Trumpeter 1/35 MAZ KZKT-537L Cargo Truck Kit First Look
|Date of Review||June 2009||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||MAZ KZKT-537L Cargo Truck||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||1005||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$94.95|
MAZ is the Russian acronym for the Minsk Automobile Plant which produces a wide variety of heavy duty commercial and military vehicles, similar to the US Oshkosh Corporation. It has produced some very heavy duty prime movers for the Russian military to move ballistic missiles, surface-to-air missiles, tank haulers, etc. One very distinctive example is the KZKT-537L.
The KZKT-537L is a diesel-powered 8x8 heavy duty cargo truck similar to the US Army's HEMTT A2. Based upon a large family of vehicles that include the MAZ-535 and MAZ-537 series, the basic design has been in service for over 50 years as a prime mover to haul huge loads around the Russian countryside, on and off-road, as well as support operations in less-than-ideal conditions. This series of vehicles has been exported to numerous clients around the world and remains in service today.
Here is an interesting kit from Trumpeter. Based upon the tooling previously produced for the Soviet, Russian, and Warsaw Pact tank movers, Trumpeter has rendered this large-scale utility truck as well.
Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on nine parts trees, plus a separately provided cab and engine enclosure, two trees of clear parts, two frets of photo-etched details, and eight rubber tires. According to the specs, there are 431 parts in this kit.
The kit starts off with the chassis frame which gets built-up with the body mounts, eight wheel independent suspension, drive train, exhaust system, fuel tanks, stowage boxes, etc.
Since the MAZ series are based upon a mid-engine design, the enclosure sits behind the cab and Trumpeter doesn't provide an engine inside the enclosure.
The cargo bed is surprisingly detailed given that it is a low-sided box bed, but Trumpeter has captured the details here as well.
The cab is also nicely laid out and the cab doors are molded separately so you can pose the doors open to reveal the interior detailing. The cab has nice detailing which needs to be shown off. The top of the cab has a gun ring blank provided which can be left off should you have a spare gun ring and machine gun to mount on it.
Markings are provided for two variations of the green, light blue, and black camouflage patterns depicted in the instructions and box art.
If you want a heavy hauler that is definitely going to be different from the usual array of soft-skinned vehicles on the contest table, here is a different subject for you. This kit is also a good starting point to creating any one of the various MAZ-based transporter-erector-launcher vehicles that have served the Soviet and Russian armed forces. Some of the vehicles will require more scratchbuilding than others, but you can use this prime mover as a starting point rather than trying to adapt the more expensive low-boy tank hauling version that is also nice to have to haul your scale T-72 (or whatever) around.
In any case, whether you build the kit straight out of the box or strike out into some scratchbuilding, this is a nice kit from which to start.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!