This is a first look ‘In the Box’ review of PlusModel’s new U.S. Grader resin kit. A subsequent review will review the detailed assembly of the kit. The kit appears to be a very complete, nicely detailed, high quality kit of a unique vehicle from WWII. The U.S. Grader follows PlusModel’s excellent dozer models.
The kit comes in a sturdy 10.5 x 7.5 x 2.5" deep corrugated cardboard box. First out of the box are a photo CD, 6” x 8.25" stapled instruction booklet with 28 pages, a small bag with decals, photoetch fret, and a length of copper wire.
Next are six sealed bags of 231 gray resin parts. The parts have crisp detail and no air bubbles are apparent. The large grader blade appears straight with no visible defects. The radiator is nicely detailed with raised letters for the words Caterpillar along the sides and top front of the radiator. One of the bags his two clear parts for the headlamps.
The cab for the grader cab has nice surface texture detail on the floor, nice detail for raised rivets, and does not appear to have any defects.
Most of the parts are attached to casting blocks and have very minor flash typical of resin kits. There are many small parts such as the universal joints and the levers for control rods. Control levers for the grader are very thinly cast and appear appropriate for the scale. The teeth in the turning gear for the blade have nice crisp detail. There are many bolts on a lot of the pieces and all have nice sharp detail.
The instructions are hand-drawn exploded drawings showing the part and part numbers. The last page of the instructions shows camouflage and marking. The locations of the few decals provided with the kit are also shown.
The photoetch fret seems to be a medium thickness and includes pieces for the teeth of the gear on the grader blade, fan for the engine, and several other miscellaneous pieces.
A unique addition to this kit is a photo CD with 199 progress photos of the assembly of the grader. The photos are very clear and will help to explain the position and assembly of parts. The CD is broken down into these categories:
- Cab – 16 photos
- Chassis – 39 photos
- Complete kit – 9 photos
- Engine – 62 photos
- Working mechanism – 73 photos
The CD also includes a version of Picasa to view a slideshow of the photos.
In summary this looks to be a high quality, nicely molded resin kit that will build into a very detailed grader. There are many small parts so this kit will require lots of patience and is for remodelers with substantial experience working with resin kits. It does look to be a very fun and challenging build of a unique vehicle used in WWII.
Many thanks to PlusModel for producing this wonderful kit of an otherwise neglected, but very important vehicle, and for providing the review sample. I also appreciate the opportunity IPMS has given me to review this kit.
Next up is in the assembly of this Great looking kit!