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1/35 Diamond T 969A Wrecker


 


Mirror Models


 


Catalogue Number 35801


Available direct from LZ models at €55.00


 


For many years the modelling fraternity has been waiting for an injection moulded Diamond T in 1/35 scale, low and behold, we get two at the same time!! The Merit Models 980/981 M19 Tank Transporter has recently been released, but if, like me you are a real fan of everything Diamond T, you will want to buy both kits!! Sure, the 980/1 is a big old hulk of a truck, but this 969A Wrecker is so sweet, you just have to have one!!


 


Mirror models is a fairly new company, who make a small range of kits, all being unusual subjects not commonly covered by the big injection moulded manufacturers. They make a great little line up of CMP chassis' based vehicles with resin and PE in most kits.


 


So, on to the subject for this review, the 969A Wrecker. This is one of those models that you just "need" when you see it built up, it certainly captured my imagination when I saw the beautiful example built at Milton Keynes today!! I will say this has to be the most crammed box of plastic out there!! Once you take the 12 Sprues out of the box you will not get them back in easily!! On top of the 12 Sprues of grey plastic and one of clear, you get a small decal sheet, two frets of Photo Etch, some rope and a chain.


 


Boxfront.jpg


 


Did I mention the box is crammed full!!


 


Boxcontents.jpg


 


On the side of the box there is a brief description of the contents which don't go half way to explaining just how good this kit is.


 


Boxside.jpg


 


Now, if you've heard of this kit, you will have no doubt read about all the so called "issues" with it. Basically people are slating the kit for having very heavy gates on every part, which will make some difficult to remove from the sprue. I intend to use a razor saw, which will make light work of the job, especially as the gates are so shallow. Yes, they are wide, but on the whole they are very shallow. Stop and think for a moment though, the wide gates are there for a reason... there are no ejector pin marks on any of the parts!! Alleluia!!! If you want a quick build kit, pass this one by, with over 570 parts and all the clean up you'd expect from a limited run kit this won't be a weekends work to complete, but just think, after all the work is done, how satisfying it will feel knowing that you actually "built the model rather than just "put it together"


 


So, lets look at all these Sprues in more detail... There are probably going to be more variants of this truck released from Mirror Models, as the Sprues don't follow the alphabet entirely?? We have one off A, B x 4,C,D K,S, U,X and Y x 2.


 


Sprue A contains 68 parts, mostly major chassis parts and axles. The chequer plate on the steps is some of the best I've ever seen in injection moulded plastic.


 


SprueA.jpg


 


Note the holes all over the sprue. This would normally indicate moulding issues, but all the actual parts look fine on my sample.


 


Lovely detail on the transfer case halves..


 


SprueAdetail.jpg


 


Sprue B has some small suspension components and the wheel halves, made up of 19 parts. There are two of these Sprues in the kit.


 


SprueB.jpg


 


Crisp detail on the wheel hubs. Mirror Models have made a set of resin wheels for this kit, should you wish to upgrade. I personally think the injection moulded wheels are lovely once built and painted. 


 


Spruebdetail.jpg


 


here things get a little confusing?? This Sprue is also B, containing no less than 91 parts. Note the springs are moulded in two halves each. it means you'll have a seam to deal with, but there are no sink marks whatsoever. There are also two of these Sprues in the box.


 


SprueB-1.jpg


 


SprueB-1detail.jpg


 


Some very crisp detailing on this mounting part.


 


SprueB-1Detail-1.jpg


 


Moving on, we now look at Sprue C. made up of 67 parts, mainly covering engine components. the basic engine looks good built up, but would really stand out in the crowd if you some hosing and wiring were added. The built example I saw at MK had the bonnet open and the engine looked great OOB. The steering wheel is exquisite!!


 


SprueC.jpg


 


More crisp moulding on the fan belt and pulleys..


 


SprueCdetail.jpg


 


And the engine block halves..


 


SprueCdetail-1.jpg


 


Here we have a concoction of Sprues.. The engine cover and fender parts are on Sprue D, made up of 25 parts. The Kellogg Compressor uses the 23 parts of Sprue K and the two wedge parts are X parts for the main bed. Note we get another steering wheel here??


 


SprueK.jpg


 


Note the beautifully moulded engine cover louvers. no need for a risky opening up session here..


 


Spruekdetail.jpg


 


As previously mentioned, some of the nicest chequer plate moulding I have ever seen. In scale and just right on depth. Note the seam to the side of the plate, again, well rendered.


 


Spruekdetail-1.jpg


 


Sprue S next... Just 21 parts make up this sprue, which is all the parts needed for a soft top cab, maybe we will be getting a hard top version in the near future? I have noticed that the doors are incorrectly referred to in the instructions as "D" parts. Errors like this are common in short run kits.


 


SprueS.jpg


 


A crisply moulded dash panel. Gauge faces are included on the decal sheet, all you need to do is apply a blob of gloss black into each gauge and then apply the white decals.


 


Spruesdetail.jpg


 


The cab floor, note again the gorgeous chequer plate, you'd never guess I like this chequer plate would you??


 


Spruesdetail-1.jpg


 


 


Sprue X is made up of 56 parts, all used in the wrecker bed and accessories. Again the surface detail here is very nice indeed.


 


Spruex.jpg


 


You may have read about the issues with the "Massive" sink marks in the flat bed.. I thought I'd take a shot just to show you all how "Bad" things really are, not bad at all really!!  Now, don't get me wrong, but I think this is perfectly acceptable, and very easy to fix with a little Mr Surfacer. We must remember this is a limited run kit.


 


SprueXdetail.jpg


 


The next four pics show the detail front and back of the forward and rear mudguards. Two points to not here.. the pressing detail is mirrored front and rear of each panel and no ejector pin marks!!! Alleluia!!!


 


Rear.............


 


Spruexdetail-1.jpg


 


Spruexdetail-2.jpg


 


Forward............


 


Spruexdetail-3.jpg


 


Spruexdetail-4.jpg


 


The last of the grey Sprues, Y, is up now. There are two of these Sprues in the kit, each made up of 53 parts. These parts are for the booms and other "Wrecker" bits and bobs. The booms are positively exquisite. I was convinced they were made up of PE when I saw the built and painted ones, but no, all made up of Injection moulded plastic!!


 


SprueY.jpg


 


The Wrecker hooks are nicely rendered as can be seen here..


 


SprueYdetail.jpg


 


The clear sprue, U is up next. The windscreen and light lenses are all that is here, but they are very clear indeed.


 


Clearsprue.jpg


 


We also get a bag of PE, Decals, Rope and chain. the PE is coated in plastic film, which is a nice touch in my opinion and prevents the parts pinging off into the carpet monsters mouth. The rope is nice and apparently "fluff free".


 


DecalsandPE.jpg


 


The main PE sheet has various straps and buckles, the cooling fan and pioneer tool trays. The smaller sheet consists of two sprockets for the wrecker winch.


 


PE.jpg


 


The decal sheet measures 105 x 46 mm, printed with in black and white. The black square top right is for the winch control on the wrecker, a nice little touch...


 


Decals.jpg


 


So, there we have it, a new plastic kit of a tough and well respected WW2 US soft skin truck. Mirror models have linked up with LZ models, where you can buy the kit itself and some upgrades. I have ordered the canvas roof and PE set, purely because they are so reasonably priced at only €3 and €14 respectively. I will review them as soon as they arrive.


 


now we will have a browse through the instructions. Short run kits are sometimes supplied with a CD or DVD for the instructions, I'm pleased Mirror Models have gone to the trouble of printing out the instructions on A4 paper. There are 10 sheets in all, printed on both sides. There are line drawings, photographs and 3d CAD images throughout. I will show them here and make notes where appropriate...


 


Sheet One, ensure to get the correct stagger in your tread pattern...


 


Instructions1.jpg


 


Instructions2.jpg


 


Instructions3.jpg


 


Page 4, pay attention to squareness and flatness here.. Note that C59 and C60 may need slight modification here. Refer to Mirror Models website


 


Instructions4.jpg


 


Instructions5.jpg


 


Instructions6.jpg


 


Instructions7.jpg


 


Instructions8.jpg


 


Instructions9.jpg


 


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Instructions15.jpg


 


Instructions16.jpg


 


Instructions17.jpg


 


Instructions18.jpg


 


Instructions19.jpg


 


Instructions20.jpg


 


 


So, in summary, this is a very well detailed kit which will give many hours of enjoyment to the experienced modeller. If you're looking for a shake and bake kit that you can build in a weekend with a sharp knife and a file walk on by... Likewise, if you're a beginner, you might want to give this one a miss, you could always buy it for later on when you have mastered the art of modelling a little better?? I will thoroughly enjoy building this. I think I'll start right away?


 


The first step of building this will be a good rinse in some dish soap in the sink. It appears to be quite oily so will pose problems when it comes to painting it.


 


Thanks to my pocket for buying this kit and thanks to Mirror Models for producing it.


 


To see the kit build go here


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Very nice review, Nige! At the Flanders' Modelling Festival in Antwerp last March someone who was building the model mentioned that normal polystyrene glues didn't work on the plastic of his kit. Strange story, could you please glue some ports to see if there is truth in that statement? I can't really imagine it, but you never know...

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Hi Erik,

 

I will try this right away.. Mirror suggest using Tamiya Extra thin. If that is unavailable to you I know without even trying that this stuff will work...

 

glue.jpg

 

I have used this glue on ABS parts and it works well.

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OK, I have done a trial... I cut some sprue from a frame, approx. 4mm in diameter. I sanded the ends flat and attempted to butt join them back together.

 

Tamiya Extra Thin works, but not instantly.

 

Humbrol Liquid Poly works, but not instantly

 

Gunze Mr Cement S works very well, instantly.

 

EMA Plastic weld, pictured above works best of all.

 

So there you have it Erik, your friends at Flanders were correct.

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Nice review!

I was very curious about this one. Mirror has very interesting subjects and this is one of then...

Looks like that lots of works and long hours to get this one to the best of it. Those wheels are in half??? that`s a strange option isn`t it?

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Nice review!

I was very curious about this one. Mirror has very interesting subjects and this is one of then...

Looks like that lots of works and long hours to get this one to the best of it. Those wheels are in half??? that`s a strange option isn`t it?

 

I don't think wheels "in half" are that unusual really? many older kits had them this way before the manufacturers decided to use vinyl tyres. Even the old Italeri 1/24 truck kits were this way. I prefer this to vinyl tyres if I'm honest..

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I don't think wheels "in half" are that unusual really? many older kits had them this way before the manufacturers decided to use vinyl tyres. Even the old Italeri 1/24 truck kits were this way. I prefer this to vinyl tyres if I'm honest..

Nigel I also prefer these ones to vinyl tyres! Just saying that is a strange option coming from Mirror because the CMP C15TA (Ref. 35100), the very first release from Mirror came with resin tyres... much better option! 

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I agree, strange indeed?? However, the company have launched an aftermarket set of Resin wheels for it now.

 

I have begun assembling this one, and straight away have discovered there is a small gap between the two halves of the wheel rims. I've added a piece of 0.010 card to one half of each wheel which will take care of it. You could sand the 0.010 off one half, but I am scared of making the tyres too skinny??

 

So, one may wish to buy the resin wheels rather than do the work I've done?

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Is a financial and economic strategy with which I disagree is because down the bar on the quality of the kit just to produce AM to sell.

But we are talking about a short-run kit, multimedia one that for me, as a multi-media kit should have resin and all the stuff (PE) to make it quite good with no need of more AM.

The first release has a very good packing!! Love  the resin and the PE!! It was a fantastic release.... Now is a plastic, short run model kit... equal to all other sort run, like Ace in 1:72...:(

 

 

 

I agree, strange indeed?? However, the company have launched an aftermarket set of Resin wheels for it now.

 

I have begun assembling this one, and straight away have discovered there is a small gap between the two halves of the wheel rims. I've added a piece of 0.010 card to one half of each wheel which will take care of it. You could sand the 0.010 off one half, but I am scared of making the tyres too skinny??

 

So, one may wish to buy the resin wheels rather than do the work I've done?

See... you already having problems with the tyres! a strange problem? The best option: AM resin tyres made by LZ Models (sister brand of Mirror) ....going to pay more for an already expensive model kit (short-run one)... All brands should have a quality standard and Mirror start by have resin tyres in their kits...Giving that up, for me, they drop the quality of their kits just to have an AM set to sell. 

I would love to get my hands on this one before your review....now, I really have my doubts....

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I actually think your comment about not buying the kit having seen my review is a little strong. I think we should consider the price of the kit compared to the first release two years ago.

 

I am in no way affiliated with Mirror Models, but will state that I think the price of this kit is what it is because they haven't added the extras. The built example I saw had a little PE on it, the soft top and some stowage stuff. Other than that it was OOB. It looked stunning.

 

I don't think Mirror has taken a step backwards, I just think they've produced the kit to a price.

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Nige don't get my wrong! love your reviews!

I still love the subject and i will buy one... But i was quite dissapointed about the tyres... Because i just hate vinyl tyres and half pieces....

The injection Looks better that the first release and with the Resin tyres it would be just great!

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I would like go back on what I said earlier about the best glue for this kit. It would appear my old bottle of Tamiya extra thin had become contaminated. When I try a new bottle it melts the plastic just right for a good strong weld.

 

I think I must have topped up my old bottle of extra thin with some Tenax or something?? 

 

I would also like to say that the plastic properties of the parts is great!! not too soft, not too hard and very durable. I've assembled the engine block, gearbox and compressor so far (and some wheels) and haven't need any filler or found any fit problems as yet. I have read about pins not fitting in their respective holes, well, it takes at least 20 seconds to sand the pins off or drill the holes a little. Having said that, I normally remove location pins anyway when I sand the mating faces flat.

 

I'm liking this kit so far...

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