by: Kevin Brant [ ]
Originally published on:
The Mercedes-Benz 770 was a luxury car built in Germany from 1930 to 1943, and is probably best known for its use by high ranking German officials, like Hitler and Goring. Between 1938 and 1943 there were 88 Series II - W150’s built, with only 46 built with the open body Tourwagen style. The model kit from ICM represents the Series II of this car, designated W150.
I just happen to live close enough to the Canadian War Museum, which just happens to have a surviving Mercedes-Benz 770. After some research by the museum staff, it was discovered that the particular car on display was one of the vehicles used by Adolf Hitler. I have included a couple of images at the bottom.
The box of this kit from ICM comes just packed, actually the top of my example was actually bulging just a little. Inside the box is a single bag of sprues, 5 molded in tan plastic, one clear plastic sprue. Also in the box is a set of instructions and a small decal sheet.
The plastic molding of the kit looks to be very well done, I found no flash on my example, and only what looks to be a single area where ejector marks will need to be cleaned up, on the inside of the top. There are a good number of smaller detail parts done in plastic that look very well done, including the undercarriage, interior and exterior door handles, and even the Mercedes-Benz hood ornament.
The kit does contain a well detailed engine, and with a little cutting the kit does provide the option to leave the bonnet open should you want to show it off. The same cannot be said for the interior, while there is a lot of detail pieces to dress up the interior, with the closed top, there is no option to leave the doors open without some work, thus a lot of this detail will be covered up. The only drawback on the interior is I find the gauge moldings on the dash to be a little soft in detail and does not match the actually gauge layout on the original car.
The undercarriage looks to be well detailed with suspension parts, swing arms, drive shaft and axles. Some care will need to be taken with getting some of the finer detail parts of the sprue. The wheels are constructed in a multi-layer sandwich style, unfortunately I found the sprue gates a little large, and without great care and some extra work the fine molded detail in the tread will be lost in spots.
The exterior of the vehicle also looks to be very well detailed, this includes the molded detail on the running boards. The exterior door handles, as well as the door hinges, are separate small pieces and will require a little extra care when removing from sprue and assembling. The exhaust from the engine extends out the passenger side of the bonnet and are very prominent and the molded detail looks good. The only faults I could find is the small indicator lights mounted on the front fenders look a little narrow. I had thought there was an issue with the mounting bar for the three small lights on the front, as they differ from the example we have here at the museum, but looking at some other examples, there does not seem to be a standard, as each example had a different configuration. These may be due to post war modifications, but the one image I found with Hitler riding in the vehicle had a completely different light configuration on the front. The kit does provide the option for a standard light and a Notek blackout headlight.
The clear plastic for the front windshield, side, and rear windows looks to be done very well done. There were no visible bubbles in the plastic, and the window are very clear. The closed top, or open top as the box states, is done in two pieces with two fine molded parts to represent the hinge mechanism.
As for painting, the instructions included many paint callouts during assembly, referencing Model Master colors. There are four vehicles markings shown at the end of the instructions, with three being the basic black and one being a dunkelgelb and olivegrun scheme. The main difference between the black schemes is the use of the Notek blackout light and use of the flag mounted on the fender.
The kit does include a small decal sheet that includes three different plate markings, two different fender flag options, and decals for the gauges on the dash board. The decals are well printed, and all seem to be in register. Being that my review kit came from Europe, there are no swastika’s represented on the flags, thus for an authentic look the swastika marking will have to be sourced elsewhere.
The instructions are printed on glossy paper and take the builder over 27 steps to complete the build. The build looks pretty straight forward starting with the engine, onto the undercarriage, interior, and then exterior, leaving the undercarriage and body sub-assemblies separate until the end. I did notice a few of the steps look very busy, and care will need to be taken as to the actual location of the some of the part mountings.
Two small drawbacks I have found with the kit is the lack of photo-etched parts, as some of the detail could have been replaced with finer photo-etched details. The second is the lack of pre-chromed parts. Being a car used by the highest ranking members in the 3rd Reich, the car does contain a lot of chrome. It will be up the builder to mask and paint this chrome using Alcad or another brand of metallizer paint to achieve a good chrome finish.
Over all this looks to be a good kit and decent resemblance of the Typ 777 Tourwagen from ICM. The kit assembly looks straight forward, and there is plenty of detail inside and out. The minor issues of the lack of swastikas and having to paint the chrome are easily rectified by most modellers, and adds a little challenge to what looks like a relatively easy build. For fans of softskin vehicles and staff cars, I can highly recommend this kit.