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Peterbilt 379 with Nelson 3x3x3 Trailer

Maker:  Sword
Model No:  2033
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  July 2008


Sword Index
Special Transport Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)6
Detail   (max 30)27
Features   (max 20)16
Quality   (max 25)22
Price   (max 15)11
Overall   (max 100)82%

Footnotes


Ready to haul.  Here the model is shown in a short configuration.
The Sword box style.
The tractor in the colours of DG Equipment.
Air lines and 'fifth wheel'.
Opening door to the detailed cab.
The front bogie unit without the gooseneck.
The panel with 'SIZE' on it opens to provide access to the basket.
Realistic controls for the man at the back.
At maximum length the model disappears into the distance.
In a shorter configuration carrying a Bucyrus 495 'Fastfil' Dipper.
Hauling a Fermentation Tank.
Assembling a longer flat bed using a Link Belt RTC 80100.
Peterbilt was founded in 1938 and is a famous producer of American trucks.  The Nelson Manufacturing Company of Ohio was founded in 1947 and manufactures a range of trailers and crane attachments

This is a model of the Peterbilt 379 Day Cab with a Nelson 3x3x3 Trailer.  This particular equipment is used in heavy haulage applications where loads typically up to 100 tons can be carried.  Larger trailers exist to carry heavier loads.

The review model is in the colours of DG Equipment.

Packaging

The model is packed in a standard Sword Models box which just has the model name on it but no pictures or other information.  Inside, the model is well packed within a couple of expanded polystyrene trays.  The review model had no defects or missing parts.

Getting the pieces out of the tray it becomes apparent just how many separate parts there are and for this reason alone it is perhaps surprising that there is not a simple parts list and instruction sheet with assembly instructions.  However with that said the model is not difficult to assemble and most collectors will not have a problem.

Detail

The tractor chassis is very detailed.  The two driving axles are complete with prop shafts and differentials and replicated suspension details, and there is a third helper axle.  The rear wheels have very good metal hubs with finely treaded tyres, and there are rubber mud flaps bearing the Peterbilt logo.

Towards the front the underside of the engine is visible and the exhaust pipes lead out to the side of the body.  The front wheels are on different metal hubs to those on the rear wheels.  

The imposing front of the Peterbilt is modelled very well with a superb finely etched radiator grille, with a spoiler on top.  The bumper is metal and the headlight clusters have lenses incorporated for both headlamps and indicators.  Both on the top of the radiator and on the sides of the bonnet (hood) there are tiny Peterbilt badges which are perfectly legible.  The wheel arches have an excellent rubber lining which become mud flaps behind the wheels.  Under the bonnet is a detailed engine, with a separate radiator, and there are various pipes and hoses.

The cab detail is all of an excellent standard.  On each side fuel tanks with very fine graphics are modelled and they are integral with the cab steps which have nicely patterned treads.  There are a pair of exhaust stacks and each has a grab handle and the exhaust pipe has a hole and actually looks like a pipe.  Around the top of the cab there is lots of chrome work with very good metal wing mirrors, lights and air horns.  The makers have thoughtfully provided spare mirrors and surplus different air horns with the model.  The two orange beacon lights on the roof of the cab add to the look.  There is no 'glass' in the cab windows. 

Inside, the cab is also detailed with the steering column having a tiny stalk below the wheel and fine details on the inside of the door.  Behind the cab, the detail continues with three coiled lines for connection to the trailer.  There are also some fine chains and equipment, with a piece of folded tarpaulin.  An 'Oversize Load' sign is provided and this fits into the notch on the front bumper.

The trailer units are very detailed indeed.  The bogie units have very good hubs with rubber tyres and patterned treads.  Each of the axles has the suspension fully modelled and there is excellent brake line detail to each wheel.  

The front unit has receivers for the lines from the tractor unit.  Further lines then travel down the length of the bogie unit to the rear.  Support legs are modelled for when the unit is disconnected from the tractor and two holders for supplied wooden blocks are provided on each side of the main structure and these have rubber securing bands.  A fifth wheel sits on a realistic structure which has convincing holding down bolts.  At the rear, rubber mud flaps and painted light clusters are present. 

The gooseneck has equipment boxes at each end and full cabling throughout.  A very good feature of the structure throughout the trailer is the excellent representation of the fabricated elements with the holes in the beams.

The rear unit has a hydraulic steering system on the front bogie and this is complete with hoses.  Detail is further enhanced with floodlights which also have electrical cabling running from them.  There are tiny warning notices replicated although they are not legible.  Following the main structure towards the rear bogie and various equipment boxes are included together with other small cabinet details.  Two holders for wooden blocks are provided on each side of the main structure and these have rubber securing bands.  At the rear is a man riding basket for controlling the rear steering.  This has a fine mesh floor and realistic controls which have electric cables running into the bogies.  The rear bumper has painted light clusters and rubber mud flaps bearing the Nelson name.  Two holders for the supplied warning flags complete the detail at the rear. 

The rear gooseneck is a large piece which has an equipment box at the front end and hoses and cables which run throughout.  There are floodlights and a couple of orange beacon lights which are painted metal rather than the more usual plastic lights.  Cables from the gooseneck run and plug into holes in the bogie units.

The flat bed is made up of a number of units of varying sizes.  At each end, the connecting pieces to the goosenecks have hydraulic lines modelled and there are holders for warning flags.  The deck units have lines running down each side and there are tiny loops throughout the flat bed for attaching tie-downs to secure loads. 

The connecting pins for joining deck sections is worthy of special mention as not only are they pins with lifting handles but the ends have a hole for a supplied securing pin which is a superb detail.  A plastic replica timber deck completes the flat bed detail.

Also supplied with the model are a set of chains and hooks.

Features

The front wheels on the tractor steer, but the steering is 'notched' rather than variable so the wheels can only be posed in one position when pointing left or right.  The helper axle can be clipped out of use and this is achieved by removing the cover above the axle and adjusting a screw so this provides a variety of display options. 

The hood opens in a very easy action and the cab doors can be opened too.  The ‘fifth wheel’ on the tractor works and is operated with a spring loaded lever to secure a trailer in position. It can also be adjusted longitudinally.

All of the trailer axles have very good working suspension which works by using small springs.  The bogie units have various opening equipment boxes.

At the back of the trailer the operator basket has an opening door to facilitate entry.

The flat bed element of the trailer comes in four sections and by combing these in various ways eight configurations can be built up including one which makes the model over 1m (40 inches in length).  To prevent the deck sagging when under load clear spacers are provided which clip under the deck and keep it level - a thoughtful feature.

Quality

This is another precision model from the Sword stable.  The quality of manufacture is very good with limited use of plastic, and the level of detail is very high.  The paintwork is high quality and the graphics are good although not as good as the best of the very latest standards.

Price

This model is not inexpensive but it is a highly detailed and impressive model for the money.

Overall

Collectors of heavy haulage models will be very pleased to own this.  The level of attention and detail that has gone into the model is apparent and makes it very impressive close up.  Stand back, and the model impresses for its sheer size.  As a display piece the configurations which are possible provide good options and, when couple with a suitable load, the overall display can be excellent. 

This is a very good model indeed and the only thing it misses is information about the real machine and some good instructions. 

Footnotes

The model was released in May 2007.  The following versions have been produced:  red, run of 400;  blue, run of 300;  yellow, run of 300;  white, run of 400.  DG Equipment (blue), run of 400;  Sharpe Houseboats (white and red), run of 200.

 
The model in the tray.
The many parts out of the box.
Opening hood shows the detailed engine.
A classic Peterbilt tractor.
Rear bogie unit without the gooseneck.  
Opening equipment boxes.
Underside view reveals plenty of detail.
Another opening equipment box.
Impressive rear bogie arrangement.
Up close with the load.
The back seat driver ... driving from the back seat.
Old meets new.  Hauling a Bucyrus Steam Shovel.