Italeri 1/24 US Truck w/Baywatch Trailer Kit First Look
By Michael Taylor
|Date of Review||February 2006||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Subject||US Truck w/Baywatch Trailer||Scale||1/24|
|Kit Number||3832||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Large amount of plastic in one box. Eye catching graphics||Cons||Seams in chrome fuel tanks. Lack of interior detail. RHD "Australian" truck|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$124.00|
Western Star Trucks designs, manufactures, and distributes heavy-duty custom trucks for long haul and vocational applications. The company was founded on the belief that the driver is the most valuable asset in trucking – whether it's a mining truck operator in West Virginia or an over-the-road owner-operator in British Columbia. Tracing its roots back to 1967, Western Star Trucks began with engineering and operations located at company headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio and production in Canada.
Throughout the 1980s, Western Star Trucks continued to grow its product line and market share, all the while evolving its manufacturing process and its reputation for durable and reliable custom trucks. Western Star developed and launched the Constellation cab and sleeper in 1996. The cab featured a large size and superior comfort to the owner-operator market. The 82-inch Stratosphere was launched, becoming the only walk-through sleeper in the industry that incorporates roof-mounted air horns and marker lights.
Italeri's latest venture into the realm of 1/24 big rigs is the new "U.S. Truck with Baywatch Trailer". The set consists of a Western Star Conventional tractor with a 50' "half trailer". The "catch" of this set being the Baywatch torso decals that adorn the sides of the trailer. No less than 9 swimsuit clad ladies each with one letter from Baywatch and the last with an exclamation point . The cab is similarly dressed with surfing graphics.
The set is comprised of 15 sets of sprues in 5 colors-metallic blue for the truck cab, light gray, silver, black and chrome. 10 of the sprues are for the truck and the last 5 are for the trailer. A "grapevine" of rubber tires is also included but I found details are only printed on 1 side so be careful when you place them on the wheels. If you're familiar at all with truck kits you know the assembly begins with the frame and cross members and suspension. Leaf springs in the front and leaf springs under air cushions in back in this case.
The engine is a typical turbo something-not mentioned in the text and no colors are mentioned for it so some homework will be needed. This truck gets a full set of 4 big chrome fuel tanks split down the longitudinal lines making for a nice seam in the chrome on either end. I never could figure why they don't mold the ends as separate parts? The interior leaves a lot to be desired with blah seats and decal instrument panel up front and a sleeper that's just as sparse-Western Star has some nice interior photos on their website by the way.
The trailer is made up of a suspension section and the box itself. This is made up from 2 parts for each side-front/back. That's right front/back top, left side, bottom and right side. Hopefully the fit is good and the decals help out with the sides leaving the top to be worried about. All in all there are a lot of parts in this box and the trailer will look impressive to the 18-34 year old age group.
This truck is full of custom parts that all truckers love on their rigs-big chrome cow catcher extra tall air cleaners big fat bumper and chrome chrome chrome! Too bad Italeri doesn't know what a "U.S. truck" is. Yes Western Star is a US truck manufacturer but the truck in the kit is an Australian big rig. That's right-right hand drive with no option for the good old American left hand drive. So if you want to build this one from the box with the Australian big rig options (remember the cow catcher and extra tall air cleaners?) the one thing you must remember is not to use the Miami Truck Services decal on the sleeper or the Florida license plates!
Italeri has put a lot of plastic in one box. While the interior is sparse you're not really going to be able to see that much of it once finished anyway. There's plenty of places for detail to be added on the exterior/engine in the way of brakelines and the like. The overall size of this project, combined with the graphic one two punch of the kits markings ensures that this kit will definitely turn heads. I just can't understand Italeri's naming it a "U.S." truck when it's clearly their old Italeri - 0719 Australian Truck with Miami Truck Services and Florida license plate decals?
My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample!