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American Cargo Trailer

Italeri 1/24 American Cargo Trailer Kit First Look

By Jeff Conrad

Date of Review July 2006 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject American Cargo Trailer Scale 1/24
Kit Number 3831 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Good subject (trailers are always welcome) good suspension, chassis and tires Cons Wheels, fixed space axles, decals
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $61.00

First Look

American Cargo Trailer
American Cargo Trailer
American Cargo Trailer
American Cargo Trailer
American Cargo Trailer
American Cargo Trailer
American Cargo Trailer
American Cargo Trailer

Over the road cargo trailers – known as “dry van trailers” in the United States – are the most numerous type of trailer on the roads today. Vans are typically used to haul any kind of goods that need to stay dry – from bread to computers. Vans are also used when the shipper wants the cargo to remain anonymous, to minimize potential theft. Van lengths are typically between 20 feet (for city delivery trucks) and 53 feet for large over the road deliveries. This model measures out to 48 feet. There is no manufacturer listed for this trailer, although I’ve heard that it resembles a Wabash brand trailer. This kit contains 137 pieces, molded in black, white and gray plastic. The instructions are well laid out, and comprise 8 steps in a 4-fold format. The first page shows a parts tree diagram, a real positive. Unfortunately the instructions don’t call out the parts names.

Chassis

The kit is molded with a variable position rear axle, allowing the builder the option of where along the back half of the trailer wheels are located. The chassis is made up of 18 separate pieces, while the dual axle assembly is made up of 20 parts. This is variable position, fixed space tandem axle set up. It wouldn’t take much to create a spread axle setup though. Five other parts make up the brake line and actuating hardware. Not present is any kind of vinyl tubing to represent the air lines themselves, so the builder will have to supply some coated wire if they wish to detail that portion of the kit.

Wheels & Tires

The tires are the familiar Itareri 12.00 by 20” (280/45) no-names that have been used in many of their previous truck kits. They are molded in a soft rubber like vinyl and are good looking with a good tread pattern. The wheels look to be a European style – they are close to Alcoa 10 hole units, but 2 of the holes are oval shaped rather than round. Nothing here is plated, instead they are molded in gray. To create a more accurate replica the builder will need to get some parts box wheels or source some aftermarket units.

Body & Interior

The body comprises 17 pieces, and the sides, floor and roof components are all made up of 2 pieces. All the components have large mating surfaces so assembly should result in strong subassemblies. The trailer sides measure out to a scale 8 feet 3 inches and 93 inches inside height. The body sides have great rib detail and good molding with no flash. There are a large number of ejector pin marks on the road side of the floor pieces between the ribs that should be cleaned up. The doors show nice detail on the hinges and latch sections, but are molded together with the door frame so if you want to model open doors there will be some delicate cutting involved.

The landing gear is comprised of 21 pieces and looks accurate with the exception of the landing pads, which look a little on the small side. The king pin plate detail looks good, as does the spare wheel and tire, which uses a soft vinyl tire like rather than a plastic copy. The down side, while there is great brake detail, there aren’t any vinyl tubing included to detail the air lines to the brakes. Likewise there aren’t any glad hands (the connectors to the tractor for the air and electrical lines) so the builder that wants to detail these pieces will need to turn to the aftermarket.

The decals are Italeri’s usual “American” themed decals – in this case it looks like an advertisement for an atv stunt show. There is nothing wrong with them – they are the usual high quality decals made by Cartograf, just weird.

Nice molding, clean, crisp lines and flash free with good detail. Besides building into a dry van, this kit could also serve as a good starting point for many conversions – open top trailers that haul bulk grain or fruit and produce trailers are two possibilities. Diorama fans could also use this kit to great effect as a permanently parked storage shed for construction sites, hay storage for farms, etc – the only limit is the imagination. Recommended.

My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample!

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