is not important to you this is the model to look at.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: SKP060
  Suggested Retail: €38.99
  PUBLISHED: Oct 20, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 85.13%

Our Thanks to SKP Model!
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 Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2018 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Good review Darren. Has all the info I think is important ... the rest I have the net for. The vehicle itself is quite appealing ... I can imagine weathering this one ... a good camo and all those panels and rivets, make for a great canvass.
OCT 20, 2012 - 05:26 AM
Thanks for the review and insight. Funnily enough, I have Cromwell models 'very limited' run of the Dorchester with interior. He also supplied additional parts to alter it to the captured German vehicles version with painting and markings informations on the instructions. Everything I have looked at in the sprues and parts windows looks remarkably similar if not attached identcally! A good kit but I wonder if AFV Club will come out with a smaller conversion kit later.... Keith.
OCT 21, 2012 - 01:04 AM
Frank: Thank you I am pleased this review met your needs. Keith: I suspect that the AFV Club kit will be at least the same price if not slightly more and so if an interior is of no importance to the modeller I believe this kit to be the better option. Injection moulded plastic has never been able to convey all the detail to the same crisp quality as resin and the multi-media nature of this model gives you the detail on the outside which is where it matters the most to the most.
OCT 21, 2012 - 01:53 AM
Darren, I sgree with most of your review but as a man who has access to a Matador I thought there might have been a couple of measurements. This vehicle uses the same chassis as the Matador so therefore the wheelsize would have been a start as the SKP wheels have the correct width but not the correct diameter. When the kit first came out it was discussed at length on M-L & it was found to be undersized. According to the Data book of wheeled vehicles which was issued by the Ministry of Supply during the war the sizes are as follows length 20'0" width 8'6" height 9'6",as you will see when you measure the kit it is very undersized. I have two of these kits myself & have made one which has made a good looking model but I can't put it with anything else in a diorama. It is a shame that this has happened because the people at SKP are very nice when replying to emails & the service is very good. Sorry to go on a bit, Howard
OCT 22, 2012 - 12:02 AM
Howard thank you for your comments. I do not doubt what you have said but one thing I will add is that in war nothing is set in stone when it comes to spares and repairs. Even when we strip down the 25pdrs we find things that the crews have done themselves in all periods of their service lives. That said I will make a point of checking the tyres against the data and see what comes up.
OCT 22, 2012 - 01:16 AM
Darren, while what you say is pretty much true, changing tire sizes on a vehicle could only be an emergency thing in the field. It changes how the suspension works and could make the vehicle dangerous to drive. So, while a single vehicle might have had an incorrect set of tires, you're not going to see more than one of them and, from a modelling standpoint, you had better have a photos of the very nonstandard configuration if you want to consider accuracy. The other, and more serious point, that Howard makes is the the entire model is seriously undersized, not just the tires. Paul
OCT 22, 2012 - 05:45 AM
Paul thank you for your input. Perhaps when I get around to building the model my opinion will change. I do not have ref material for the Matador and as such I went on the quality of the model parts and pictures of the real vehicle and such as it is it looked ok to me. I will try to find out what vehicle was measured for the model and see what I can find.
OCT 22, 2012 - 11:22 AM
thanks Darren you have a dream job for armor modellers with access to the bits at 1 to 1 scale ..Re the Matador on reading through the instructions those pegs are rivets that have to be added to the short nose engine front panels with the use of a very fine drill shouldnt be to hard just boring(pun intended).Should keep the rivet counters happy but they might be the wrong diameter or something.Been modelling since 1958 and work on if its the only kit available its better than no kit at all.The airfix BT-K spit was a horror but it was the first plastic kit i built and still have it. I model for my enjoyment not anyone else.Nice review thanks
DEC 07, 2012 - 12:09 AM
Thank you for your comments Gerald.
DEC 07, 2012 - 04:41 AM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.
   

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