ukvan 1002 - Mercedes-Benz Traveliner
Review by Kevin Ellis
latest new casting sees this manufacturer enter another new field.
Following the successful launch of the Mercedes Benz Sprinter panel Van
in October 2007 CMNL have now released a Traveliner minibus based on the
same Mercedes vehicle. The model is the second release in the new ukvan
series and, like the earlier van version, this first release has been
issued in a plain unbranded livery.
Externally the body shape is based on the latest Sprinter body style
introduced in late 2006. The curvaceous lines of this design have been
well captured on the model. Detailing on metallic silver finished model
sees the door handles, air intake vents and body trim all pickled out
precisely in black paint. The joints between the various body panels and
the distinctive roof ribbing have all been well modelled and look to be
to be pretty much to scale.
rear light clusters have been reproduced using red paint while the side
trim lights are likewise picked out in orange.
The front radiator grille carries a prominent Mercedes-Benz three prong
badge and, like the bumper below, both have captured the subtle curves
of the real vehicle. Clear plastic lenses are used over a white painted
area of the body casting to depict the distinctive front head lamps; the
integrated traffic indicators within these are neatly represented with
small dot of orange paint.
Wing mirrors are moulded as part of body casting and these are finished
with black and silver paint, the only other detailing to be found on the
model are a pair of etched windscreen wiper blades.
The model has flush glazing all
round and this uses black tampo printing to good effect to represent the
various glazing bars and surrounds.
soft plastic tires are fitted to the silver wheel hubs which have been
The UK registration number SB57 TMB is applied to the model, at the time
of release this had yet to be issued by the DVLA so its not authentic.
The model depicts a long wheelbase vehicle with a wheelbase of 4325mm
and an overall length of 6940mm, this example is fitted with a total of
twelve high backed coach seats all of which have been finished in light
The level of interior detail on
this model is fairly basic compared to the larger CMNL models and apart
from the seats the only other feature is a nicely detailed black
dashboard and steering wheel.
model retails in the UK for around £7 and for the price you get a pretty
convincing model. The only slight criticism I can make concerns the
seats which have a rather unconvincing high gloss finish and have very
noticeable numbers embossed on their rears.
I'm sure CMNL will produce further
examples of this excellent model over time and no doubt some will appear
depicting examples of the numerous bus and coach operators that use
these vehicles across the UK.
unbranded version will likely appeal to those wishing to do a touch of
DIY customisation and with this in mind its worth mentioning that the
model can be disassembled by simply removing the two cross head screws
found on the base. The model breaks down into three main components: a
one piece die-cast body shell, a plastic interior that has the
individual seat components glued to it, and a black plastic baseplate.
The front radiator grille, bumper and head lamps are a separate plastic
component which is fixed to the body casting using a spot of glue, this
easily came free on my example without any problems.
One area that may cause problems
for those wishing to repaint the model, is the glazing which has been
securely glued into place and as such could well prove somewhat tricky
to remove without incurring damage.