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US Army Tractor w/Angled Dozer Blade

MiniArt 1/35 US Army Tractor w/Angled Dozer Blade Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2015 Manufacturer MiniArt
Subject US Army Tractor w/Angled Dozer Blade Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35184 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Beautiful detailing Cons See text
Skill Level Advanced MSRP (USD) $71.95

First Look

US Army Tractor w/Angled Dozer Blade Kit
US Army Tractor w/Angled Dozer Blade Kit
US Army Tractor w/Angled Dozer Blade Kit
US Army Tractor w/Angled Dozer Blade Kit

MiniArt is back with an interesting new kit. This is the Caterpillar D7 bulldozer circa World War II as used by US military forces around the world. These bulldozers were used extensively by US Army engineers and the US Navy Construction Battalion (Seebees) to carve out roads, base perimeters, runways, and other essential earth moving duties needed to support combat operations.

The early D7 dozers still have the signature earth-moving blade, but the hydraulics to lift the blade were still a number of years away. This dozer had an overhead framework that mounted pulleys and cable runs to connect the blade to a winch mounted on the rear of the dozer. The operator used the winch to lift the blade and gravity to lower it again. These dozers were also used as prime movers for artillery pieces and vehicle recovery though the blades were removed for such duties.

This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 32 parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and two small frets of photo-etched details. Considering that this is a very small model in 1/35 scale consisting of over 600 parts, you can see that this is quite a detailed model. There are a significant number of small parts which might make this kit more complex than it really needs to be.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Very detailed diesel engine
  • Detailed chassis and drive train
  • Detailed roller and drive sprocket assemblies
  • Choice of exposed or covered spring tensioners
  • Individual track link assemblies
  • Detailed dozer blade and mount
  • Detailed winch system with 'cable' routing instructions

Painting instructions are provided using MIG paints which may be of use to some modelers but paint equivalents using other (more readily available) paints would be more useful. The color profiles included in the kit are for:

  • D7, US Army, Cherbourg, France, 1944
  • D7, US Army, Omaha Beach, France, 1944
  • D7, US Army, Belgium, 1945
  • D7, US Army, Pacific Theater, WWII
  • D7, USAAF, India, 1944
  • D7, USAAF, North Africa, 1943
  • D7, USN Seabees, Rhode Island, 1942
  • D7, RoK Army, Vietnam, 1966

This kit is a beauty and offers the experienced modeler with some breathtaking details plus an excellent opportunity for weathering. This kit has over 600 parts in the box for a subject that isn't much larger than a small truck, so this won't be a weekend build nor is it recommended for modelers that are not comfortable working with lots of tiny parts. If you're looking for a different kind of tracked project for your bench, look no further!

My sincere thanks to MiniArt for this review sample!

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