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Italeri 1/24 scale Volvo F12 intercooler low roof with accessories plastic model kit review

New decals and accessories update a favorite truck kit
Kit:3957 // Scale:1/24 // Price:$99.00
Italeri (Sample courtesy of Model Rectifier)
Plenty of decals; understandable instructions; a variety of build options; good parts fit
Finicky front window; several parts require cleanup
Injection-molded plastic (light gray, white, silver, tan, clear); 254 parts (7 black vinyl tires); decals
The Volvo F12 was produced during the late 1970s and early 1980s and, with many forward-thinking design features, became widely popular all over Europe. The vehicle could be configured with different engines and had many cabin options, including the versatile and compact "low roof" model. This kit was originally released in 1981 and re-released many times over the years. This new version comes with additional accessories to customize your build, including a shovel, broom, emergency road sign, fire extinguisher, and small Michelin tires, as well as new decals.

Unsurprisingly, the build starts with the engine and requires seven parts to complete, with more parts added in later steps. You get huge engine halves with exhaust manifolds already molded on. The engine intake manifold, water pump, pulleys and belts, and the engine front cover with a molded alternator round out the parts list.

Forty-five parts build a complete and accurate chassis. You may build the entire frame and components first and then paint or, as I did, paint all the individual parts first and get on with the build. Italeri’s tooling shows its age with the chassis parts, so make sure to inspect them and perform any necessary cleanup before gluing.

You’ll add the engine, radiator, hoses, motor fan, and turbo exhaust system to complete the chassis. The instructions call for the radiator to be placed on the chassis and, ultimately, around the engine fan. The actual fan ends up inside a small shroud on the radiator, making the fit a bit tricky to accomplish. Make sure the glue on the fan is still wet so you can move the part as you place the radiator.

The instructions clearly guide you through the rest of the chassis assembly with no difficulties.

The wheels were all molded in silver and consist of two parts: rear sleeves and the outer rims. Once painted and built, the wheels fit perfectly into the beautifully-molded rubber tires.

The cab interior consists mostly of tan or light brown parts; paint according to your references. The interior is quite detailed, and the kit provides 13 decals for the instrument cluster, gauges, and the center of the steering wheel.

You build the cab from several panels. I found that the best way to complete the cab installation is to glue the side panels onto the rear panel first. Let these panels dry thoroughly and then add the front panel and then the top. It’s easier to square everything by following this method.

The front glass mounts around the perimeter of the window frame with no positive locators. You have to hold the glass in place, taking care not to get glue on the clear plastic; it is tedious and isn’t much fun to accomplish.

The interior fit inside the cab perfectly. At this point, it’s time to add all the little parts, like the cab handles, rearview mirrors, wipers, and mounting brackets. Be careful, or you’ll find yourself snapping parts off that you don’t want to lose.

The instructions provide three marking options: Royal Black, Volvo White Striped, and, the one I picked, German Green-Orange. All the decals you’ll need are provided.

Admittedly I am not a truck guy, but I do love stepping outside my comfort zone and getting my hands dirty with anything that might be fun. And the Italeri 1/24 scale Volvo F12 truck was certainly a fun build. I would recommend this kit to anyone without any hesitation. The Cartograf decals come with everything you’ll need for the different options, and the instructions are clear and precise.
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