DOC Military AS37 "Sahariano"

Kit #72500 Preview by Stephen 'Tank Whisperer' Brezinski - sbrez1(at)comcast(dot)net
Edited by Rob Haelterman

This is the Italian 4x4 light truck version of the Italian TL 37 military towing tractor; it shares many of the same parts as the TL 37 model. I have not assembled the model yet, so I cannot say much about the fit.

The box art depicts an off-road truck with large pneumatic tires, and painted in desert tan with a pale olive canvas cover, or tarp, over the bed. This is an interesting switch with the DOC MILITARY’s TL 37 model which is depicted as having a green truck body and tan canvas. The truck has a hard cab with side windows. Under the bed at the rear is the towing pintle.

Here are the five major parts out of the 10 light tan cast resin parts in the kit. Overall casting quality is very good and clean but the features are simplified. At lower left is the hard cab (part-2) with no interior detail and the doors molded closed. Clear plastic window material is provided to cut and fit, so little interior detail would be visible when the model is complete. Above left is the truck bed with crew seats and a storage box, and the tailgate molded closed. In order to fit the bed onto the truck chassis in the middle, it looks like we have to cut off the rear of the chassis (the area I have marked in red lines). The truck chassis to the right is the same as in the TL 37 model, which I found to be pretty rudimentary. (I would not model this vehicle rolled over showing this chassis underside.)
At the rear is a little block that looks like a poor stub, but may be a poorly done towing pintle. The open canvas (part-5, “the sheet”) is at far right and is decently done but also lacks interior detail, like the stays and hoops that hold the canvas up. DOC’s line drawing of the vehicle (shown below) shows a partially closed off opening in the canvas cover but there is no part included for this.

These parts of the wheel rims, tires and steering wheel etc., are the same as in the other DOC TL 37 kits. The tires look rough and with a bit of flash and the rims a little simplified. The cast metal parts are thick and could be better when compared to the resin model parts from MARS, Italian Kits, and Modelkrack.

This is what you get from DOC for assembly instructions. The drawings are clearer than in my TL 37 kit and they reference the part numbers on the 3-view line drawings. It would be great for DOC to break assembly down to several exploded-view drawings like with other manufacturers. An important thing that DOC’s instructions do not mention is the cutting off of the rear part of the cab (part-2) in order to fit the bed (part-3 stake body) onto the chassis (part 4).
Water-slide decal markings for three Italian and one German AS 37 trucks are included but there is no guidance as to where the markings should go or the units and theatres the vehicles served in.
They may not be up to some other small-scale resin kit makers in quality and detail, but as DOC released so many unique vehicle kits that no one else released at the time, I bought many of them with no reservation. They may not be superb display models (without a lot of scratchbuilding), but they may make very good, durable wargaming models, something I suspect they were actually designed for.
In addition to ACE Model’s recent kit of their TL 37, ACE also has plans to soon release their version of the AS 37 Trattore Autocarro Sahariano in 1/72 scale, as kit #72283.



[1] The Observer’s Fighting Vehicle Directory of WW2, by Bart H. Vanderveen, (1969).


[3] wikipedia

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Article Updated:
28 April 2011
02 Mai 2011