The Mercedes-Benz Type 170V was produced as a limousine, a cabriolet, and even a roadster (300 of these were built). In its military service during World War II, it was often a staff car.
MiniArt’s new 170V is a welcome addition to the growing number of WWII soft-skin kits, and I believe it’s the first 1/35 scale kit of this Mercedes-Benz. It’s well-molded in yellow/tan plastic and includes a complete engine, drivetrain, suspension details, passenger compartment detail, exterior trunk, and photoetched-metal detail parts. Also included is a bonus set of MiniArt German civilian figures.
Though a smaller vehicle than the usual 1/35 scale armor, the kit has a high parts count and uses photoetched metal in key areas. So, I studied the instructions carefully before starting construction with the engine, transmission, and frame.
The engine has a lot of parts. Make sure they all line up properly, as this will affect the installation of the radiator, drive shaft, and body parts later on.
The passenger compartment builds up well. Detail includes separate door and window handles along with all the driver’s controls.
The upper body is finely molded. The four separate doors fit perfectly in their openings. The upper body mates with the lower body/floor precisely — impressive!
The clear parts had excellent clarity and fit well in all positions. I liked the clever use of placement pins to position the door windows.
The radiator builds up from plastic parts with a photoetched-metal grille. There’s even a Mercedes-Benz insignia for the radiator cap!
The tires are built in “sandwiches” of four disks to create a realistic tread pattern.
I found some of the photoetched metal was so fine it was difficult to use (for me, that is). These include the window wipers and hood mounts, for example. Plastic alternatives would have been a nice provision for people who prefer it to metal.
I painted my 170V with Tamiya spray colors. Decals are given for three military and one civilian scheme.
The ambulance markings were eye-catching, and I went with that. The decals went down well on a semigloss finish with a bit of decal solution.
The completed model looks convincing compared to the photos I found on the Internet (I had no printed references).
I completed my 170V in 16 hours. The kit is challenging due to its complexity and use of photoetched metal, but, given the overall quality, I can easily recommend it to advanced modelers.
A version of this review appeared in the July 2012 FineScale Modeler.