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In-Box Review
Coleman MB4 + Towbar
Coleman MB4 Airfield Tug Tractor Resin Model Kit + Towbar
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by: Ben [ MCLEOD ]

Brief History
Manufactured by the American-Coleman Co., the Model G-40, Type MB4 tractor is a versatile 4-wheel drive, 4-wheel steering airfield 'mule'. The tug has a towing capacity of 100,000 lbs., and can 'turn on a dime'. Production of the MB4 began in 1949 with a USAF contract for 49 units and continued thru to the 1980's. Over the years it was supplied with either gasoline or diesel fuel engines. Depending on the customer, the tug was painted safety yellow, army drab green, or white. The MB4 was built exclusively at the American-Coleman Co. facility in Littleton, Colorado.

in the Box
- 34 resin tractor parts
- 12 resin towbar parts
- 2 resin hand rail formers
- 9 clear window parts on one acetate sheet
- 2 lengths copper wire
- 2 lengths styrene rod
- 1 31mm x 74mm decal sheet
- 1 set of instructions

The Kit
When I first unpacked the resin parts for survey, I zeroed in on those particular pieces that I would most likely notice looking at a finished model, the cab, the hood, and the wheels.
The hood is beautiful; a solid, unblemished piece of resin casting that when checked against a photo of the real thing, looks to be entirely accurate. There are the right number of louvers on the side panels and the front grill slots are also correct in number. The recessed panel lines are not canyons as seems commonplace on so many resin models.
The cabs shape and exterior detail also appears very accurate when compared to a photo of the real MB4. It is a very fresh resin casting with only light resin flash clean-up required. One will have to take care while working with the model, as the raised door handles and hand holds are quite delicate. Sadly, the drivers side roof window is solidly cast into the piece, and does not allow for a clear part.
A few notes on the supplied cab interior pieces. The two seats are very nice, indeed. They are just too perfectly straight with no real life detail, giving them an unrealistic feel. A few dents and creases in the old leather will make them look less toy-like.
Other than the seats, the interior details include a dashboard, a steering wheel, and a floor stick-shift. It would have been nice to have included the operators foot pedals, as 1/48 scale is large enough where the interior should be more than just basic.
The wheels and tires are also quite nicely cast and appear fairly accurate. The tires being cast separately from the wheel rims will certainly assist painting efforts.
Other resin parts, finely cast, include the chassis and 4-wheel drive-chain parts, and the rear cargo deck. The rear deck itself is another very nice piece. A diamond plate type floor is clearly cast onto it. The decks hand railing is made by bending the supplied copper wire into the included resin formers. These two formers are clearly marked 'right' and 'left', for the rails on either side of the box.
A very welcome touch in this kit is the clear window parts. These are presented already cut on the acetate sheet. There is a clear diagram in the instructions on how to remove them for installation.
The tow bar included in this MB4 kit is another excellent resin model in the same box. All of the tow bar resin castings in my example appear flawless. Frankly, if someone had no experience working with resin models, this tow bar would make an outstanding first go.

Decals and Instructions
The 15 step instructions are clearly printed on 3 sides of two A-4 sheet stock, with excellent and concise drawings mapping the way to put this vehicle together successfully. Included on these pages is a 4-view drawing and a pair of color photos showing the completed model.
Water-slide decals for a single USAF vehicle are provided. This sheet is printed by Fantasy Printshop.

All-in-all, this is an exquisite resin model, finely and accurately cast. VideoAviation really are making their mark in the field of diorama accessories.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Resin parts are very smooth and accurately cast. Instructions are excellent.
Lows: Cab interior is basic. Roof window and headlamp lenses should be clear. Decals for 1 vehicle only.
Verdict: A fine resin model of a welcome subject. This is an excellent diorama addition.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 130448
  Suggested Retail: 28 Euros
  PUBLISHED: Jul 13, 2014
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to VideoAviation.com!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Ben (Mcleod)

I live in Alberta, the West Central region close to the Rocky Mountains. It get's so cold here in the winter, that staying inside and building model aircraft seemed like a really good idea. I enjoy the hobby very much. The aircraft are my favorite, but, I do dabble with the odd bit of armor, aut...

Copyright 2021 text by Ben [ MCLEOD ]. 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.


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