As with most softskins, construction began with the chassis. The photo above shows the result of the first four steps. Only the lower half of the engine is provided but that's not a problem for me as the hood is modeled closed on this vehicle and I have no intention on opening it. I'm not sure what Tamiya did to update their molds, if anything, but there is a remarkable absence of mold lines on any of the parts in my kit. (Especially the leaf springs--the bane of my existence.) Minimal clean-up was needed and everything fit together nearly perfectly. I particularly liked how the wheels were done. The outer part of the wheel and the complete tire were one part to which was added the inner wheel section--no join line to clean-up on the tires! The poly caps were missing from my kit but that wasn't a problem for me as they can be more trouble than they're worth.
In Step 5 the dash and steering column were added to the firewall and the four "walls" of the body constructed. The way the rear section is constructed makes it easy to square-up the body. Simply attach the two side sections to the rear first, followed by the firewall to the two side sections. As you can see I've opted for the exterior spare tire stowage which corresponds to the Dora vehicle I'm modeling.
The photo above illustrates Step 6 in which the various transmission and shifting levers and seat blocks are added to the floor. The treadplate is finely reproduced. So far I haven't replaced any of the kit parts with those from the Velinden set since most of the kit parts are actually better molded than the resin ones. The after-market parts will come into play mainly for the rear radio compartment. I still need to fill the locating holes in the floor for the rear bench seats which will not be used.
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