Bulldozer kits of all kinds are rapidly entering the scale modeling world last couple of years. The big bang started with the Doobi D9R from Meng Model and continues with many others, different shapes and sizes of engineering vehicles used throughout the eras of wars. One of the latest that we got on the maret is MiniArt D7 version – an U.S. Armored bulldozer, kit number 35188. The vehicle was used in the end days of WWII, clearing the ruins of Germany’s cities. These were sad times, but the dozer itself looks awesome.
Once again, I must note that the whole kit is made from the new material that MiniArt is going to use from late 2015 and onwards. This is very important while we speak about that bulldozer, because it is based on a D7 #35174, and that was the kit that caused me a lot of headaches with its cracking track pads, cracking lines, cracking handles, and overall, cracking everything. With a great sigh of relief, I must say – this is over! It is done!
The new plastic material is very flexible, easy to work with and modeler-friendly. This is crucial regarding this exact model. It is a kit full with fiddly parts, it offers movable tracks, a whole bunch of handles for the driver and so on. All this, made from tiny and precise sub-assemblies needs to be done from flexible plastic. It just begs for it!
So, almost year after we got the D7 #35174, MiniArt made a giant leap, going all the way to providing the great material alongside with a kit, which is standalone near-perfect! Yep, that’s right, this kit, in his entirety is engineered in a manner that would satisfy the needs of the pickiest and most-pretentious scale modeler out there.
But let’s start from the beginning: It features more than 750 parts, including clear and PE material. It is a cabbed version, but beneath the cab we have enough to show the interior of it – a whole driver’s compartment. Tracks are workable, blade seems workable enough as well /following the instructions/. On the rear of where was the winch on their first kit, we have two winch-likes motors, and it seems like these were for the dozer blade. Another cool difference is that the front radiator has a second covering plate, probably armored, which looks extremely detailed in plastic.
The engine beneath that is wonderful, and it shows almost everything you can think of. Caterpillar signs, small handles, the fan, the belts, everything is there. The option to make it partially or fully visible is there of course. With so many details and small parts, the kit begs to be done in a attractive modeling manner, ripped, showing off what’s inside.
Unfortunately, there is only one painting option, but if you search the forums I am pretty sure you will find more. Another source is Tankograd publications. They have great book on D7 tractors, and inside you can find some pictures of the armored version of it.
The more you look at the sprues of it, the more you fall in love with this kit. It is definitely not for a beginner, but it gives you so much, that you can barely comprehend it on the first box opening. You gotta watch out with the tracks geometry, because the assembly is a bit tedious, but overall everything is easy to be build. The first D7 had almost perfect fit actually, and if it wasn’t for the plastic, it would’ve been great. I really do hope they will re-issue that featuring the new material.
From what I’ve built so far from MiniArt, I must say that their idea behind everything is amazing. From a small company, just out of nowhere, they became one of the heavy hitters on the market. And with these subjects….Wow!
Highly recommended! Not only that, I strongly believe, that this is the BEST and the most attractive kit that MiniArt ever produced!
You can get the kit here: U.S. Armored Bulldozer
You can watch the video review here: https://youtu.be/C2Yl4NZ5kSA