This review covers the 53’ Smooth Side Trailer 1:25 Scale Moebius Model Kit #1303. A new release, this model should be readily available at most outlets. This is a complimentary version of the original corrugated side 1:25 scale trailer model with a reefer and roll-up rear door option. Moebius designates this as a Skill Level 3 kit for modelers 12 years and older. It is molded in white styrene with soft vinyl tires, chrome wheels, waterslide decals, and an extensive instruction manual. This kit features all the details of the real thing. There is a highly accurate undercarriage featuring cross-members with angle-braced landing gear and a tandem axle configuration. The instruction booklet is top notch with a centerfold for decal placement. The completed model is a whopping 26.5” long with the reefer option. Massive but simple, this detailed kit is the perfect compliment for your 1:25 scale tractor models.
Construction and Detailing
For the most part, tube glue works just fine for construction on this kit. Used sparingly or with some superglue you’ll be able to build a properly aligned, high-strength display model. Start this build by deciding whether you want the reefer option or as a dry box. To build the reefer style you’ll need to drill out the pre-molded holes in the front panel and floor to accept that optional equipment. Additionally, you’ll have to choose either the roll-up or double doors for the back. If you want to use the optional reinforcement bars you’ll need to cut out the slots for those too.
The next step is to prime the side and floor panels, top panel, front and rear panels and the optional reinforcement bars. The edges of the floor panel and roof are aluminum. The underside of the floor is flat black. The side walls are your choice of color (I used white), and the top and bottom rails are aluminum too. The front panel and rear door can be painted the same color as the sidewalls with aluminum edges or just left all aluminum. Outline the access panels with a black marker and paint the door hardware steel.
After the parts are thoroughly dry, lay the roof upside down on a flat surface and use the alignment pins on the sidewalls with some tube glue to set them into place. Set the front panel in place followed by the sides and finally the rear doors. Assemble the chassis as per the instructions and paint it flat black. Add the rest of the parts; shocks, suspension, brakes, etc. Paint those flat black and the rear bumper aluminum. Determine whether you want your landing gear extended (for a standalone display) or up in the travel position, then assemble the landing gear and paint it flat black. Install it to the underside when all is dry.
The soft vinyl tires and chrome wheels look great on this kit. The tire logos are only on one side so be careful to assemble those to the outside of the wheels. Use some superglue to assemble the wheel backs, wheels and trim rings with the tires. They snap onto the suspension spindles.
Paint the inside of the clear taillights and the markers lights with stoplight red. Using white glue, install the three marker lights on the top of the back end, two marker lights per side, one on the top one on the bottom corners. The four taillights get glued into the rear bumper and the grab bar is added to the rear door. Paint that steel.
Assemble the reefer unit fuel tank, paint it aluminum and install that up front on the undercarriage along with the kingpin and gear crank. Paint the four side markers and mid-markers orange. The mid-markers have flat black surrounds and install them all to their respective positions. Add the unit logo (green for dry and red for reefers). Paint the reefer unit near white with black grill inserts. The step and grab bars are steel. Assemble that as a unit and install the reefer unit to the front of the trailer in the holes you drilled out in the beginning.
The decals are correct but minimal. You’ll have to get some aftermarket ones if you plan to identify the trailer. These decals are very good and go on without any problems and they really set the unit off. That’s it, now you can display this with one of the complimentary Moebius International tractors or any 1:25 unit of your choosing.
You’ll need a whole shelf to display this big rig but it will definitely be impressive. The detail on this kit is excellent and there is virtually no warpage to the parts even though they are long thin pieces. Positive location points ensure good alignment and pieces fit together very well. This is a great kit and great compliment to your big rig collection.
I have to give Moebius Models credit for releasing this model and to IPMS for providing the review sample.