Meng 1/24 Ford F-350 Super Duty Pickup
By Chellie Lynn
Meng has a significant string of surprise releases that fill some sort of gap in the modeling world. They announced a Ford F-350 Super Duty Crew Cab pickup kit in early March. "Wow," I thought, "a new model of a current production U. S. light truck!" Then, the questions started to mount: what will the detail level be? Will the kit contain fiddly bits for the sake of fiddly bits, or for the ease of assembly and accuracy? Will it be priced in the mainstream or higher? Will Meng be Magnificent or Merciless?
My question about price was the first to be answered. I paid just shy of $75 for mine; this kit is priced in the same range as Hasegawa and Tamiya luxury car kits. So, is it a contender in that league? We shall see! A quick survey of the sprues tells me the detail level is on a par with Hasegawa and Tamiya. So, score Point 1 for Meng. The instruction book shows the extant fiddly bits are there for a good reason. Point 2 for Meng.
So let's delve into aspects of the full sized F-350. I found it easy to check for the overall appearance of accuracy and look, because one of these monsters lives across the street. The kit looks good unassembled. Next I am off to the Ford website to build the real version in the ether. Working from the Build Your Truck tool on the website, an F-350 XLT Crew Cab Diesel 4X4 with the kit included options comes in at $57,790 plus tax and tags. Where I live the tax and tags push it to $63,634.80. OK, I have a $75 model of a $64K truck, so let's take a look at...
Opening the very sturdy, sleeved box reveals a veritable plethora of parts. 7 sprues in gunmetal colored plastic, one sprue each in silver, chrome, and clear. The remainder of the parts includes five soft tires with decent tread patterns, four poly caps for mounting the wheels, metal transfers for the mirrors, and a small decal sheet. All of the sprues are individually bagged and coded.
The typical Meng instruction book includes a potted history of the Ford F Series trucks and a well laid out assembly sequence. Three of the available factory colors are illustrated along with the decal placement guide. The painting color callouts are by letters keyed to a list at the back of the book.
In the box, things look good, the cab shape appears correct. I think I will have to wait until I finish it to make a final call. I can say that the interior looks to be spot on with the XLT across the street. The engine bits and running gear parts look OK. Initially, I'll call it a "looks right."
When I first heard about this kit I hoped it would be priced at the upper end of the mainstream range. I was a bit shocked when I learned the retail price, because most of Meng's kits have been priced in the mainstream.
That said, since Meng has elected to play at the premium end with their first automotive kit, it does seem to meet that bar. I am still rather ambivalent about this kit, and I shall reserve a decision on this kit overall until I finish building it.
This review kit was obtained from Skyway Model Shop, over the protestations of my purse.