by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
introductionHerpa has released a new model: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter double cabin with box "DRK Disaster Control NRW". It is one of 2124 Mercedes Benz models currently catalogued by Herpa, including 235 Sprinter types and 141 models in their series Rescue vehicles. The model is item number 091961.
in the boxThis model is a 2006 M-B Sprinter. It is securely packaged in a neat form-fitted vacuformed cradle that features a well for optional parts, and indents for your fingers to ease pulling it out of the box. The box is Herpa's red end-opening box with a cellophane window. A holographic Daimler licenses label is on the box.
A sprue holds two optional side view mirrors. Aside from those, the model is completely factory assembled. Assembly is top-notch with no burrs, flash, sink marks, visible injection marks, or glue stains. Herpa equips their models with a rubber-plastic mix for the tires.
detailsWe'll start "where the rubber meets the road". So those soft tires? They have sidewall tread detail but Herpa seems to have ceased molding the actual tread pattern. The tires are mounted on detailed hubs. The axles are attached to the chassis.
That chassis is detailed with a frame and, from back to front: rear springs; spare tire in a rack; running boards; drive shaft and universal on the back axle; exhaust pipe and muffler. Under the cab is relief detail representing some of the former components, molded together with what looks like underbody panels.
Up to the body we find the cab is molded with nice recessed detail. Clear plastic allows you to see into the cab. Clear plastic represents the headlight lenses lamps. However, the brake lights are not of a clear plastic, nor are they even painted-on. This is a disappointing characteristic of many of Herpa's otherwise well detailed models; some have tinted clear lenses for the brake lights, many do not. That is odd because Herpa uses tinted clear styrene for the warning and emergency lights atop the cab and the rear cargo body.
Inside the cab is a detailed interior. I did not try to pop the cab off to display it but through the clear windows you can see the seats, steering wheel, console, and dash board.
The rear body is little more than a smooth box. The rear has molded detail that looks like the door latch. That's all.
Finally, if you wish to attach the side mirrors, it is simple. Herpa molded mounting holes in the cab.
In summary of the detail, the cab interior looks good. The body exterior is crisply molded. Modern vehicles, streamlined and sleek for good gas mileage, do not seem to have much to represent. I appreciate the tinted and untinted clear plastic for the lights but I am disappointed that the brake lights are neglected. Underneath the chassis looks good.
Further detail is discussed next in...
...paint and letteringHerpa molded this vehicle in color. Except for the markings, every component is a different color of plastic. The Mercedes-Benz emblem on the grille is chromed. Maybe the black chrome around the windows, the door guard, grille and hood vents are painted but I could not scratch anything off of them.
Herpa printed all of the markings. No decals are used. The fidelity of the printing is extraordinary! I am always amazed at the finesse with which the text and logos are printed legibly. I can not read the small text without magnification, yet the printing is crisp and clear.
conclusionThis well detailed little modern emergency truck is a joy to look at. The detail of the painting and printing, detailed cab and rear chassis, and clean molding and assembly really stands out. Aside from the lack of tread detail on the surface of the tires and lack of brake lights, I find this to be another amazing Herpa vehicle.
Modelers of modern European railroads and collectors of these HO emergency vehicles should be delighted with this model. Recommended.
Thanks to Herpa for sending this model for review here at RailRoad Modeling.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter The Sprinter is a vehicle built by Daimler AG of Stuttgart, Germany as a van, chassis cab, minibus, and pickup truck. In the past the Sprinter has been sold under the Mercedes, Dodge, Freightliner,and Volkswagen nameplates. In the United States it is built from complete knock down (CKD) kits by Freightliner. They are now primarily marketed by Mercedes-Benz. Rebadged and re-engined Sprinters are also sold by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles as the Volkswagen LT and the Volkswagen Crafter.*
DRK Disaster Control NRWDRK (Deutsches Rote Kreuz) is the Red Cross in Germany. NRW is North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen).
* Wikipedia. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter . 8 June 2015