Tecnokar Trailer with 20' Tank
From Italeri's assembly instructions: The 20' Tecnokar Tank trailer is designed to ensure the highest level of efficiency in the liquid and fluid transport. The sturdy steel frame, on a three-axle system, made by the Italian Company, is able to load a 20' tank ideal to be used in the container intermodal logistic. It can well satisfy the need of complex and integrated logistic companies that adopting intermodal transport solution of liquid goods. That’s more and more important taking in consideration that, in the recent years, the intermodal transport solution of liquids, especially the liquids destined to the food industry, is a “must have” to guarantee reliability and respect of the delivery time.
Here is what all that means in English. This kit represents the penultimate in modern, fluid transportation, whether by land (trailer mounted) or sea (stacked as a container). Hence the intermodal phrase. Developed by the Italian company, Tecnokar, this 20' tank is used principally in Europe, although the design has been adapted for the American market on a twin-axle trailer. This specific size of the tank is optimal for facilitating the speedy and timely delivery of liquid cargoes being utilized in the marketplace.
This 1/24th scale kit builds into a three axle, fifth wheel trailer, common in Europe, with a detachable, self-contained 20' tank for transporting liquids. Italeri released a similar kit not too long ago but that model features the same trailer with a 20' container, in lieu of the tank. If you wish to show off this model as a complete unit, you will need to supply your own tractor. It should be noted that Italeri has a nice selection of 1/24th scale truck tractors for just that purpose.
Along with the 179 parts, in various colors, Italeri supplies a lovely decal sheet with company logos, warning stencils, and a plethora of European license placards. There is a small fret of silver photo-etch for the catwalk on top of the tank. Six black vinyl tires and some gray vinyl tubing are also included in this kit. The tubing is used for piping detail on the tank. The kit is molded in three colors with the trailer bits molded in black, the tank in white plastic, and the wheels molded in silver. Note: There are photos of all of these bits and pieces on Italeri's website, just click the appropriate link provided.
Construction follows the usual sequence for just about any truck or trailer kit: you start with the trailer which means you begin with the frame rails. Some detail bits are added to these parts (back half of the air shock bags, stiffeners, air tank, etc.) and then its on to the cross members, frame end caps, and towing pintle. This being an Italeri kit you will need to spend some time dealing with all the ejector pin marks and mold seams. This is a rather important step as most of these areas will be visible when the model is finished.. Do take some time to get all the cross members lined up properly or your trailer is gonna be all wonky-looking. [Technical Note: 'wonky-looking' is an industry term for all askew.]
The three axles, with their finely molded disc brake drums, are added next along with the other fiddly bits (landing gear, side clearance markers etc.) common to any commercial truck trailer. If you're detail oriented, this is a perfect time to add any brake lines or electrical cables.
The last step with assembling the trailer is to insert the detail molded two piece wheels into the black vinyl tires and away you go! Italeri has engineered the wheel/tire assemblies in such way that when attached they 'lock' onto the axles for a snug fit. This eliminates the need to send the vehicle into the shop for some alignment work. If you've ever built a commercial truck or trailer kit you know of that which I speak. This is a big plus. Kudoos to Italeri for adding some molded value stems on the wheels, something often missing from other kits.
The tank is all of four parts (two halves/two end caps). Sounds simple enough but the length of this seam can lead to some alignment issues, so go slow and avoid unnecessary sanding and seam filling. There are a number of detail bits (pressure relief value, butterfly value, quick release coupler) that get added to the top of the tank.
Italeri provides some vinyl tubing for added detail on the lower portion of the tank and as overflow piping on the top. There are a couple of small parts that represent the piping connections for this detail that are added to the tank. Be careful, the placement of these parts (7e) in Step Seven is kinda buried in the instructions. There is also a protrusion on kit part number 9a (one of the end caps for the tank). This protrusion holds two of the nipples for that vinyl tubing. You may wind up knocking it off or bending it several times, the way I did. Italeri designed an option for you in regards to whether or not to show the tank manhole in an opened or closed position. Italeri provides eight lovely, detailed wing nuts for 'dogging down' the upper tank lid/dome.
Your next task is assembling the support frame for the 20' tank. Following the precedent established with assembling the tank, you have two end pieces with an upper and lower frame piece. Again, you will encounter a number of mold parting lines and ejector pin indentations on these parts. Once you have removed those, what is left of the assembly process is to add the support frames and photo etched screens for the catwalk. Don't forget the access ladder.
Painting this beasty is pretty simple. Each component (trailer, tank frame, tank) are all one color Italeri does provide color suggestions throughout assembly for both the trailer and tank but just about any color you choose will be appropriate. All one need do is observe the current crop of tanker trailers on the road to get an idea of the color options available. Although most tank trailers are either white or polished bare metal. If you choose bare metal, you will have an opportunity to hone those painting skills on a large canvas. Just a though.
Italeri's 1/24th scale Tecnokar Trailer with 20' tank is not a difficult model to complete. I did it! You may find yourself cursing all those ejector pin marks and mold lines but you'll be grateful you dealt with them as the trailer is kinda of an open concept deal. All of the detail in this kit is quite visible once complete. The detailing ideas mentioned throughout are, of course, optional but in 1/24th scale there absence may be noticed. The marking options really boil down to which license number to use. Or you could go with my original idea which was as a 'What-if' project. Paint the entire thing German Panzer Gray and print your own stenciling for a German T-Stoff tank trailer. [Technical note; T-Stoff (hydrogen peroxide) was a component of rocket fuel used by Germany during WWII.] But that idea got lost in translation so I went with the kit supplied decals. Either way your going to wind up with a large and impressive model. Add a Italeri tractor and a real show stopper is in your future.
My thanks to Italeri and IPMS/USA for allowing me to the review this kit. Addio!