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1/35 Diamond T 986A Cargo truck with Hard Top Cab


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1/35 Diamond T 968A Cargo Truck with Hard Top Cab

Mirror Models

Catalogue Number 35803

Available direct from LZ models at €50.00

For many years the modelling fraternity has been waiting for an injection moulded Diamond T in 1/35 scale, low and behold, we had two at the same time and now there's a third kid on the block!! The Merit Models 980/981 M19 Tank Transporter has recently been released, as has the 969A Wrecker from Mirror Models which is a very nice kit indeed. Now mirror Models have released the second 'T' in their range in the form of this 986 A Cargo truck.


The Diamond T 4 ton series of trucks were all built on basically the same chassis, using the same power plant and six wheel drive. Pretty much all the trucks had a 151in wheel base, as per this kit, except the Pontoon truck which had a 172 in wheelbase. Production of the hard top cab ceased in June/July 1943, and the soft top cab was fitted to all models.


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. They have now started on the Diamond T 4 Ton chassis by the look of things, promising a Dump Truck and a special purpose truck in the near future.

So, on to the subject for this review, the 968A Cargo Truck. This is a very crammed box of plastic!! Once you take the 10 Sprues out of the box you will not get them back in easily!! On top of the 9 Sprues of grey plastic and one of clear, you get a small decal sheet, a Photo Etch fret, vac formed cargo canvas roof and some rope.


Although most of this kit is identical to the wrecker, I will do a full review here, rather than refer you to the wrecker and just show the differences here. Mirror Models have received some criticism on other websites regarding the size of the sprue gates, small id numbering on the Sprues and poor packaging. I will state here and now that none of these issues detract from the finished model and have been addressed on this kit. Libor has reduced the gate size on this kits new Sprues, enlarged the numbers and used sealed bags much like the Eduard type with a folded glued flap at one end.  There are various statements that parts have been improved on this kit over the wrecker, in my opinion nothing needed improving!! Enough of that.. what's this kit all about??


I believe this is the first colour box art from Mirror Models, very nice in my opinion...




On the side of the box there is a colour 3 view of the truck, less canvas.




The first of the Sprues, A, provides the main chassis rails, crossmembers and drivetrain. all moulding is crisp with well defined bolt heads and casting ribs where required.






There are two Sprues labelled 'B' and there are two of each of them, totalling four B Sprues. The smaller Sprue covers the wheel parts, the larger is filled with various parts such as axles, springs and suspension components.








The moulding on the leaf springs is exquisite. Note they are moulded as halves, to avoid sink marks, which are very difficult to sort out on the sides of leaf spring stacks. You will notice throughout this kit, the minimal use of ejector pins on actual components, a godsend!!




Sprue C is also from the Wrecker kit and includes all the engine components. It should be noted that the plastic used in the production of this kit is very nice to work with. It is neither soft nor hard, but has pliable tough nature to it. even the thinnest of parts will flex without snapping, but will spring back into shape immediately.




Again, Sprue D is from the Wrecker kit. We still have the open louvers in the hood panels and gorgeous chequer plate moulding on the fenders.








Now we move onto the first of the dedicated hard top Sprues, S. here you can see the use of the larger id numbers and smaller, lessened gates. It's nice to see a manufacturer listen to it's customers....




We have beautifully moulded door interior detail, note, no ejector pin marks!!




The second dedicated Sprue is 'X', covering the cargo bed. Again, we can see the reduced gates and larger part numbers.




There doesn't appear to be any wood grain detail on the side rails, which is probably better absent than overdone?? Would it actually be seen in 1/35 scale anyway?




The rear facing mud flaps are lovely, with exquisite moulding on both sides...




The last Sprue we will look at dedicated to this kit is the clear sprue, 'U'. When I say clear, I mean CLEAR!!




Here we can see there is no distortion whatsoever when looking through a windscreen panel.




The Vac-formed canvas for the Cargo bed is just that.. vac-formed which I am not a great fan of, but Mirror Models suggest using tools to score and bend to your hearts content, or even using it to mould a new canvas from tissue paper and white glue??Now there's a good idea!!




It's nice to see they have included the cargo canvas, giving us the choice to use it or not.


There is one sheet of PE in the kit, measuring 105 x 30mm with 21 parts such as the engine fan and forward mud-guards. There is also a small Decal sheet measuring 105 x 50mm supplied giving two serial numbers and all your dashboard gauges.




Note there is also a short piece of thread supplied for the winch.


The other side of the PE fret is shown next..




Next up we have the Decal sheet blown up, making it all so much clearer




The Instructions are supplied as 8 sheets of double sided black and white A4 paper. Again, there have been complaints about this format, but I really do like it. I find it much easier to flick from page to page rather than go through a book style set up or even worse a map style fold up sheet. You will see over the next 16 shots how clear and complete the instructions are.


































This kit is definitely not for beginners as it is quite a complex model to build, which makes it so much fun for the more experienced modeller. It is far from a shake and bake kit, but is not as bad as some reviews or comments of the wrecker would have you believe. There will be pin holes too small for their mating pin and some faces will need a light sanding to smooth them out before gluing... this is modelling after all!! When finished you will proudly say, "I did that".



Thanks go out to Mirror models for supplying this lovely kit for review and build here on LSM. I look forward to building their upcoming releases, including a WW2 caterpillar D7 tractor



I have started a build log for this kit here. Go take a look, it's a really nice kit to build...if it's anything like the Wrecker?

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