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Moebius Models International LoneStar

Moebius International LoneStar
International LoneStar
Moebius Models No. MOE-1300
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Gray, clear
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $69.99
Pros: Crisp, state-of-the-art new tooling; detail and accuracy
Cons: Confusing instructions; some fiddly assembly
International LoneStar engine
Moebius Models made a huge splash at the 2010 iHobby Expo when it announced the beautiful, retro-styled International LoneStar tractor kit – the first all-new kit in that genre from an American manufacturer in years.

The large box is packed with more than 300 parts, in light gray, clear, and chrome. Mold quality is outstanding; little cleanup, other than removal of sprue-attachment nubs, was required. The box art is eye-catching.

The instructions begin the assembly process with the cab-sleeper interior and the cab-sleeper, but I generally prefer to start with the mechanical bits (the chassis and engine).

Assembling the frame may have been my favorite part of this project. It’s a top-notch example of model kit engineering. Each crossmember has a uniquely shaped mounting point, so there’s no way to get them mixed up; and after the frame together, it sits square and true.

I attached the front and rear suspensions to the frame and painted the assembly as a unit. Steering is posable, and it works well.

International LoneStar underbody
Make sure the side-saddle fuel tanks aree properly oriented when attaching them to the frame; Moebius includes an addendum to the instructions to ensure builders are aware of that. The tanks are molded in halves and have visible seams, but they don’t show too badly unless the model is turned upside-down. The massive chrome side skirts that go over the tanks and other frame-mounted accessories fit like gloves.

Speaking of chrome: there’s a lot of it in this kit, and fingerprints show up prominently on the larger parts. I recommend wearing latex medical gloves to prevent that from happening.

One area where I deviated from the instructions was to assemble the engine and mount it to the frame, then add the radiator and plumbing.

The instructions are the weakest part of the kit, and really are my only major complaint with it. They’re printed in full color, feature exploded-view drawings and photos of the various subassemblies and the finished model, and are nice to look at. However, in too many instances, they fail to illustrate where certain parts are supposed to go or how they’re supposed to look when assembled.
I also found the painting suggestion chart confusing. Separate paint callouts throughout the instructions would have been much easier to follow.

The cab-sleeper interior assembles easily and is highly detailed. The separate headliner is a nice touch.
The sleeper features a couch and a pair of cabinets. The decal sheet provides rosewood inserts for the cabinet faces, and a laminate flooring section for the sleeper floor. Unfortunately, much of the detail is hidden from view when the unit is in place.

I spent about 40 enjoyable hours building my LoneStar – not bad considering the number of parts and the complexity of the kit.


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