Please note: The opinions expressed in our reviews are the views of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the 1/87 Vehicle Club.
model critique by Bob Johnson
This long awaited model has finally made it onto your
hobby dealers' shelves recently. We would like to give you our first
impressions. As far as assembled models or kits of North American prototype
automobile carriers goes, this is it! This is the only model currently
available. As such, it is far from perfect but so much better than nothing!
The tractor is the Ford LNT9000 model from Atlas. The particular model
I picked up is unpainted with a red plastic cab and black everything
else. The tractor has generally excellent cab and chassis details but
suffers from the same poor wheel details as the official Atlas version.
The only modification or change I could identify is a plastic insert
that fits between the frame rails at the rear to allow the fifth wheel
to mounted farther back (toward the rear). I think you can see in the
above photo that the trailer is mounted farther toward the rear of the
frame than a normal trailer.
The big news is the trailer. While I don't know
the intended prototype (if any), this model captures the overall "feel"
of North American prototype car haulers in an admittedly clumsy fashion.
While the majority of new automobile transport trailers currently used
by the volume new car haulers are of a different configuration (a "tag-along"
setup with a low mounted fifth wheel at the rear of the tractor frame
below bumper level) this particular setup is commonly seen used by the
larger moving and storage companies (Mayflower, Allied, Graebel, North
American, et al) and used car brokers and auction centers for moving
automobiles. It will look fairly prototypical with a load of mixed make
and year model vehicles!
All the major trailer components are molded way too thick
(Herpa, A-Line, Busch, and Lonestar have definitely spoiled us!). Much
of the hydraulic cylinder detail is fairly well done though somewhat
oversize. It will be interesting to see someone convert all the hydraulic
cylinders to operational status with moveable upper deck ramps! The "doughnut"
trailer wheels and tires lack specific detail but captures the general
feel of these miniature truck tires. The trailer measures a scale 48.5'
(50'+ with extensions out) but is much too tall to be truly prototypical.
With no autos on the top deck it scales over 11 feet tall at the upper
trailer floor. With a sedan it scales about 15.5' tall (about 1.5'-2'
too much) and with a Walthers' Ford Explorer, over 16.5'! I'd speculate
most of this is to compensate for the thickness of the deck components
and allow a sturdy model. This is not a "hands off" model
as shipped; it appears it will be very durable. This model begs for
etched steel ramps and deck components from Plano Models or Automobilia.
Check it out at your dealer to see if "it'll do" for you!