Italeri 1/24 Freightliner FLC Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2010||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Kit Number||3859||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nicely detailed kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$91.95|
From the instructions: "This more than 50 year old US-truck manufacturing company has an excellent reputation for quality and beautiful design of their products. In 1981 Daimler Benz AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, one of the world's biggest truck manufacturers, purchased the Freightliner Corporation. The company will continue all activities under the original Freightliner name. Daimler-Benz has also imported several models to Europe for demonstration purposes and truck shows. All Freightliner trucks have a common basic technical design, many are custom-built to the customers needs.
This model is the Conventional FLS 12064T Tractor with 475 HP Cummins-Diesel engine and a 13-speed Fuller-Roadranger Transmission. Used for American long-distance hauling, this Freightliner is equipped with a separate sleeper cabin. The Freightliner Conventional truck has for many obvious reasons deserved and received the nickname "The efficient machine".
Italeri has released this Freightliner FLC kit and it is a nice looking model. From what I can glean from the collectors' guides and online references, this kit appears to be a reissue of an AMT kit from the mid-1980s and reissued a few times by Revell/Germany over the years. According to one online source, this was also the truck model driven by Kurt Russell in the 1986 movie "Big Trouble in Little China".
Molded in several colors of styrene, this kit is presented on six parts trees, plus one tree of clear parts and one set of vinyl tires. Of course what vehicle kit would be complete without at least one tree of parts that has been chromed? Despite the age of this tooling, the kit appears to be in good shape with no signs of flash. One clear sign that this tooling has been updated is the absence of any molded-in markings on the truck tires. We won't go into the craziness of brand licensing in model kits...
Construction starts with the chassis and this kit provides a nicely detailed front-end suspension as well as rear drive differentials. A detailed Cummins diesel engine is also included to go under that huge hood. The wheels and tires go one once the drive train is completed and the various frame fixtures including battery box, fuel tanks, mud flap frames, and 'fifth wheel'.
Next comes the cab and its interior, and once again, this is nicely done straight out of the box. The only down side is that the cab doors are molded shut, so you'd have to surgically alter the cab in order to pose the driver or passenger door open to show off that interior.
One rather eye-catching part is the radiator grill at the front of the hood. If you look at the chrome parts image to the right, you can see that radiator and in spite of the heavily chromed parts, you can see through that grill. That is some nice molding, especially for the age of this tooling. The hood is hinged, so you can tilt the hood forward and reveal that Cummins engine and all of the details under the hood.
The final detail is the installation of that sleeper unit and installing that behind the cab.
Markings are included for one a nice-looking truck as depicted on the box art, but you can certainly paint your kit in any scheme that you can imagine.
With the popularity of the reality TV series 'Ice Road Trucker', truck models are gaining back their popularity, and given that various models of the Freightliner FLC has appeared in the series, this release fits in nicely with that theme or any other heavy hauling interest you'd care to model.
Straight out of the box, this kit builds up into a nice model, but in the hands of an AMS modeler, this could really be a stunning project with the addition of wiring, hoses, brake lines, etc., around the model.
In any case, have a little fun and take a break from your aircraft or armor modeling and give this project a try. Perhaps we'll see a Lisa Kelley figure show up in the aftermarket to pose in this cab.
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!