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Italeri Land Rover Series III 109 “Guardia Civil”

Land Rover Series III
Italeri No. 6542
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Olive drab, clear
Scale: 1/35
MSRP: $24.99
Pros: Good subject and detail crisp molding, accuracy
Cons: multi-piece body with some fit issues, clear plastic pieces
ITALERI FIRST RELEASED the 109-inch wheelbase Land Rover Series III in 2012, but as a military ambulance.

This release features new parts to create a civilian version, but there are unused parts here too from the original kit. Like its predecessor, this is a curbside kit with no engine.

The 13-step instructions are in the form of a fold-out booklet with exploded views of the parts featuring parts numbers and color suggestions. Plus there are decals for a Spanish “Guardia Civil,” Italian, and British vehicles. The decals include license plates and other markings.

Assembly starts with the one-piece frame rails and underbody. Springs, front shocks, frame cross-members, and exhaust are separate. While the transfer case with driveshafts is one piece and the axles are multipiece. Be careful these need to be aligned properly.

The instructions would have you build up the multipiece front body (6 pieces) and rear body (6 pieces) on the frame.

Concerned that the individual panels could not be assembled after painting without damaging the finish I decided to assemble the front and rear body off the chassis then attach these two painted assemblies to the frame.

The lower doors, door window frames, windshield, rear upper side panels, rear bed door, roof panel, and roof ventilation panel were all separate.

So these need to be aligned during assembly. Test fits revealed a gap between the rear bed and doors. I glued plastic strips to the trailing edge of the doors and window frames to cut the gap. After all were aligned and glued the roof panel fit well.

Note that the roof panel, ventilation panel, rear upper window panels, and rear door panel are new to this release.

The Rover’s interior is nicely appointed with three bucket seats, right- or left-hand drive instrument panel, pedals, fire extinguisher, and various shift levers. There are no seat belts or decals for the gauges though.

The new rear body glass is pre-cut acetate stuck to an adhesive backing. Take care when removing the acetate so you don’t crease the window. These fit well into the recessed window frames.

The front door and windshield glass is clear plastic. Unfortunately these had blemishes that could not be removed. Replacements were cut from acetate sheet.

Plastic wheels and tires are molded as one with a front and rear side to be glued together. To ease painting consider dragging the back edge of a No. 11 blade around the lip of the wheel to give it more definition.

A few other points to ponder, both the Spanish and Italian versions are left-hand steer. In addition to the alternate instrument panels, the kit includes right- and left-hand steering linkages. Yet while instructions show the frame with mounting points for both, it’s only set up for right-hand drive.

To use the left-hand steering linkage you’ll need to duplicate the existing mount points as a mirror image.

Also, if you plan to build the “Guardia Civil” version be advised that the beacon parts are pictured on the instructions but not numbered. They are clear Part 3 and green Part 5.

You’ll also notice that the beacon is too small, so you’ll probably want to source an alternate.

Although not noted in the instructions, there are mirrors to be mounted on the doors. Also there is a pintle hook for the rear bumper

Even at 1/35th scale this is an involved kit that is not a quick build. But give it a little time and patience and the result will be an attractive Land Rover.


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