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ATZ-4-131 Fuel Bowser

ICM 1/72 ATZ-4-131 Fuel Bowser Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review January 2008 Manufacturer ICM
Subject ATZ-4-131 Fuel Bowser Scale 1/72
Kit Number 72813 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Neat modern Soviet vehicle Cons Inside of driver’s compartment not very visible, due to being molded shut
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $12.80

First Look

I could find no info about any Soviet truck with the nomenclature ATZ-4. However, there was information on the ZIL-131. A photo of the front of a ZIL-131, found on the Wikipedia site confirmed that the ATZ-4-131 and the ZIL-131 are indeed one and the same. I quote Wikipedia below.

The ZIL-131 is a general purpose 3.5 tons 6x6 army truck, the basic model being a general cargo truck. Variants include a tractor-trailer truck, a dump truck, a fuel truck (subject of this kit), and a 6x6 for towing a 4-wheeled powered trailer. The ZIL-131 also serves as a platform for the BM-51 “Prima” rocket launcher, a 50-tube variant of the BM-21 “Grad”.

The ZIL-131 is part of a family of two trucks sharing identical components by ZIL, which also included the ZIL-30. Both trucks were introduced in 1967. The ZIL-131 6x6 has the same equipment as the GAZ-66 and Ural-375D. Unlike the ZIL-131, the ZIL-130 is intended for civilian use.

The kit comes in one of ICM’s usual end opening type boxes, that they use for a lot of their 1/72nd and 1/48th scale kits. ICM is based in the Ukraine.


The box art shows the ATZ-4-131 (aka ZIL-131) in a kind of bright bronze green overall with a large Russian word down the side of the tank in white. On the passenger side of the front bumper is a sticker that is divided in the center vertically. To the left on this sticker is a black and white diamond. It is divided horizontally. The top half is white and the bottom half is black. The top half has the image of a flame in it and the bottom half has a white numeral 1. The right side of this sticker is bright orange. It is divided horizontally in the middle. The top half has black lettering 15 with a Cyrillic letter behind it. The lower half has the number 1384 on it in black letters. On the driver’s side of the bumper there is an upside-down white triangle with the black letter T in the center.

Between these two markings is a black license plate with white lettering 32-65PB (the PB being half the height of the numbers).

Now similar markings are on the decal sheet, but the numbers change a bit and the white inverted triangle has no black letter T on it.

The back of the box has a 3-view, full-color, illustration of this same vehicle on the box art. However, it is done in a very dark olive drab overall and not near as bright as the color on the box art painting. It also sports different license plate numbers and a different 4 digit number on the orange and white sticker. However, these marks are what is on the decal sheet. It is painted semi-gloss black on the lower chassis and wheel rims and hubs.

A side panels shows the box arts of 4 other trucks in 1/72nd scale that ICM markets.

A BTR-152 APC (Kit no.72521), a URAL-375A command vehicle(Kit no. 72712), a ZIL-157 stake sided truck (Kit no. 72541) and a BM-24-12 multiple launch rocket system truck (72591)

Inside the box is a sealed cello bag that holds 3 dark green trees of parts, the cab shell part, the cab floor part, a tree of clear parts, and 2 jet black trees of wheel halves. Parts appear to have no flash or errant ejector pin marks.

The instructions and the small decal sheet complete the kit’s contents. There is also the usual second sheet that has IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THIS KIT in no less than 20 languages, including English. Each of the languages paragraphs has ICM’s address added to the bottom. This sheet has been found in all the 1/72nd scale ICM kits that I have encountered so far.

The instructions consist of a single sheet that is folded into the center to create 4 pages.

Page 1 of the instructions is the parts trees drawings. At the bottom of the page are a few international assembly symbol explanations. You will have to constantly refer to these parts trees, as only they – and NOT the parts trees themselves - have parts numbers on them.

Pages 2 and 3 give five, very busy, exploded assembly step drawings. Careful study of these will be needed to get things right.

Page 4 has two schemes shown as 3-views. One is as described earlier above, with the big Soviet word down the side. The second one is a truck with the East German (GDR) Army. Both are in overall dark olive drab with black undercarriages and wheels. The East German truck has a big white word down the side of it too, but this time in German.

There are a whole bunch of different markings on the decal sheet. About half of them are not indicated for use on this kit. I think this decal sheet is common to some other kits in ICM’s stable of Soviet AFV’s. It further confirms what I said about ATZ-4-131 and ZIL-131 being the same (above) as it has ZIL-131 printed in the lower corner of it.

Medium sized letter A tree holds: the vehicle’s frame, leaf springs, suspension parts, lower engine half (there is no upper half), axles and drive shafts etc. (27 parts) Five of these parts are shaded out on the parts tree drawing as being excess and not needed to complete the model.

Medium sized letter B tree holds: the exhaust pipe, steering column, the fuel tanks (for the trucks power), air cylinders, headlight grills, fire extinguisher, mud flaps, steering wheel etc. (29 parts)

Small letter C parts tree is the clear parts for the cab windows. (5 parts)

There is no letter D parts tree.

Medium sized letter E tree holds: the two halves of the cargo fuel tank, it’s base cradle with rear fenders attached, climbing ladders that go on the sides of this tank, the tanks rear oval panel, a fuel flap, an access panel door and a couple of long frame tank support frames, etc. (18 parts)

The cab upper shell part and it’s floor are separate pieces.

There are 2 identical black trees of wheel halves and hub centers (14 parts per tree). I am really confused by this, because this makes up into 10 wheels and this truck only ran on six??? Will have to study things more I guess.

The single cab shell and it’s interior floor piece complete the plastic parts in the kit.

This is a neat little kit of a unusual modern Soviet truck. Highly recommended.