Sword - Peterbilt 357 day cab with East dump trailer
By Cranes Etc.
Detail - The tractor chassis is very detailed although the light cluster at the rear is basic. The two driving axles are complete with prop shafts and differentials and replicated suspension details. The rear wheels have very good metal hubs with finely treaded tyres, and there are rubber mud flaps bearing the Peterbilt logo. Towards the front the underside of the engine is visible and the exhaust pipe trails out to the side of the body and the front wheels are on different metal hubs to those on the rear wheels. The moulding on some of the tyres was not quite perfect with lipping on one edge although this is not apparent in most poses.
The imposing front of the Peterbilt is modelled very well with a superb finely etched radiator grille. The bumper is metal and the headlight clusters have lenses incorporated for both headlamps and indicators. Both on the top of the radiator and on the sides of the bonnet (hood) there are tiny Peterbilt badges which are perfectly legible. The wheel arches have an excellent rubber lining which become mud flaps behind the wheels. Under the bonnet is a detailed engine, with a separate radiator, and there are various pipes and hoses.
The cab detail is all of an excellent standard. On each side fuel tanks with very fine graphics are modelled and are integral with the cab steps which have nicely patterned treads. The exhaust stack has a grab handle and it is good to see an exhaust pipe that has a hole and looks like a pipe. There is lots of chrome work around the top of the cab with very good metal wing mirrors, lights and air horns. The model makers have chosen to leave the main windows out of the cab doors presumably to replicate the truck appearing 'in use' but it would probably look a little better with the windows in. Inside, the cab is also detailed with the steering column having a tiny stalk below the wheel. Behind the cab, the detail continues with three coiled airlines for connection to a trailer. The East dump trailer is very detailed. The structure of the chassis is modelled very well with electrical lines running the length of the trailer. The two rear axles have metal hubs and good treaded tyres. A particularly fine detail is the brake fluid tanks and the lines running to each wheel. A further hydraulic line is provided for connection to a pump on a tractor unit. Turning to the trailer body, at the front there are step irons and a shovel together with tiny warning notices. Above this, a Flip Tarp system from Mountain Tarp is modelled – more on this later. The body is replicated well with strong casting detail of the structure and on the underside there is more electrical wiring and the hydraulic cylinder which lifts the body is a metal multi stage piston.
At the rear, the tailgate has small locking latches and a chain, with a mechanism for opening a small shutter. Mud flaps with the East logo complete the rear. Replica timber edging is provided to both edges of the body, and these are removable. Also modelled is the mechanical tarpaulin system which includes a realistic piece of material and weights and chains as part of the operating mechanism.
Features - The front wheels on the tractor steer, but the steering is 'notched' rather than variable so the wheels can only be posed in one position when pointing left or right. Also the steering fouls the wheel arch very slightly so that the model does not roll smoothly when turning. The hood opens in a very easy action and the cab doors can be opened too. The ‘fifth wheel’ on the tractor works and is operated with a spring loaded lever to secure a trailer in position. The tipper mechanism is very smooth and can hold the body up at any desired angle. The tailgate has two modes of opening. It can open as a conventional tipper tailgate or, by switching a pin, it can swing open sideways like a door. Included within the tailgate is a working small shutter which can be opened and closed. To support the trailer when not attached to the tractor two feet can be screwed down. The tarpaulin mechanism works well too. It can be opened to cover a load and retracted by turning a thumbwheel on the side of the tarpaulin storage box and is a very pleasing feature.
Quality - This is a precision scale model with a very high level of detail and there is almost a complete absence of plastic. All the working parts are smooth and operate well. The paintwork and graphics are all to a high standard.