by: Randy L Harvey [ ]
The Daimler "Dingo" was a small, light, fast, four wheel drive armored car that was designed in 1939 by Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) and produced by Daimler and was used during World War Two. The Dingo was manned by a two man crew and was used as a reconnaissance and liaison vehicle. One special feature of the Dingo was the transmission: it featured a pre-selector gearbox and fluid flywheel that gave the vehicle five speeds in forward and reverse. The original version had four wheel steering, which was later dropped due to inexperienced drivers who found the vehicle hard to control. The Dingo had a flat steel plate beneath the chassis to assist in sliding over uneven ground, however, by sliding on the ground, it was vulnerable to land mines. It used run-flat rubber tires instead of pneumatic ones. With those run-flat tires, the Dingo did not need to carry a spare as part of its equipment. The interior featured a swivel seat next to the driver that allowed the other crew member to operate the radio or the Bren Gun. The Dingo experienced some mechanical trouble with early production models, however the problems were rectified, and the Daimler Dingo proved to be a very reliable vehicle. It turned out to be so successful that no replacement was sought until 1952, which led to the development and production of the Daimler Ferret. In the mid-70s, the Dingo was still used by Cyprus, Portugal and Sri Lanka.
The Leichter Pz.Kpfw. Mk. I 202(e) is a new release from MiniArt in 1/35 scale representing a British Daimler Mk. I Scout Car (known as the "Dingo") that has been captured by the Germans, and is in their use. The kit comes in a nice, sturdy cardboard box with a lift-off lid. I prefer a lift-off lid as opposed to the type that opens on the end like a cereal box or something like that. That way I can leave all of the sprues and loose parts in the bottom half of the box and not have to worry about where they are, or have them cluttering up my work area. Another bonus to the sturdy box is that if you have a kit stash/collection, you donít have to worry about this one getting crushed. You also know the kit will arrive in good condition if you order it through the mail. The box art on the lid is excellent, and can be used for a painting and decal placement guide, as well as for weathering the vehicle.
The box contains 204 pieces, including a fret of photo etched brass detailing pieces and three figures. The instruction sheet and the painting guide are packaged loose. There are a total of five sprues, all sealed within a large, clear plastic bag that holds the two large sprues. Within this large bag is a smaller one containing three small sprues, the four tire and wheel assemblies, as well as another small clear plastic bag which contains the fret of photo etched brass.
The plastic pieces are attached to the sprues with a minimal amount of contact points. I have seen some kits where it seems like the sprues contain more plastic than the pieces that make up the kit. However, that is not the case with this kit, which makes for easy removal and less clean-up of the individual pieces. I didn't find any bent, broken or missing pieces; the individual sprues and pieces are all clearly numbered.
As I examined the individual pieces I found what I would consider to be a normal to minimal amount of flash and seam lines present. It isn't excessive by any means but there is some none the less. I also did not find an excessive amount of push-out (knock-out) marks. Those that are present appear to be in locations that will not be seen when the kit is completed. There are some locator marks that need to be removed, and this is indicated on the instruction sheet. The detailing on the individual pieces is nice and crisp. I was pleased by things such as the weld seams on the main body, as well as smaller details such as the lashing on the radio operatorís/gunnerís seat and seat back. The interior has a nice amount of detailing, such as the seats, instrument panel, steering wheel, radio equipment, fire extinguisher, foot pedals, shifters and a spare barrel for the Bren Gun. The interior side of the doors and hatches are detailed as well.
The exterior has nice detail on things like the shovel and jack, lifting eyes and other details, including rivets, handles, hinges and latches. The handles, hinges and latches might have been better if they had been photo etched, as they look a little too flat; however, that is just my personal opinion. The undercarriage is also nicely detailed as well, especially the steering assembly, the axles and the compression coil springs. The tire and wheel assemblies are well done. The tires represent Dunlop brand tires (the correct brand), and they also have the correct tread pattern and have raised lettering. The wheels are the correct type and style.
The kit comes with one fret of photo etched brass containing 100 pieces of clearly-numbered detailing parts, including mud flaps, grab handles, hatch levers, tools straps and other such items. The photo etched parts are cleanly etched, and there were no bent or missing pieces. One thing that I thought should be included (which isnít) is a guide for using photo etched brass for first time users.
Included are three German figures in various standing poses. There isn't a figure that can be used as a driver, which I found to be somewhat disappointing. All three figures are in tropical dress. You get three holstered pistols, a pair of binoculars, a pith helmet and two soft caps. There is also an MG-34 that can be used in place of the British Bren Gun. The figures are lacking the pieces that I would consider basic issued gear: no individual weapons (other than the pistols), steel helmets, canteens, gas mask canisters, entrenching tools, trench knives, bread sacks, etc. If you want to add these, you will have to dive into your spare parts bin. The detailing on the figures is the same as the rest of the kit.
The kit comes with a few extra pieces, including two Enfield rifles, the Bren Gun and its spare barrel if you choose not to use the MG-34. There are also numerous photo etch pieces that will end up in the spares box - supports for the forward, side & rear vision hatches if you place them in the closed position. Extra pieces are always a plus for me as I enjoy watching my spare parts bin grow.
THE INSTRUCTION SHEET:
The kit comes with a six page instruction sheet. Itís well-detailed, and shows nice representations of the individual pieces. I did find that the instruction sheet can be hard to follow. The individual assembly steps are not necessarily in order on the pages, and there are no written instructions with the assembly steps describing how a certain part should fit, or if it needs to be installed before another is put in place. This always leads to dry-fitting and sometimes a trial-and-error process. I also noticed that part of step 24 is blurry from what I would call a duplicate/double exposure. Fortunately, it doesnít interfere with indicating how the assembly needs to be done.
DECALS & PAINTING
The decals that come with the kit are the water slide kind. They represent two German units.
- Panzerspaehwagen Abteilung 1 der Kriegsmarine, Crimea 1942
- Panzerspaehwagen MK. I 202 (e), Libya, Spring 1941
You get six crosses, two different license plate numbers and one type of unit symbol for the Kriegsmarine (or German Navy). The decals are nice and clear, and are not crowded on the decal sheet, which makes them easy to remove. However, you only get the two options.
The kit comes with a double sided color painting guide. The first side shows two different color schemes: dark gray for the Crimea vehicle, and sand color for the Libyan variant.
The second side is an assembly and painting guide for the three German figures that come with the kit, and includes a paint color cross-reference chart which. This is a nice touch, as it cross-references thirteen different colors from six different brands:
- Mr. Color
It isn't what I would call a perfect kit, however it is a very nice product. I would have no hesitation recommending it to others. Please keep in mind that this in an in-box review, and that I have not removed any of the parts and dry fitted them to see how they fit.
- Wikipedia Ė The Free Encyclopedia.
- Armored Fighting Vehicles is Profile: Volume 2, British AFVs, 1919/1940, edited by Duncan Crow.
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the World's Tanks and Fighting Vehicles, by Christopher F. Foss.