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US Army Bulldozer

MiniArt 1/35 US Army Bulldozer Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2015 Manufacturer MiniArt
Subject US Army Bulldozer Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35188 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Beautiful detailing Cons See text
Skill Level Advanced MSRP (USD) $69.95

First Look

US Army Bulldozer Kit
US Army Bulldozer Kit
US Army Bulldozer Kit
US Army Bulldozer Kit

MiniArt is back with an interesting new kit. This is the Caterpillar D4 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.

These D4 dozers have the signature earth-moving blade and are smaller versions of other Caterpillar models like the D7. This dozer had a hydraulic lift to raise the dozer blade between pushes/cuts and was driven by a four-cylinder 40 horsepower-class diesel engine. While the D4 was used by the US military and its allies during World War II, the D4 started production in 1936 and remained in production (with incremental improvements) through 1996.

This kit represents the D4 with an armored cab, useful for clearing terrain or roads in forward areas where snipers or enemy patrols might penetrate. This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 30 parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and one small fret of photo-etched details. Considering that this is a very small model in 1/35 scale consisting of over 700 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
  • Armored engine cover plate
  • Detailed armored cab w/positionable doors and viewports
  • Detailed roller and drive sprocket assemblies
  • Individual track link assemblies
  • Detailed dozer blade and mount
  • Detailed hydraulic system

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 profile included in the kit is for:

  • Armored D4, 1st Army, Germany, 1945

This kit is a beauty and offers the experienced modeler with some breathtaking details plus an excellent opportunity for weathering. This kit has over 700 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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