by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
MAN produces a wide assortment of utility vehicles of varying classes, from transporting heavy loads to short-haul and distribution transport. The MAN TGS series was introduced in 2007. They feature 2-, 3-, and 4-axle configurations under several chassis configurations: tractor, rigid, etc. These vehicles feature various drive formulas for 18-41 tons. MAN advertises, With the TGS you have optimum traction for every soil condition. Whether on the building site, on the road or on a slippery road surface. With the various drive formulas, for example all-wheel drive or MAN HydroDrive®, you can handle every requirement. The TGS also offers the choice of three cab designs.
MAN TGS M 4-wheel Dumper Snow Plow
When I saw this model in the box from Herpa, I was immediately exited to review it. Now, a few days later, having just weathered my very first blizzard, I especially enjoy this vehicle! This is an appealing vehicle to behold with its yellow-orange color, the very detailed plow, angular bed and salt tub, detailed chassis, and that red triple-articulated crane. While Herpa currently offers 27 models of MAN TGS trucks, this one is really stands out.
Herpa securely packs this MAN TGS M in a form-fitted plastic cradle inside Herpa’s red cardstock carton with a display window. Molded finger slots make it easy to extract the cradle and get to the sealed bag of extra parts: four mirrors, four stabilizing legs, a pair of width gauge flags, and the mounting frame for the dozer blade. The blade has its own slot.
The casting and molding is top-notch. The model is almost completely factory assembled.
The blade is highly detailed with an interesting reinforcing and supporting structure on the back, caster wheels on the bottom edges, and holders for the flags. You snap it onto the mounting frame. You insert the frame into holes under the cab. The fit is tight.
The cab interior is a single molded piece featuring detailed seats, dashboard and console, and a separate steering wheel. It is reasonable visible through the large cab windows. Your driver’s eyes are shaded by a sunshade. The windshield is detailed with wiper blades.
The four mirrors are a pair of side view mirrors, and two mirrors to reveal the blind areas in front of, and to the side of the vehicle. These are delicate parts on their own sprue. The plastic is slightly flexible. Cut them from the parts tree and carefully fit them into the specific pre-made holes and slots. These holes are very small and while some are obvious, mounting the front and side mirrors are not readily apparent. The frontal mirror actually fits over the top of the passenger side mirror frame. A small instructional diagram would be helpful—I figured out where these mirrors go from looking at photos of a MAN TGS M. But this has not revealed where the four stout stabilizing legs are meant to go. Nor is it apparent if the salt tub can be removed from the dump bed without breaking something.
On the rear are the salt spreader and a ladder to the salt reservoir. Aside from the non-opening doors these are the only parts that are not movable.
All of this sets atop a very detailed 4X4 chassis. The soft plastic (or rubber) tires have fine tread detail. It appears this model can be fitted with a separate optional steering set for the front axle.
Lights, Cameras, Action!
Herpa uses clear and tinted lenses for their lights.
OK, although there is no camera equipment, this model features many movable components:
* Pivoting dozer blade
* Extendable stabilizing beams with retracting legs
* Tipping dump bed
* Removable salt reservoir top
* Pivoting articulated crane
* Operating pistons under the dump bed and on the crane
* Flexible hydraulic hoses
Livery and Markings
The model is molded in color. The MAN logo graces the front grill. It is chromed. On the rear of the salt tub is a printed cautionary emblem. Otherwise this is an undecorated model.
I would like to have a real MAN TGS M 4-wheel Dumper Snow Plow following this week’s blizzard. Still, I am very impressed with this model. The fidelity of detail, the operating features, the lenses for lights, and all the optional details make this a fun model. Highly recommended!
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on RailRoadModeling.