Meng Model
Pick Up w/equipment
Meng Model 1:35 Scale Kit #VS-002
Review by Terry Ashley

Meng Model
Following on from their first kit of the Pick Up w/ZPU-1 (kit #VS001) Meng Models have now released a second kit which is basically the same 1997 Toyota HiLux 4x4 Duel Cab SR5 with the inclusion of a Barrett M82A1 12.7mm semi-automatic rifle, M240B 7.62mm GPMG, a selection of equipment such as coolers, packs and drink bottles plus a standing figure.

The kit:
The kit consists of 122 plastic parts with some in black, grey and red plastic, 26 in clear plastic, 10 etched metal parts with a black anodised finish, 6 rubber compound tyres, a 20 page colour instruction booklet and two small decal sheets. The quality of the plastic moulding is good with no apparent flash and a bare minimum of pin marks with very clean crisp detail on the plastic parts although there was the odd sink mark on a few of the parts. You should note the black plastic is noticeably softer than the grey/white plastic and will need a little care while trimming the sprue attachments, but the detail crispness doesn’t suffer due this.

As this is the same basic kit, the review below is from the previous kit with additional comments for the new parts.

Etched and clear parts
Meng Model
Meng Model

You will also have to take care working with the black plastic as it is quite difficult at times to see the detail and where to trim and position parts, added to this the softer plastic resulted in a little flexing with some parts making alignment a little difficult at times, this and the positioning was most noticeable with the suspension parts.

The clear plastic parts especially the large single piece window section are quite thin and very clear without any hint of distortion or internal mould flow lines that can sometimes effect large areas of clear plastic, the usual care is needed when removing the clear parts from the sprues due to hard brittle nature of clear plastic.

All the chassis and suspension parts are in black plastic with the lower chassis frame is a single large part that is cleanly moulded without any warping and this includes the undersides of the engine oil sump and gearbox, this being the only engine detail included in the kit. Added to the chassis are the front differential and workable front steering arms and linkages allowing you to easily position the front wheels. Unfortunately the clips on the end of the steering rod (part A10) are too large to grip the pins on the wheel hubs and you will need to glue the linkages in place at the desired wheel position.

The lower sump guard includes the lower wishbone suspension arms with separate shock absorbers with a two part transfer case added behind the engine and short drive shaft.

The two part exhaust pipe/muffler will need the pipe drilled out for a better appearance and was added along with the fuel tank before moving to the two part rear differential/axle with separate leaf spring units, shock absorbers, and brake drums, the instructions show to fit the rear drive shaft before the differential.

The interior floor section includes the front wheel wells and added to this are the two bucket front seats and rear bench seat although no seat belts are included and these can be added from tape or similar. The central floor consol has two separate gear levers and the fixed internal door panels, these are in one piece due to the cab doors being moulded in the closed position and included detail such as the arm rests and door handles and while not much of these can be seen after assembly there is scope for addition details should you wish?

The main front left hand drive instrument panel has well done details on the instrument cluster with decals for the dial faces as well as the centre consol and right hand detail. The three driver’s foot pedals are moulded under the panel and are fairly basic but you can’t really see these after assembly anyway.

The steering wheel column has the three control stalks included with a separate steering wheel with the correct features for the model and the separate hand brake lever added to the panel. The assembled instrument panel is attached to the floor section with the fully assembled interior tub attached to the lower chassis frame via locating lugs for a precise fit.

Body Shell:
The large body shell is a single moulding in red plastic that includes the cab and engine compartment with separate hood but has the doors moulded in the closed position which does limit the diorama and presentation potential somewhat. There are some fine mould seams along the edges of the body which are easy to remove. Added inside the body is the large clear window part that has the windscreen and side windows moulded as the one large part with just the rear view mirror added, the sun visors and central roof light are also moulded in with the clear window part. The rear can window is a separate part and you of course need to fit the windows before proceeding.

Exterior detail on the body is nicely done with the contours matching photos of the model type well although the door handles could be better defined. Additional parts are provided for the side door mirrors, windscreen wipers and the front grill and bumper which have excellent definition on the grill work. The radiator grill badge is just a plain oval ready for an aftermarket Toyota badge with clear ‘glass’ inserts for the head lights and side light units as well as the indicator lights in the lower bumper section. The lights will need to be painted on the inside before fitting as they sit on the black plastic as well the white areas behind the grills are visible and this would need to be painted before fitting the grills.

The body shell is fitted over the assembled chassis/interior tub with the instructions showing the do this before fitting the front radiator and bumper sections as the front of the body shell clips over a tab on the floor pan. There is one thing to note when fitting the rear of the body to the interior tub, there are two locating lugs on the tub and corresponding holes in the rear body wall but the lugs shouldn’t fit into the holes as you might think. The rear body wall should sit on the lip of the tub and rest against the lugs, a little confusing to say the least (see images).

Once assembled there is a sizable gap between the top of the inner door panels and the outer body window sills that can be seen through the large windscreen but there is little you do about this as this stage of assembly unfortunately.

Rear Tray:
This is a fairly simple assembly with floor that includes ribbed anti-slip strips and the wheel wells, the two sides with detail included on both sides, the front wall, the rear bumper section and the tailgate that is movable and can be positioned open or closed. The tailgate has etched folding arms to hold in the level position; these arms need to be bent to shape but there is no indication of the actual bend points and you have to judge it via the instruction illustrations. These would be omitted if fitting the tailgate in the closed position as well as a couple of other smaller etched parts added inside the tray sides.

There are also the clear plastic light clusters on each rear corner and a two part roll bar with etched mountings should you wish to build the pick-up as a civilian vehicle without the gun mounted? To fit the roll bar you need to drill out four locating holes in the top of the wheel wells as indicated with indentations on the undersides of the wells. Assembly is straightforward with good fit of the parts and the assembled tray fit to the chassis as with the body.

Also provided are the four mud flaps in etched metal added to the four wheel wells and the under body panels below the doors to finish off the upper body.

The six one piece wheel rims (4 main and 2 spares) are the stylised SR5 ‘alloy’ rims and lower profile wide tyres sold as options other than the “normal” steel rims and higher profile off road tyres on these models of the HiLux.

The rims are cleanly moulded without any cleanup other than the sprue attachment bur but watch as the hubs are different for the front, rear and spare wheels provided. Detail on the rubber compound tyres is well done with good tread pattern and depth as well as legible “Dunlcp” (with a ‘c’) and “Grandtrek ATZ “ embossing on the sidewalls, this is a deviation from the actual “Dunlop” and “Grandtrek AT20 “ for the same licencing issues as mentioned above. A minor issue is a little bit of rubber flash on the shoulder of the tyre which you may want to carefully remove; this can be an interesting exercise with the medium.

The wheels are designed to just glue in place on the axles with the spare added under the rear tray, it’s probably best to leave these off till last to aid in the painting process.

Additional equipment:
Replacing the ZPU-1 gun in this kit is a Barrett M82A1 12.7mm semi-automatic rifle and M240B 7.62mm GPMG moulded in light grey plastic with nicely done details on the guns. The M82A1 scales out exactly to the 57inches (145cm) length of the actual weapon and has separate parts for the lifting handle and bipod legs that can be fitted in the folded or extended position as required. The large muzzle brake is moulded solid but the bore hole is slightly hollowed out making it easy to drill this further if you wish?

The M240 has nicely moulded details with again separate parts for the lifting handle and bipod legs that can be fitted in the folded or extended position as required. It can also be mounted on the truck roll bar as an alternative to the ground bipod setup allowing different scenarios to be modelled.

Barrett M82A1 12.7mm semi-automatic rifle
Meng Model
M240B 7.62mm GPMG
Meng Model

There is also a selection of equipment with three large Coleman coolers of different styles that can be assembled with the lip open if you wish. There are three styles of smaller plastic cans and plastic fuel and water “jerry” cans plus a variety of clear plastic drink bottles, these have labels on the decal sheet for some of the most common brand names. A couple of rucksacks and an additional spare tyre can be used as required.

The single standing figure depicts a private security contractor complete with backwards facing baseball cap and you can have him carrying either of the 2 weapons supplied, the detail on the figure is quite nicely done and you can paint it any way you like really.

The figure is broken down in the usual manner with separate legs, torso, arms, head and cap with the fit being acceptable but some minor trimming of the joins may be needed as is often the case with plastic figures.

The colour instruction booklet is a high quality production with the usual exploded view assembly illustrations that are easy to follow as there aren’t really any real complicated areas in the construction. The gun is probably the most complicated due to the many very small parts but with care there shouldn’t be any problems?

Included with the instructions are colour illustrations of three colour options red, blue or white but given the red plastic the red or blue would be the obvious choice as a few primer coats would be needed for a white finish and you could basically finish the kit in state of disrepair as you wish. Also included are paint numbers for Hobby Color, Mr.Hobby and Vallejo colours used during the construction.

The small decal sheet is well printed and has the instrument cluster and two 4WD badges plus the full alphabet in both black and white letters, well two of each letter.
This can be used to apply the tailgate TOYOTA name but note that no all vehicles in this model year range had the name on the tailgate so check references.
The second sheet has the bottle labels and some other stencilling to use as required.

Meng Model
Meng ModelMeng Model

As with the first kit this still has the different coloured plastic and body doors moulded closed with the large one piece windows along the lines of civilian car kits rather than specific military models such as the recent HMMWV kits orientated towards military scenarios.

The interior is quite complete but there is plenty of scope for additional detail such as seat belts and smaller detail items with the large clear part lacking any detail on the pillars and lower body join. The exterior is quite nicely done but after all there isn’t a lot of additional stuff on a civilian vehicle like on a military vehicle in this regard but again the engraved lines for the doors are oversized from what they would be if the doors were separate like with the separate engine hood.

The inclusion of the M82A1 and M240 as well as the civilian contractor figure with assorted equipment allows further diorama opportunities for the kit.

Overall this is a nice kit and offers numerous possibilities for civilian pick-up or armed as depicted and can be used in virtually any location Worldwide.

Rating 7.5/10

The Sprues:

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Sprue Detail Images
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Build Images
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Thanks to Meng Model for the review kit.

Page created November 9, 2011

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