MAN TGX XXL Semi Tractor with Mural | AutoModeler
This review looks at Herpa's model MAN TGX XXL tractor "Lagoudakis 3 / Leonidas, King of Sparta" (Bavaria/Nuremberg), item 314923. Herpa states of this model;
Leonidas, the king of Sparta, is the theme of the third truck from the Lagoudakis forwarding company, which was impressively staged by Walter Rosner.
Several of the Lagoudakis semis are decorated with murals of Greek gods and legends, and Herpa offers six designs at the time of the review. Herpa also has a Lagoudakis semi trailer that fits this tractor unit.
This striking MAN TGX XXL Rigid Tractor 4x2 is packed in a light plastic form-fitted tray secured in a light cardboard box with a cellophane display window and opening ends. The TGX XXL is almost fully assembled, except for two sprues of optional unattached parts:
• Side view mirrors
• Blindspot mirrors.
I cannot find any flaws in the molding nor assembly. Like a previous MAN TGX XLX reviewed here at KitMaker Network, the exterior features fine recessed lines for doors and hoods and panels. The chassis is very detailed with the frame, battery box, fuel tanks, transmission, drive shaft, differential, axles, and suspension; topside is a fifth-wheel and the detailed cab. The front axle can be made steerable with a Herpa steering kit. Each of the six wheels have rubber-plastic hybrid tires and plastic hubcaps. They display good detail.
The windshield and windows are free of distortion. You can see the nice interior. Inside of the cab is detail almost worth popping the cab off for, with bucket seats, the steering wheel, console, stick shift, and dashboard detailing. The cab easily tilts forward to expose a detailed engine.
Individual clear lenses simulate the headlights and tinted clear lenses detail the signal and brake lights. The windshield wipers are part of the separate black chrome combing around the windshield.
Four mirrors can be applied to the cab, 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 each from its parts tree and carefully fit them into the specific pre-made holes and slots. The mirror that extends to the front of the truck, it is not obvious how to mount it. Perhaps Herpa should provide some mounting instruction in the box or on-line?
This model affords the modeler a good deal of detail, and even "action" features (tilting cab) for (big boy) play , and dioramas. I am amazed at dioramas featured in Herpa's Der Mass:Stab, which demonstrates just how much detail can be crammed into the 1/87 models.
A striking stark vignette Leonidas, the King of Sparta decorates the Spedition Lagoudakis livery. While it is impressive in the box, I am amazed with the subtle line art and decorations. After looking at Lagoudaki's website I noticed Herpa does an excellent job reproducing this artwork. They do not use decals, all graphics are printed. Herpa chromed the MAN logos and other components.
The finish is first rate.
Herpa's MAN TGX XXL 4x2 in Lagoudakis livery makes a striking model of a heavy duty transport semi truck. It would be hard to miss this tractor on a diorama, layout, or on display. Sharp molding, detailed parts, positionable features, incredible printing, all this creates an amazing semi tractor. My minor criticisms are the lack of tinted lenses for the trailer signal lights, and Herpa doesn't include directions for mounting the details parts. Regardless, this is a exciting semi tractor.
Modelers and collectors of 1/87 modern heavy duty haulage should find this a fun model. Heartily recommended.
Please remember to mention to Herpa and retailers that you saw this model here - on Auto Modeler.
Historical and technical information: MAN TGX XXL
Rolled out to the public at the 2007 European Transport Road Show the MAN TGX is the flagship of MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Trucknology® Generation series. Declared the most powerful truck in Europe, the TGX V8 is designed to carry the heaviest loads over the most challenging terrain for long distances.
MAN TGX series is a family of rigid and articulated trucks. The vehicles are powered by 4 or 6-cylinder MAN engines of the D20 or D26 series generating from 264 KW (360 HP) up to 397 KW (540 HP), connected to an advanced MAN transmission. MAN constructs the frame in a ladder design supported by 4X2 and 6X4 axle configurations. Vehicle length is 10725 mm (35 ft.) with a GVM of 26,000 kg (57,320 lbs.).
MAN’s new 680 HP (500 KW) 8-cylinder common-rail V8 is claimed to be the most powerful in Europe. It complies with Euro 5 SCR exhaust technology standards. A MAN ZF AS-Tronic “Tipmatic” transmission transmits the power to the drivetrain. Driver reports compare the acceleration as similar to some sports cars, even under load!
For driver comfort MAN offers the option of the XLX or XXL cab, the XXL having 200 mm more headroom. Note, I looked at MAN's current site and apparently they changed their cab designations from XLX and XXL. Here is what their previous page stated:
Full standing height, full comfort: the XLX cab is designed as a long-haul cab for vehicle fleets. It captivates with its excellent aerodynamics and a powerful, elegant optical appearance.
Attention was given to safety through better all-round vision and optimized outside mirrors. Perfect for long journeys: the MAN engineers have developed a newly modelled roof spoiler especially for the XLX cab: the opening for the sliding roof has been integrated into the spoiler so that fresh air can flow through the opened sliding roof without any detriment to the aerodynamics.
Chrome and high gloss... The powerful optical appearance of the dynamic exterior is impressive and identifies dozens of new features: from the aerodynamic A-pillar trims through new LED indicator lights or position lights right up to the sleek, black radiator grille finished in chrome and high-gloss. 
 MAN Truck & Bus. XLX Cab. http://www.mantruckandbus.com/en/Products_and_solutions/MAN_Lkw/productdetails/XLX_cab.jsp?openAsPopup=true. N.d.