Mercedes-Benz Econic with load handling system Fire department
Brochure: Herpa Cars & Trucks 2014 / 01-02
Manufacturer: Mercedes Benz
Series: Fire brigade
Herpa releases this new model of the Mercedes Benz Econic swap body rigid truck with a fire brigade container. It is one of three Econic models, 1922 Mercedes Benz models, and one of 494 models in their Fire Brigade series.
The Mercedes-Benz Econic is a low-entry truck introduced by Mercedes-Benz from 1998 to present. It is normally used for waste collection, fire and emergency purposes and airport ground services.
It is available in weights of 18t and 26t. It is designed with special characteristics such as low floor, low overall height, automatic gearbox and even a natural gas engine to adapt to all above mentioned tasks.*
Econic features five chassis wheel configurations from 4x2 to 8x4. Over 10,000 have been manufactured.
The range of straight-6 engines includes both 6.4L and 7.2L diesel engines from 175 kW to 240 kW and a 6.9L Natural Gas engine with 205 kW.**
M-B Econic 6x4 Swap-body
Herpa securely packs this model in a form-fitted tray. The tray is held inside a red Herpa carton with a cellophane display window, and opens via tabs at each end. The tray has slots for optional parts but no slots for your fingers to easily remove the tray from the box. This arraignment is surprisingly durable — some previous shipping boxes were partially crushed in transit, and although model boxes were mashed, most of the models were not damaged. Very nice!
Inside the carton is the almost completely assembled model. Three sprues hold optional mirrors and a rear bumper. I found no flaws in the molding or assembly except for one tiny burr on the container. The sharply molded exterior features fine recessed lines for doors and hoods, panels and the grille. Door handles are flush and are the tabs that hold the cab interior in the cab shell.
This model has the Econic High Roof Cab with low access entry and flat floor. A full-height door is on the passenger side. The cab and trailer superstructure set upon a highly detailed three-axle chassis. The windshield and windows are free of distortion and you can see the nice interior. It is worth popping the cab off to see. Soft tires mounted on detailed hubs support the model. The front wheels can be made to steer if you use Herpa’s steering set. Eight soft rubber-plastic tires have nice tread detail.
Mounted behind the cab is the articulated and telescoping kinematic arm container loading and locking apparatus. It features a pair of telescoping hydraulic piston lifts that extend as the container cradle rises or lowers. This business end is an interesting apparatus that can be raised, extended and arched. To load the container it bends back over itself to hook a bar on the container end with a clamp. As the pistons retract, the arm straightens and pulls the container up to straddle and set upon the arm.
Almost all detail on the container is molded on except two rollers under the rear, the locking bar which the lading arm hooks to, and a floodlight system.
That mechanism is delicate. No instruction sheet is included with the model to explain how to operate it without damaging the parts. This is a foible of Herpa models – lack of “how-to” directions.
Herpa has created a detailed model of the chassis: gearbox, frame, fuel tanks, air tanks, axles, springs and suspension.
Individual clear lenses simulate the headlights. Individual tinted lenses simulate the emergency lights on the cab. However, the brake lights are not even simulated with paint.
Inside of the cab is detail worth popping the cab off for: bucket seats, the steering wheel, console, stick shift, and dashboard detailing.
The windshield wipers are part of the combing around the windshield. In the front of the cab doors are slots to mount the optional side view mirrors and corner mirrors. Although the mirrors are delicate, it is a simple process. These lack simulated reflective surfaces for the mirrors although Herpa does chrome the mirrors on special releases I have examined.
Herpa engineered the soft tires to slip over the rims. They display good tread detail.
Livery and Finish
The model components are molded in color, except for the roller doors on the side of the container, which are painted. A yellow strip is also painted along the body. The M-B emblem is chromed, not a decal. Herpa does not use decals. The surface of the cab is glass-smooth.
This big M-B swap-body container truck will make an impressive presence on your HO layout or diorama. It has very good plastic detail and a great finish. It has a detailed underbody, lenses for headlights, a detailed interior which is visible through the clear windows, and the working kinematic apparatus.
The lack of any paint or lenses for the brake lamps and signals disappoints me. I am also disappointed that no instructions explain how to move the container arm without risk of damage.
Please remember to let vendors and manufacturers know that you saw this model here, on RailRoadModeling.
* Wikipedia. Mercedes-Benz Econic.
[Web.] 16 December 2013.
** Mercedes-Benz UK Ltd. Econic.