Meng 1/35 Terminator Review
While shopping online at my “Go-To” place to find old and interesting model kits I happened across this gem from MENG.
We all know the careful research and attention to detail this manufacturer put into its replicas, though, for me, the entire experience plays a major role in an ultimate rating of a kit.
For more information about the machine itself, plenty is available using your favourite search engine by entering Russian “Terminator” Fire Support Combat Vehicle with KMT-8 Mine Clearing System & EMT Electromagnetic Countermine System.
It can be stated, without prejudice, that MENG raises the bar for which many aspire. Yes, the detail is outstanding, the plastic is perfect, the parts count is reasonable, and all the multimedia additions are well thought out.
Moreover, this kit was a treat to examine, and like a kid at Christmas, I couldn’t wait to dive right in and begin building the workable tracks. The consensus among every person whom I’ve asked is almost identical, in that the task looked daunting at first yet once they began it was easy. I’ll amplify those words by saying that it was like being put on auto-pilot and an absolute blast while doing something else.
Before I knew it, there was an entire track length completed, and not long after the second, I was feeling strangely sad that it was over. Sure, on the surface, I know that sounds silly, but for anyone who has loved building a particular kit so much there is a bit of that “is it over… already?” feeling. Such was the case in building these incredible workable tracks and knowing that same emotion will be revisited many times when each subassembly is completed and, to a larger extent, on the day of the final reveal.
Neither MENG, Model Builder International, Hobby Link or the retailer played a hand in the purchase of this kit or any supplies used in its construction. I’m taking the time out of my busy schedule to share something I hope you, as a fellow modeller, will find interesting and useful. Now let’s get into some of the countless reasons to rush out and buy this kit!!!
There are many ways to drop a few pounds and most of them may not be so pleasant. Lugging this box around was a weight loss program I’d recommend to anyone! I hope you appreciate a little humour, but the heft of this package is no joke. The thing will drop the arm of any strong person while widening their eyes as they mouth “What the…?”. Indeed, that was my reaction and more. Cleverly condensed into the thick cardboard and cover-stock material, this top opening vault, once unsealed, contains the rich treasures MENG is renown for supplying. Stunning artwork adorns the top while four camouflage schemes and product information skirt the sides. It’s important to note that MENG has chosen a low lustre finish to coat the artwork. This is important because no glare will obscure reading the data or having the occasional glance when building. It’s another one of those small details which show how well thought-out their kits are. I won’t get into why framing the art isn’t going to be something I’ll do, but certainly, it’s more than worthy of that effort.
Wonderful attention to detail is placed in what I call “The Builder’s Reference-Guide Manual.” Ok, I’ll grant that that is a bit wordy, but hey I’m an author, and this is my review ?.
How many times have I wondered exactly where a part is to be placed or what colour should it be or even what the name of the part and sub-assembly is? The answer is… often. MENG have done their very best to ease the builder through the process by adding relevant information at the top of each step and removed a lot of the guesswork. Paint instructions are numbered throughout using Vallejo Color and much praise must be given to the vivid colour and laser sharp crispness of the Camo-callouts at the back. While there are plenty of steps to enjoy before the kit’s final completion, thankfully MENG have not made them overly congested with a bewildering number of parts, hence why this is such a thick book.
Everything a builder would need is put into this kit. However, if you’d like to hunt down some figures or add transparent blue film for the lenses then have at it. The Photo Etched parts are very high quality and in just the right quantity, since the moulded styrene is so sharp and close in scale. The added jigs and road wheel paint template are a modeller’s dream while the rear-view mirror stickers are just fine for even a showpiece. The tow cable… well, it’s a string, but MENG does not get any minus points for this because it looks fine and will paint up without issue. Also, I loved how MENG included some rubber parts for those areas where your fit was not exact or needs some play.
While the instructions are clear and easy to follow, I’ve found a few things that will further help.
Everything is logically laid out on the sprue trees, and you’ll find that your good quality side cutters will snip the excess gate without needing any further cleanup! It was my experience that keeping the guide horns together (as illustrated) made sub-assembly much easier than clicking them together one at a time. When I say click I mean they go into position with ease while having a firm hold, yet not so tight that they can’t be separated should you need to.
The rubber connectors have different detail on each side, so it’s important to remember where you’ll be plugging them into the consolidating jig. They snip easily from the sprue with side cutters and fit onto the track pins easily. I had only a few of these give me a little trouble, where most stayed in the holder which can only be connected a certain way. In other words, HG proof!
The tip of your fingernail or side cutter will push the rubber connector firmly into place (as illustrated), but I don’t think this is needed, it was my personal choice. Optional highway pads are supplied, yet they take away from the strong look of the steel treads. Attaching the lengths was easy as well with the single connector slot on one end of the jig.
Super smart, a breeze to assemble, and great fun to play with when you’re done.
There is no doubt this replica will catch more than a few eyes at a show or in your display case. Even better is how much fun you’ll have putting it together and bringing it to life. Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on more of this example to paint in the different patterns and MENG kits in general. Thank you for taking the time to read, and I hope you enjoy all your builds.