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In-Box Review
135
L4500R Maultier
L4500R Maultier PE upgrade set
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by: Roman [ BIZARRE ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Adding photo-etched parts to the model increases the detail level and PE became a very popular trend during last 10 years of modeling. Even manufacturers of plastic kits tend to increase the amount of PE to provide hobby enthusiasts with all they need in the box. But still there is a demand for aftermarket products, since not everything can be reproduced nicely in styrene.

The L4500R Maultier kit appeared couple of years ago on the market, first released by Zvezda and later by Revell. These kits differ only in decals, and the full canvas is absent in Revell’s package. The quality of the parts is not up to today’s standards (Bronco, Dragon, Tasca), requiring a lot of clean-up, and are often oversized. That’s why I was surprised that none of the PE manufacturers had released an upgrade set earlier.

The Maultier (German for “mule”) was a hybrid truck fitted with the obsolete Pz. I track assembly that allowed trucks to operate in the horrendous Russian terrain, especially during the “mud time” just before and just after Winter. The Pz. I was no longer being built, and though the Maultier could not go where dedicated half-tracks could, it meant the Wehrmacht didn’t have to take the latter out of combat for supply tasks. The tracks were adapted to a variety of trucks, most notably the Opel Blitz, but also the Daimler L4500.

The contents

The set comes in a standard Voyager package (a thin cardboard box). Inside you have:

2 frets of brass PE
1 piece of film
1 resin Notek lamp
1 plastic and 1 steel rod
An A4-sized instruction sheet

All parts are sealed in plastic bags to ensure that nothing falls out, even if it gets detached from the PE fret. The smaller PE fret is even put between layers of film.

The review

The set replaces the most crucial parts of the kit; most notably, the engine access doors are made with open louvers and could be assembled workable to show the huge engine of this half-truck, half-track. Needless to say, the original parts were way too thick. For the cargo bed, you get mud flaps and workable hinges, so any of the sides can be positioned opened. Also included are various minor details (door handles, front glass wipers, mirrors, parts to detail the width indicators, the Notek light).

Note that the Notek light is made of resin and has excellent detail.

Additionally, there is a rear convoy light with license plate. As an additional part, a film for the instrument dials is provided, and other elements like gas, brake and clutch pedals are present. For the radiator grill, two options are included.

The instructions are clearly-written, and the only fault that comes into my mind is the inclusion of the fuel tank assembly, which is not shown on the model (probably migrated from the regular L4500 truck).

Conclusion

I think this is an excellent upgrade set for Zvezda/Revell L4500R Maultier half-track. Inclusion of plastic and steel rods eliminates the need to search for these like in case of other PE manufacturers.
SUMMARY
Highs: Fixes most of the weak parts of the original kit.
Lows: Could be a bit cheaper?
Verdict: Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35462
  Suggested Retail: 15 USD
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Apr 17, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 89.61%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.70%

About Roman (Bizarre)
FROM: AKERSHUS, NORWAY

Copyright ©2019 text by Roman [ BIZARRE ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



Comments

Hi Matthew, I don't have the set for regular L4500 but as I can see from the images on Voyager website they are slightly different. In L4500 there are different parts for the tarp and you have tool clamps included. In Maultier version you don't have Mercedes logo. As for the bumper - it is a number plate, nothing else. You can check the images of completed sets here LINK
APR 19, 2012 - 07:54 AM
Alan, thanks for feedback. Regarding the quality and the price. I would prefer to get Bronco model for 50 USD that doesnt need PE upgrades (like their SdKfz6 series) then buying a kit for 35 USD and then spend 15 USD on PE set Maybe I am too strict to Revell, but I feel very unmotivated to build their kit after doing several kits from Bronco and Dragon in a row. F.e. Bronco's 1/48 scale kits required almost zero clean up, and everything is so tiny. The set for the regular L4500 was released a year ago or so...
APR 19, 2012 - 07:58 AM
Hey, Cliff, that sounds excellent. The PART PE is often very detailed, but I don't believe they send us review samples, so it would be good to have reviews. Thanks in advance.
APR 19, 2012 - 09:07 AM
Yes, on their site you can see it is the number plate only, seems a bit of a shame that they missed that correction then. Also seems a bit disappointing that they don't seem to include the tarpaulin hoops for the halftrack as they did for the truck as this is an omission from the halftrack on Revell (definitely) and Zvezda (I think) versions - I've even been scratching them for mine. While I'm really nitpicking, and now I've dug out the Nut and Bolts Maultier book, photos show that the foot step plates don't have tread pattern going around on to their sides, and should be (ironically, for an etched set) thinner. The radiator filler cap also looks too flat and wide, and the holders for the tarp hoops look too wide. Not sure that the surround for the windscreen adds much authenticity either, to be honest. The engine covers, cargo bed / gate fittings, and number plates do all look good though!
APR 19, 2012 - 10:27 AM
Yes, I agree, these are the most crucial parts. Are there any afterwar pictures of Maultier in that book? Not with wooden cab.
APR 19, 2012 - 10:34 AM
Roman, I'm sure I have heard that question before, not sure if from you or not! No, I have never seen any photos that claim to be of one of these vehicles after the war. No doubt you are familiar with the photos of the wooden cab version that appears to be in British hands which may I suppose be taken post May '45. Otherwise there are various photos around of these things destroyed, so possibly that was the fate of all of them. I can imagine them being a pretty big target for marauding aircraft. There are photos included in the book that I never found on the web, some of which could be useful, though I would hesitate to say that any of them added a great deal new to my understanding. There's a review of the book on this site: Nuts and Bolts Maultier.
APR 19, 2012 - 10:45 AM
OK
APR 19, 2012 - 10:57 AM
Well I'd be pretty fed up to spend that sort of sum of money (50USD) on the SdKfz 6 only to find that it took the third variant kit release to get the cab shape and dimensions correct You seemed to have missed my point somewhere along the line. Whilst the PE kit is nice and would add extra detail to the kit, it's perfectly acceptable, very good in fact without it. I think your comments sound like an opinion based on older Zevzda kits, and doesn't credit them with upping the quality of their kits in their latest releases. PE after-market sets is really an option these days for almost all kits, rather than its purpose a few years ago when it was introduced for kits made in that period. Of course the companies producing it want you to believe its "required" but in truth with the level of detail in most kits out of the box these days its more of a option than a real requirement. Alan
APR 19, 2012 - 11:15 AM
Well, I don't have other then L4500R experience with Revell-Zvezda during last 10 years. Maybe I am just unlucky... Regarding the cab in Sd.Kfz.6 - true, but I still managed to get attractive model out of it. How many people know about that accuracy issue?
APR 19, 2012 - 11:40 AM
   

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