by: Stef [ ]
The Mercedes-Benz 170 V, or “Baureihe W 136” by its company designation, which was built from 1935-1952, was a passenger car and a best seller of Mercedes-Benz before, during and after World War two. The designation V (Vorne – front) differentiates the vehicle from the 170 H (Hinten – rear) in terms of the engine placement. The 170 D was a post-war Diesel engine variation. The 170 V Saloon, going by the German name of “170 V Innensteuer-Limousine” had a 38 HP M136 gasoline engine with 1.69l displacement, 4 cylinders, a gearbox with 4 forwards and 1 reverse gear and a 43l fuel tank that could get the vehicle as far as 400km. 70,000 vehicles were produced between 1936 and 1942, and about another 71,000 between 1946 and 1953. Also noticeable is that the vehicle has a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout (FR layout). Vehicle variations included amongst others, a van, police car, pickup, Kübelsitzfahrzeug, 2 and 4-door limousine and cabriolet versions and a roadster.
Vehicles produced after 1950 had wider rear axles, the bumpers received major modifications and the displacement of the engine was increased. The kit is thus eligible for vehicles produced 1950 or earlier. The Bosch dynamo regulator RJH130 of later vehicles was also different and engine detailers may enjoy doing some modifications to it for post-1950 vehicles. The Build feature will include further sources for the interested modeller. This kit will enable the construction of police, mail, imperial railway administratiion or civilian car variants, all 4 door saloons.
The big box is quite empty and most of the box is air. This is due to the cabin of the car, which is moulded in one piece and stored safely in an extra thick-walled box within the box. All sprues are nicely stored and well placed and no damaged or bent parts are visible. The box contains 11 sprues, the cabin roof, 1 clear parts sprue, one PE fret, one decal sheet and the instructions. The kit includes the box art figure.
The A sprue includes the chassis, drive shaft and bumpers the rear-wheel-drive and some interior parts. The parts are all aligned nicely and almost no cleaning is required. The bumpers are nicely done and do show it just as the real one. It consists of the bumper and two holding brackets on each side, each attached by 1 pin to the bumper, making four pins in total. MiniArt moulded this as one piece and did an awesome job here. The louvres of the bonnet are also nicely moulded and are actually cut open, so you can see through them as it should be. This is a great start, let’s move on.
Sprue B includes the engine and most driving gear parts as well as parts for the exterior depiction of the different vehicle options. There are 79 parts most of them so tiny that only minion tweezers will help you handle them. This sprue will be an enemy to every new modeller. The parts do go off the sprues very easily and as such the time involved cleaning all parts is not as bad as you might think.
The door sprue C includes the four doors, each consisting of the outer wall and the interior cushioned wall. The interior wall has nice details added, such as the side pockets and attachment points for the door handles and window openers.
Sprue D (X2) includes the driver’s and the co-driver’s seat and fittings for the doors. These parts are also really small and care must be taken or the carpet monster’s lunch is secured.
The rubber sprue E (X5), yes 5 times included, secures the wheels, 4 wheels (each consisting of four parts and another four parts for the drum brakes, and the spare wheel. This will take some time to get them all sorted and aligned, but their quality does look like it is superb.
Sprue G is actually no sprue but the Passenger cabin’s roof and side walls. This part is looking amazing and the moulding is just perfect. It is so smooth and the rounded shapes do make it look the part.
The window sprue F contains the windows of which there are six, two glass covers for the front lights (the instructions mark them as E10, however they are parts F10!), the two rear lights and the glass covers for the speedometer and the alike.
The PE fret has 31 parts, 30 of which are tiny and very tiny. Often they do not replace plastic parts but are the only way to attach parts. The radiator cover is a great addition to this kit, it does look accurate and no replacement parts will be needed. The Mercedes star (PE 11) is of special interest. The later type star mounting (post mid-1937 part B43) was used to fasten the hood of the radiator, while earlier star mountings were simply added to the front of the hood, but the radiator cap was further to the back. MiniArt used the later type star cap (B43), but the early type radiator cover(B50). No big deal at all, just some interesting information. For early type 170 V's, the star mounting needs to be adjusted.
There are quite numerous decals due to the many different vehicles one can depict with this kit. 22 decals are license plates only, 2 Reichsadler for the Reichspost, another 2 Deutsche Post symbols and six taxi markings.
The figure sprue D, included is the box art woman. She is nicely moulded and the hair and face do show great detail. She will serve nicely along with the vehicle.
The instructions book is 16 pages thick, the first two and last four do show painting schemes and the colour index for AMMO MIG, Hubrol, Mr. Color, TESTORS and Vallejo. Paint schemes depicted include a police car (1938-1945), Reichspost (1938-1945), Deutsche Reichsbahn (1938-1945), province versions of Berlin, Hannover, Brandenburg, Thüringen, Donau and Stadtbezirk München (all 1938-1945), Deutsche Post (1950s), and a West Berlin Taxi (1950s). Depending on the use of the vehicle, different exterior parts may be added. Page 4 lists the sprues, PE frets and decals, pages 5 through 12 have the 48 assembly steps. Most of them are easy to follow and easy to understand, however, the exhaust mountings are a bit fiddly and an extra photo might be useful.
The kit leaves the modeller with so many build options and as the potential for further research is enormous due to the availability of these vehicles all over the place, this will be an interesting one for sure. The kit does only limit the modeller to pre 1950 production batches due to the above-mentioned modifications of later vehicles. With AM parts and some engineering even 170H’s, D’s or even the pickup version might be built in the future. As very many small parts are included modifications are probably rather simple.
From what I have seen and from all the research I have compiled, I can only find minor negative issues, as with the Mercedes star and that the colour schemes do not match the official catalogue of Mercedes from 1936 through 1939. However, these are minor issues and I am happy with the kit and its quality. I would definitely not recommend it to newcomers and casual modellers due to the vast amount of extremely small parts. Superglue is needed for the construction of the vehicle.
I will build the model (early 1937 Reichsbahn version) in the following weeks and I will see about fit issues and show you minor engine modifications with some wire additions. Take a seat to find out more about this vehicle in the days to come.
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