Model No. 35851

Scale – 1/35

MSRP – $59.00 US

Reviewed by Todd Michalak

 

US Military Bulldozer

 

A couple of years before the outset of the Second World War, the US Military had a need for a primary earth moving vehicle; with the Caterpillar D7 Bulldozer, that need was fulfilled. Around 1940, the military version of the D7 bulldozer (Tractor, Heady, M1) form Caterpillar was pressed into service with the US Army for a multitude of applications including mine clearing, creating fortified survivability positions, anti-tank ditches and much, much more.

 

The M1 Bulldozer is a 50,000 pound medium-size tractor powered by a Caterpillar 92hp D-8800 diesel engine. The early M1 bulldozer was fitted 74 inch track gauge and provisions to handle several field attachments including earth moving blades, mine clearing flail and a variety of soil specific adaptations. This bulldozer found its way into the prime mover category as it was perfect for towing artillery to and from the field of battle.

During the Second World War, the M1 Bulldozer served the US on many fronts from the European and Mediterranean theaters to the Pacific campaign. There were even around one thousands of these dozers make their way to the Russians where they were pressed into service to haul the big guns of the Red Army.

The D7 Bulldozer has served the military for over 60 years in over twelve different variants of the originally design based D7 Bulldozer. There are newer and larger bulldozers in the US Military arsenal of earth moving/prime-moving vehicles but the D7 continues on filling the needs asked of it.

 

The Kit

Mirror Models US Military Bulldozer is one of the most recent releases from Mirror Models is their US Military Bulldozer model number 35851. This is a 1/35 scale injection molded styrene model kit consisting of the following:

Contents

  • 15 – Light grey styrene sprue trees
  • 2 – Clear styrene parts
  • 3 – Photo etch sheets
  • 1 – Length of 0.05mm stranded wire
  • 1 – Length of rope (wire)
  • 2 – Coil Springs
  • 1 – Decal sheet
  • 1 – Instruction manual

At first look, the kit is well packaged in Mirror Models standard slip-top cardboard box. There are 585 styrene parts included in this kit including the two clear styrene lenses, all spread out over 15 sprue trees and the two clear parts separate from the others. Five of these sprue trees are the parts for constructing the bulldozers tracks. In looking at the sprues, the parts are laid out nicely and numbered clearly for easy part location.

                      
All of the styrene parts included in this kit as cleanly molded and basically free from any flash. The larger dozer parts a detailed very well and connection points are at a minimum. I noticed some fine mold seams, which is indicative of the injection molded process. Most of these seams look to be and easy clean up before installation. With 585 parts in a 1/35 scale bulldozer it is expected that there will be numerous parts that fall into the “extremely small category” when it comes to model assembly. This should be noted if you are new to the hobby, care and a lot of patience will be needed to make your way through the removal and cleanup stages of construction.

 

Since the M1 Bulldozer has an open-sided engine compartment, this kit comes with a complete styrene version of the D-8800 diesel engine. The engine is appointed very well with a decent level of detailing and with the added photo etch supplied for the engine, should build up quite nicely.

Unlike the previous release from Mirror Models of the US Military Crawler, their US Military Bulldozer does in fact include a LeTourneau WCK-7 blade. This consisted of a dozer blade controlled by a rear mounted motor with the drive cable running up over the dozer by way of a steel truss mount. The kit supplied parts for the LeTourneau blade look to be molded well and is suggestive of the original unit installed on the M1; right down to the two top-mounted service lights…this would be what the two kit-supplied clear styrene lenses are included for.

                        

The drive-train on Mirror Models’ version of the M1 Dozer is nicely detailed and there is the option of installation of the cover plates over the bogies that would protect the torsion spring and idler adjustments from earth buildup. The kit has two metal springs which are used in this location and nicely represent the springs on the original bulldozer. The idler and sprocket wheels are cleanly molded and the correct numbers of sprocket teeth appear to be on the kit parts.

                                       

Photo Etch

This kit comes with three sheets of photo etch parts.  One of the sheets solely contains the floor section to the bulldozer and nicely replicated the diamond plate panel installed on the original tractor.  The larger sheet of photo etch contains parts for the rear mounted motor and Protective radiator plate for behind the dozer blade.  The more notable parts for the final sheet of photo etch are the two step-plates and fan for the motor.

               

 

Tracks

Five of the fifteen sprues in this kit are dedicated to the track construction. The kit explains that these are to be movable tracks when complete. Each individual track section consists of a two piece link with a separate growser pad that gets installed onto the links in a straightforward process outlined in the instructions.

         

Instructions

The instruction manual for the US Military Bulldozer kit is a sixteen page manual in a black and white exploded view format with nicely rendered CAD drawings and large bold-face numbering for the parts and placement. Most of the first half of the instructions is dedicated to the construction of the engine for the bulldozer due to the numerous part count to the engine alone. The only other area that looks to be more involved with construction is with the rear control engine and LeTourneau blade.

One item o remember with this kits, it’s parts and the instructions, is that the parts are not listed numerically on the spures.  This would not be too difficult if the individual sprues were lettered as in most cases; however, they are not.  It ill just take a little extra time looking through the sprues to find what you are looking for.  One trick would be to take the time at the beginning of the build to ind which sprues coincide with which sections of the instructions and label them with masking tape.

              

For a complete listing of the instructions, please refer to the link posted below

 

Included with this kit is a length of rope and stranded wire. The rope is for windings of the sheaves of the LeTourneau blade’s pulley system at the front and rear. The stranded wire would be for the tow rope assembly on the rear of the dozer.

                        

Mirror Models provides a two-page color painting guide to this model with color scheme provided by AMMO by Mig Jimenez. There are two suggested options; US Army Olive Drab and Yellow as to conform to Caterpillar Yellow. A complete listing of AMMO by Mig Jimenez paints are listed. One the Mirror Models website, there is an additional help guide which focuses on the assembly of the tracks for the Bulldozer.

                   

Links

Conclusion

All in all, the US Military Bulldozer from Mirror Models appears to be a well-made nicely detailed kit. There is little to no flash on the included parts to this kit.  There are some mold seams that will need to removed during the construction process.  All of he parts look to similar o the parts on the original D7 Bulldozer.  I would think there was some minor items missing as maybe a couple of weld marks here or there; these are more than easily remedied by the builder if they so choose.  Mirror Models has made an improvement over the previously released US Military Crawler by adding the LeTourneau blade to the kit. The engine to this model is highly detailed and the added photo etch parts are a nice addition.  The tracks supplied with this kit are an extension of the growing trend of supplying movable links to the kits.  They are molded very well and have a decent amount of detail.  Please take note of the issue with randomly placed numbering of the parts on the sprues.  This is a minor issue and can be overcome by labeling the sprues with masking tape after cross-checking which srpues are used in their corresponding steps in the instructions.

 

The US Military Bulldozer is sure to please fans of the WWII M1 version of the D7 bulldozer and should build up into a fine display model. This is a large kit with many small pieces including three sheets of photo etch, and while it might be a bit daunting for the newer modeler, I feel with time and patience pretty much anyone from novice to master can enjoy constructing the US Military Bulldozer form Mirror Models.

 

Highly Recommended!!

 

Please stop by the InScale .org Forum and follow along while I work my way through the build! – http://inscale.org/pub/index.php?board=22.0

InScale.org would like to thank Mirror Models for providing this review sample!

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