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Italeri Land Rover Series III

June 2008
Land Rover Series III
Italeri No. 3697
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Black, tan, clear
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $35.50
Pros: Left- and right-hand-drive provided; accessories
Cons: Mold lines and flash; instructions have errors
Although the box doesn't indicate it, Italeri's kit builds into Land Rover's Series III long-wheelbase truck. And it builds well, at that.

The major body parts are molded in hard tan plastic. The remainder of the pieces is soft black styrene, with a clear sprue and five vinyl tires rounding out the contents.

The 12-step instructions are exploded-view photos, with paint callouts throughout. The chief option during building is left- or right-hand drive, with different steering components and dashboards.

The model is curbside, but a complete transmission and transfer case are included - the first construction step. The black styrene reacted quickly to Tamiya liquid cement. Most of the chassis parts required scraping and sanding to remove mold lines and flash.

Assembling the front axles, suspension, and steering (Step 3) revealed a major problem: The instructions
confuse the parts appropriate for left- versus right-hand drive, including which parts to trim.

I wanted to build mine right-hand drive (appropriate for the British-style plates included) but ended up installing the left-hand drive assemblies because I discovered the problem too late.

The error continues in Step 4: The dashboards are handed. The vent control levers should be to the outside.

After airbrushing the interior and body Tamiya French Blue, I added the seats and controls. The seats are hollow with no backs.

In Step 5, the instructions indicate adding the cab to the chassis, then fitting the body; I found it easier to fit the cab into the body, then attach everything to the chassis.

The clear parts are thin, but presented a headache, particularly the windshield (parts 110E and 23A). The clear insert broke during handling, and the frame is too deep, causing the roof to sit high. I had to file away nearly 1/16 inch (combined top and bottom) for a good fit.

The tires are a generic military-style offroad design, but they look the part.

The model looked too clean, so I sprayed the underside with thinned Tamiya NATO Brown for a nice coat of mud, adding a little on the outside. I'm ready to hop in and go!


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