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Built Review
Mercedes-Benz Actros ULF
Mercedes-Benz Actros M 02 Universal Fire Truck
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Fire and rescue vehicles, with their shrieking sirens and flashing lights, capture the attention and imagination of almost all children. Many, such as your humble reviewer, grow up without losing their fascination with such vehicles! This model is thus certain to be very popular. “ULF“ (universal fire engine) – that’s what this new fire engine is called, based on Empl from Austria. The original is operated by plant fire brigades. Everything on the model is new, from the frame to the platform. It features the moving roof monitor with exactly replicated hose line and of course the many roof superstructures. The all-wheel frame is floating in the rear. Mercedes-Benz Actros and MAN TGX driver’s cabs can be mounted.*

Mercedes-Benz Actros

Mercedes-Benz Actros is a heavy duty truck introduced by Mercedes-Benz in 1996. There are 36 different Actros models, normally used for long-distance haulage, heavy duty distribution haulage and construction haulage.** Chassis available are 2 x 6 and 2 x 4 tractor or rigid, and a 4 x 6 haulage model. It is available in weights starting at 18 tonnes and is powered by a V6 or V8 cylinder diesel engine with turbocharger and intercooler.** They feature the Telligent® safety system. For the driver, Actros cabs come in four types: S, M, L, and LH.

Mercedes-Benz Actros M Universallöschfahrzeug EADS

Herpa currently offers 35 Mercedes-Benz Actros vehicles, and 309 Feuerwehr (fire brigade) models. This fire truck is based upon the 2002 heavy construction chassis with a weight range from 26 to 44t.*** It is almost fully assembled and is packed in a light plastic form-fitted tray. Included is a sprue of optional unattached side view mirrors and a sprue of fire truck parts; an instructional diagram would be helpful -- read on. The tray is secured in a light cardboard box with a plastic display window and opening ends. One end displays a metallic holographic license label by Daimler.

The vehicle molding is almost flawless. Surprisingly, there are horrible ejector marks on the face of each mirror! The exterior of the cab features fine recessed lines for doors and panels. The underbody is very well done, especially under the firefighting rear portion. The chassis is detailed with the frame, a basic engine bottom and transmission, drive shaft, fuel tanks, exhaust, differential, rear axle, and suspension. The rear axle's suspension pivots.

Details, Details...

Clear and tinted lenses are used for the headlights, taillights, and emergency beacons.

This fire truck is impressive with the fire fighting equipment mounted on the exterior: swiveling nozzle with water hose, a floodlight stand that can be raised and elevated and pivoted, ladders, and a bumper mounted nozzle. The floodlight uses chrome to simulate lenses.

An optional sprue holds another spot light, and what appear to be a pair of air horns. Try as I might, I can not find anywhere on the model to mount them. An instructional diagram would be helpful!

The cab interior is a single molded piece featuring detailed seats, dashboard and console, and a separately applied steering wheel. It is very visible through the large cab windows. The windshield is detailed with wiper blades and black chrome.

The four mirrors are a pair of side view mirrors, and two mirrors to reveal the blind areas in front of, and to the right side of, the cab. These are delicate parts on their own sprue. The plastic is slightly flexible. Carefully cut them from the parts tree or you can remove the mounting pegs; carefully fit them into the specific pre-made holes and slots.


The cab, superstructure components, and wheel hubs are molded in color. The Mercedes-Benz logo is hand painted. The EADS emblems and logos, and “FEUERWEHR” are sharply printed, not decals. Herpa does not use decals.


This Mercedes-Benz Actros M Universallöschfahrzeug EADS is an impressive model with good plastic detail and great finishing. The exterior decorating is painted well, it has a detailed underbody, lenses for lights and emergency lights, and a detailed interior which is visible through the clear windows. The ejector marks on the face of the mirrors takes away from overall quality of the model. Still, this is a fun model to have, whether for detailing an automotive or railroad diorama, or just to display. Recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on RailRoadModeling.net.

* Herpa
** Wikipedia

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Exterior decorating is painted well, detailed underbody, lenses for lights and emergency lights, and a detailed interior which is visible through the clear windows. The nozzles pivot, and spotlights are positionable. Individual mirrors can be applied.
Lows: The ejector marks on the face of the mirrors, no information as where to mount the mirrors, spot light, nor what appears to be a pair of air horns.
Verdict: An impressive model with good plastic detail and great finishing. This is a fun model to have, whether for detailing an automotive or railroad diorama, or just to display.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:87
  Mfg. ID: 048705
  Suggested Retail: 22,50 € ( $30 )
  Related Link: Herpa Fire Brigade Series
  PUBLISHED: Feb 21, 2011

Our Thanks to Herpa!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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