Bulldozer D-7

Vietnam version

Kit #: MM-R059

Preview by Will Alcott - will_alcott(at)yahoo(dot)com
Edited by Marc Mercier

In trying to review this kit, we first have to figure out what precisely this model is supposed to depict. The Caterpillar D7 Crawler Tractor was first introduced in 1938, and continues in production today. The various production models were indicated by a suffix letter, i.e. D7E, D7F. All the models up to and including the D7G were of generally similar configuration, with a rear mounted drive sprocket. The D7H introduced an elevated drive sprocket, and was first manufactured in 1985. So this kit appears to depict a D7G or earlier model.

The kit is labelled as a Vietnam version. I believe the main variant in use with the US Army during the Vietnam war was the D7E, which was introduced in 1961. Confusingly, Caterpillar introduced a new D7E Hybrid in 2009 so Google searching on Cat D7E will likely lead to the wrong version! The kit depicts a protective cage (cab guard) over the driver's position. This cab guard is often associated with the Rome Plow Treedozer, to protect the driver when clearing jungle. However the bulldozer blade depicted in the kit is the standard dozer blade, not the angled 'landclearing blade' normally associated with the Rome Plow. This combination of standard blade and protected cab was seen in service.

The kit appears to be based on a master by Nicolas Pierre-Yves (see and In the first of those links, the model is referred to as a D8H. So is this a D7 or a D8? The D8 is generally larger than the D7 and features 7 small rollers (road wheels) and a 6 cylinder engine. The D7 features 6 small rollers and in the D7E and earlier versions, had a 4 cylinder engine. The kit has a 6 cylinder engine and 7 small rollers. Though dimensional information on older Caterpillar tractors is hard to come by, the length of the track on the ground (distance from idler to sprocket center) of the kit matches the D8.
So my conclusion is that the kit does indeed depict a Cat D8 and is incorrectly labelled as a D7. Interestingly, the Australian Army did make use of the Cat D8 in Vietnam, so perhaps the kit could be used to depict one of those dozers

The kit is packed in a sturdy top-opening cardboard box, with a photo of an assembled and unpainted model on the front. Inside there are two plastic bags, containing 55 grey-green resin parts.

Casting quality is poor to mediocre. Parts such as the suspension, engine area and inside of cab roof have large amounts of excess resin. Unless the driver's seat is supposed to be equipped with a throw cushion, there are blobs of unwanted resin there as well. The resin is quite brittle and thin areas such as the cab floor have crumbled away on my sample.

34 of the parts make up the track runs, which have links of inconsistent width. Several of the individual links had broken loose. The suspension is greatly simplified - the rear mounted drive sprocket lacks any teeth, and the rollers are not really depicted. Fitting the suspension units to the body may prove a challenge, given the mating surfaces of both are highly uneven.


The main body of the tractor is cast as a single part, including the radiator, engine and driver's seat. The 6-cylinder engine looks OK, though much of the detail seems to have been sourced from an ESCI M4A1 radial engine.

The mesh detail on the front of the radiator is OK, but inconsistent in spots. A nice touch is the inclusion of a driver figure, clad in baseball cap and short sleeves.


A single double sided A4 sheet provides 4 small shots of dozers in action in Vietnam. Interestingly, none show the same slatted cab protection as provided in the kit. The instructions also show a photo of the parts and then 8 small and not particularly clear photos of the kit under assembly, with one photo of the finished model.
A short history, assembly advice and painting guide (paint it olive drab) complete the instructions. No decals are provided.


Overall I would not recommend this kit. Building an accurate Vietnam-era D7 or even D8 from this kit will require substantial scratchbuilding and correcting of kit parts. Given the premium price Model Miniature charge for this kit, I would have expected a lot more.

Preview sample purchased by the author.


This model can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 31 December 2014