Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

MiniArt U.S. Army Bulldozer

For a long time, modelers have sought kits of heavy construction equipment used during World War II; high on that list of wants was the Caterpillar D7 tractor. MiniArt has answered the call with not one, but four kits of the D7: a basic tractor, an angled-blade bulldozer, an armored bulldozer, and the subject of this review, the basic bulldozer.

The large box is chock-full of parts. Well molded, they show excellent detail, fine shapes to the point of being delicate, and minimal mold seams. A few parts were broken on the sprues in my kit, but I repaired them easily. The kit includes individual-link tracks and comprehensive piping for the ’dozer blade’s hydraulics. A small photo-etched fret supplies seven parts.

The engine is so detailed, I looked in the box for the 1/35 scale socket set to put it together. The only things missing are electrical wiring and fuel lines.
The 20-page instruction booklet features detailed color diagrams for three marking options. Colors are referred to by basic name and Ammo of Mig Jimenez color numbers.

It may seem strange to attach the radiator to the engine before adding the parts to the frame, but follow the instructions. It is especially important to add the plumbing when shown in the instructions, as things can quickly get in your way if you try to add it later.

MiniArt molded the frame rails with the rear-drive housings making it easy to line everything up as you attach the rear box and cab.

The plastic is brittle and, despite my best efforts to be careful and gentle, some small parts broke as I cut them from the sprues. For example, both grab handles for the cab sides shattered during removal. I replaced them with lead wire bent to shape. According to MiniArt’s Facebook page, the company has experienced problems with its supply of plastic, causing quality problems. A switch to a different supplier is expected to alleviate the issue.

I spent a lot of time fixing the control linkages in Step 23 after they broke into several parts. As it turns out, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble because all of that detail gets covered by the floor, never to be seen again.

The only area that needed filler was the fuel tank behind the seat. Otherwise, a little Mr. Surfacer 500 eliminated any seams.

I left the seat cushions and armrests off the model until major painting was finished.

Building the track sponsons went pretty smoothly; the only tricky part was holding all of the plates and road wheels in place while gluing the inner and outer sides.
I found assembling the tracks challenging. If I properly understand the instructions, you are supposed to put all of the links together without glue, then glue the track pads in place. Trying this with two of the links showed it wouldn’t work.

I built one sprue of links at a time, first attaching one link side (Dc3) to each pad. Then, I glued a pin to the wide end of each link. Once these were dry I added the other link side (Dc2) to the first pad, slipped the pin of the next link through the narrow side of the link, then added the other side, carefully gluing it to the track pad. It sounds complicated but it worked well. I built a jig with sheet styrene to align the links during assembly. You’ll need 36 links per side, and MiniArt gives you just enough links — there’s not one extra. I installed the tracks after painting. Despite all the work to make the tracks workable, I suggest that they be glued in place once they are on the model.

Nearly everything on the bulldozer was olive drab. So I did most of the basic painting during assembly, much of it while the parts were still on the sprues.
The decals were thin but opaque and settled over a coat of gloss. I weathered the vehicle by airbrushing several shades of brown and applying enamel washes. A final pinwash of flat black enamel emphasized detail.
I spent 49 hours building my bulldozer, and it presented challenges along the way. You’ll need considerable experience to tackle this kit. But if you’re up to the task, it produces a beautiful model.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the January 2016 issue.
Read and share your comments on this article

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.


Essential finishing techniques for scale modelers.
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.