Italeri 1/24 Volvo VN 670 Kit First Look
By Jeff Conrad
|Date of Review
|Volvo VN 670
|Good detail, excellent engraving, great interior
While the Volvo Group built its first truck in Sweden in 1928, Volvo first entered the North American truck market in 1959 with the Volvo Titan, Volvo Viking and Volvo Starke models. It was not until the mid-1970s that Volvo became firmly established in the U.S. truck market, when in 1971 Volvo placed eight F86 trucks in the U.S. for tests as class 8 tractors, and later in 1974 when Volvo launched the F86 model in the North Eastern U.S. In 1981 A.B. Volvo purchased some assets of the White Motor Corp. to form the Volvo White Truck Corp., based in Greensboro, NC. Volvo White sold vehicles under the Volvo, White and Autocar nameplates.
In 1988 the Volvo GM Heavy Truck Corp. was formed as a joint venture between Volvo and General Motors. Volvo GM sold truck under the WHITEGMC and Autocar nameplates. Then in 1995 the WHITEGMC nameplate was discontinued and Volvo GM's trucks were sold under the Volvo and Autocar nameplates. Then in 1997 Volvo purchased all of General Motors' interests in Volvo GM, and changed the company's name to Volvo Trucks North America. Today, the Volvo Group, including Volvo Trucks North America, is the second-largest manufacturer of heavy trucks in the world, as well as the largest manufacturer of heavy-duty diesel engines.
In 1996 Volvo first introduced the VN series of class 8 tractors, setting the bar quite high for the other truck manufacturers in terms of comfort, economy and efficiency. Three years previously the Volvo D12 engine debuted in the U.S. market, proving to the world that a clean burning and efficient diesel engine could indeed be produced, and naturally the VN series had these engines. In 2002 the VN series was redesigned and updated to further the development of comfortable and efficient over the road trucks. The new Volvo VN 670 tractor is specifically aimed at the American market, where previous Volvo trucks have proven both popular and capable of competing with traditional U.S. built trucks. The 670's state-of-the-art aerodynamic shape allows for the best possible fuel economy. The big 61" sleeper has a fully raised roof and offers comforts like a refrigerator, microwave, TV cabinet/wardrobe, and lots of cabinet space.
The kit has a total of 206 parts distributed across 8 sprue racks, molded in red, black, gray and clear. The 15 page instruction sheet is big, well illustrated and easy to follow and also includes a parts diagram on the first pages.
No engine – this is a curbside kit.
The chassis is composed of 4 parts – the main chassis is broken down into front and back portions and 2 reinforcing plates to strengthen the joint. Fender detail here is good, as is the rivet detail. 29 pieces make up the rear suspension, which is an accurate depiction of a twin axel air bag system. All pieces are crisply molded and show good bolt detail. Paint and light dry brushing will help these pieces really shine. The simplified front suspension is made up of 5 pieces and looks good but for one issue – the small air bags one each spring have holes in their backs that will need to be filled. The drive shafts are well molded and detailed with the rubber dust boots and clamp details. A little silver paint applied to the end of the boots will simulate the metal bands that hold the boots in place. The 2 pieces transmission is also nicely molded with good detail.
Wheels & Tires
The front 2 piece wheels are great representations of Alcoa aluminum wheels seen in service here in North America, but the 4 piece rear wheels are different from what is available here (they could be a European version.) Wheels from a different kit or some resin replacements will be necessary for an accurate replica. All the wheels are brilliantly and evenly plated. The tires are molded in a soft rubber like vinyl and are good looking no-names with good tread pattern.
Body & Interior
19 pieces make up the interior, and this could be the best part of the whole kit. Great detail all over the moldings, with crisp engraving on the dash board and headliner and great texture on the seats and inner door panels. 5 decals make up the dash board gauges and readouts. The sleeper section has a bed and great looking storage cabinet detail – this could be a super detailer’s dream. As with all previous Italeri big rig kits the body and hood are molded as multi-piece assemblies, making building a bit more challenging.
The parts are well engraved and appear to fit well, so there shouldn’t be any difficulty for an experienced modeler. The biggest challenge will be in the planning – many of the interior pieces attach directly to the body panels, so you will have to paint the many of the interior parts (and interior of the body panels) before you can attach the body panels together and paint the exterior color. Final body assembly attaches the aero panels to the body and side skirts to the chassis.
The decals are Italeri’s usual mix of “American” themed decals – in this case they follow a Native American theme. They are high quality decals made by Cartograf.
This is a great looking kit of a current over the road tractor, something we haven’t gotten much of in the last few years. Crisp molding, sharp engraving and a good subject make this a great kit to have in your collection. Highly recommended.
My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample!