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In-Box Review
187
US Bulldozer
US DOZER
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Caterpillar RD-4 Bulldozer

Wespe Models offers their Caterpillar RD-4 bulldozer in three scales: 1/48 (See Click here for additional images for this review below), 1/50, and 1/72. The Caterpillar RD-4 was introduced in 1936 and widely used in civil and military construction. The U.S. Army designated the vehicle was, Tractor, Light, Caterpillar Tractor Co., Model D4, with an Ordnance number of G-151. The RD-4 bulldozer weighted almost 8 tons, was powered by a 4-cylinder 44-bhp engine D4/D4400 312 CID diesel (with a 2-cylinder 10-bhp starter engine) driving a 5-speed transmission with clutch/brake steering and mechanical braking, and rode on 13-inch tracks. The business end featured the R.G. LeTourneau WC4 Angledozer blade. This blade was raised and lowered via cable control. A version mounting a crane was also produced. Other widely used Caterpillars bulldozers were the D-6, -7, and -8. These machines made possible the rapid building of bases and airfields essential to the Allied victory in World War 2. Some were armored.

the model

Wespe Models’ 1936 Caterpillar RD-4 is made with 55 parts: 42 resin, 12 metal rods, and thread for cable. Instead of sprues these parts are glued to a cardboard-backed paper identifying the parts, and shrink wrapped with clear plastic. This secures the pieces and protects them from damage while identifying each piece. Well done Wespe Models! The two sheets of parts are tightly set in a sturdy full flap tuck top box. A photograph of the kit is secured to the lid.

The parts are crisply cast. I found no sink holes, air holes nor seam lines. However, the tracks have areas that did not completely cast. Perhaps these can be convincingly sealed with putty or ‘super glue,‘ or hidden with weathering. Many parts have flash. It is thin and snaps off easily. Both front idlers have flash between the spokes and this will require delicate cutting with a hobby knife.

The instruction sheet is a piece of paper with an exploded diagram of the assembly process. Building the model seems fairly straightforward. No assembly sequence is suggested, nor is there any painting guidance. Caterpillar’s signature color is yellow, while a military dozer would be olive drab or the appropriate service color.

The kit does not include decals or information on markings.

detail

Wespe Models has produced a model with remarkable detail. Fine detail is delicately cast. Bolts and rivets adorn the chassis that appears convincing heavy. The D4400 engine is an impressive single piece casting. The tracks are a multi piece, with curved segments around the sprockets and idler, and straight pieces in between. The track has detail on both sides.

The control levers are just oversized metal rods with no detail. Consider replacing them with styrene.

summary

Wespe Models has provided an exciting vehicle for your military or civilian construction needs. Great detail and good casting indicates this will be a quick build. A minor issue is that there appears to be a discrepancy with the designation of this model; photos show that the configuration of the gantry structure and winch make this bulldozer a D-7. The D-4 configuration was in the shape of a ‘V’, with a large winch on the rear. This does not detract from the model.

Wespe Models

Wespe Models of Ploiesti, Romania, produces a huge selection of exciting, unusual and exotic high quality resin models in all the popular scales (model railroad scales in parentheses): 1:24 (G), 1:32 (Number 1), 1:35, 1:48 (O), 1:72, 1:76 (OO), 1:87 (HO), with ships in 1:250 and 1:500. More than 100 models are available in both 1/48 and 1/87 scale. The fascinating subjects are specialized, significant, important vehicles popular amongst modelers, yet not prevalent enough for the big injection model makers to cut tooling for. These subjects not only include the menagerie of foreign vehicles captured and impressed by the Wehrmacht, but include rail guns, S-Boats, U-boats, panzer trains, military buses, and construction machinery. Countries represented are Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Romania, Russia, Spain, and the United States.

Click here for additional images for this review.

SUMMARY
Highs: Fine detail is delicately cast. Bolts and rivets adorn the chassis that appears convincing heavy. The D4400 engine is an impressive single piece casting.
Lows: Incomplete casting of the tracks, and flash. No painting nor marking guidance.
Verdict: An exciting vehicle for your military or civilian construction needs.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:87
  Mfg. ID: WES 87070
  Suggested Retail: 16.00 EUR
  Related Link: WW II Tractors / Bulldozers
  PUBLISHED: May 10, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 83.75%

Our Thanks to Wespe Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2017 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Neat stuff. Finding 1/72 military equipment, that's not combat oriented is hard. These guys seem to have a large selection. Do you know if the have a US distributor?
MAY 12, 2010 - 04:07 PM
Yes, very interesting subject. However too small a scale for my area of building
MAY 12, 2010 - 10:19 PM
I have one of those in diecast...wish they did the resin in 1/25, but I wouldn't want to see the price tag!
MAY 15, 2010 - 09:51 AM
Hi Mark, Not that I know of. I'll write and ask.
MAY 17, 2010 - 12:55 AM
They truly do very exciting stuff, and some time ago I had two their 1/35 kits in my hands. Wrong proportions and quality of castings made me just dump them in the bin no matter 200 dollars. It is my personal opinion and I have some experience with resin stuff to be fair minded, but you guys check well some blogs here and there, before you spend lots of money just to get disappointed Cheers Libor
MAY 17, 2010 - 07:41 PM
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