Any Easter blossoms in this part of the world are usually imported from somewhere else. Once the snow does melt, which the meteorologists continue to claim will indeed happen sometime before the end of June, modeling progress will grind to a halt as we all rush out to get a few rays of sunshine before winter starts up again. So the long weekend was a good opportunity to make some progress.
The car carrier required an entire rattle can of Tamiya's TS-10 blue, and will need at least another two cans, along with the half-can left over from the Alpine A220, for the second coat and for the truck cab. As expected there are nooks and crannies where the rattle can doesn't reach now that I've assembled the structure, but a second coat should help here. I am also considering where I might add yellow highlights, to both cab and carrier, beyond the wheels.
Speaking of the wheels, the Tamiya TS-16 yellow rattle can did a poor job on the wheels in spite of a coat of primer, with the paint pooling in little puddles and running away from sharp edges rather than sticking properly; most of the small detail such as lug nuts got buried in yellow muck. Probably I laid on the primer too thin, and the first coats of colour too thick ... I tried to strip it off and start over, planning to put on a heavier coat of primer, but discovered that nothing seems to attack dried Tamiya acrylic paint: not Easy-Off, not lacquer thinner (which probably shouldn't have been a surprise), and not Tamiya thinner which, according to the label, consists of n-propanol and butyl alcohol. The InterWeb is full of advice (as always); the consensus seems to be that iso-propanol at high concentrations, combined with long soaking times (days?) and vigorous scrubbing with a toothbrush, will do the trick. I reinforced the Tamiya thinner with some iso-propanol from the pharmacy, and covered my tray to minimize evaporative losses. After letting it all soak for a couple of hours, vigorous scrubbing with a toothbrush began to lift some of the paint off.
Judging by the smell when I opened the little baggie, the tires are real rubber. (Now there is a sentence that could be misinterpreted -- smelling the contents of little baggies as a quality control measure? If the NSA is listening, we are talking about model cars here. Nothing illegal as far as I know ...) They are very soft and flexible and fit nicely over the rims.
Moving onto the truck, the engine is a bit of an oddball. It is assembled from a series of relatively flat sheets, with large gaps in random places between joints, see below. Compared to the lovely interlocking bits in the trailer, it's all pretty sloppy in terms of identifying where exactly a part should be glued, and the detail is only fair. It appears to be a V10 Diesel with no turbocharging. The pictures above show it pre-painting; I stripped the chrome off the cylinder heads and gearbox. In one of the few bits of English, the instructions say the engine should be painted 'burnt iron'; I'm going to look for something a little more colourful even if not entirely accurate.