You know the difference when you see
it. Some 1/87th vehicles are toys, others are models. To
put your finger on what makes that difference is difficult to qualify,
but two criteria to judge by are detail and scale accuracy. Applying
those two criteria to Lonestars trailers definitely puts them
on the model side of the deal. To say that the benchmark has been moved
in terms of trailers is an understatement (I have not found any other
trailer that has real wood decking!). Even if Herpa were to do a "High
Tech" line of trailers, Lonestar would still hold the benchmark.
Of course fanatical attention to detail
and accuracy set high expectations in terms of fit and finish. To save
you jumping to the end of this review, let me give away the plot and
say that except for some minor problems this trailer does not disappoint.
Before gluing fingers together and hauling out the magnifying light
(believe me it will come in handy) a bit of an intro is needed about
the real life product.
Trailmobile got started in the transportation
business some 150 years ago by manufacturing horse drawn vehicles. They
introduced the 40ft. flatbed just over 30 years ago, and with many updates
it is still a favorite in the transportation industry today (on this
continent at least). Although this kit is a 1/87th reproduction
of the 1983 version of the trailer, Lonestar has made it possible to
build the early 60s version. On the topic of options, buying and
building this trailer will give you so many choices, youll be
forgiven for wondering if you havent just walked into a Trailmobile
dealer and are putting together a package that will best suit your needs.
The models come in a variety of colors (most reflecting various railway
companies), with a variety of decal options, as well as a plethora of
Assembly of this kit will take about
one and a half plus hours. For the most part assembly was straightforward.
The instruction sheet was very thorough, with a good diagram, that looks
upside down at first. Fear not folks! There is a good reason that will
give you an idea of the attention to detail that Lonestar is becoming
known for. You will build most of this model with the trailer on its
deck, allowing you to build it as you see it. Some of the very fine
parts (such as the support rods) were difficult to remove from the sprues.
Having these pieces held on by two sprigs rather that four would certainly
make removal easier. Very little flash has to be removed, or drilled
out, cutting down on assembly time. Again, with the modeler in mind,
some parts that would take forever to glue and clamp at just the right
angle (such as the main beams) are snap together pieces. The only part
that became a mystery novel was the spare tire rack option. It certainly
didnt fit the way the diagram suggests. Having no photos
in my file of how spare tire racks are mounted under trailers (yup,
the need for the critical shot is directly proportional to how much
mud you have to crawl into to get that shot in the first place), it
became an educated guess. Oh, yes Lonestar, how about including a spare
tire for the spare tire rack?
This is a "youve got to perceive
it to believe it" kit. When youre done youll have a
work of art, at one heck of a price ($15.95 list). Buy up those trailers
folks, it will allow Lonestar to expand its product line. Oh, that we
could have a U.S. (and, at that, much improved) version of Kibri.
Gotta' go, Ive got a box marked
Lonestar on the outside, with a livestock trailer on the inside that
Im pulling the lid off of right now.