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Trumpeter 1/35 NKL-26 Armored Aerosan Kit First Look

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2011 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject NKL-26 Armored Aerosan Scale 1/35
Kit Number 2321 Primary Media Styrene, photo-etch, acetate
Pros First styrene kit of this subject in this scale; very nice detailing throughout Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $35.95

First Look


Before Luke Skywalker had a Snow Speeder to attack the Empire's ground forces on Hoth, the Russians had the Aerosan. In the Bayou of Louisiana and swamps of Florida, one of the more reliable forms of transportation was the airboat - a flat-bottomed platform that could carry a few folks and was usually powered by an aircraft engine turning a propeller. In the Russian winter, that same concept applied, except the flat-bottomed boat hull was replaced by a two-seat enclosure on skis - aerosan.

Trumpeter has replicated the standard lightweight Aerosan as well as this armored variant in its latest releases. This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on eight parts trees plus a lower armored hull, one set of die-cut windows from acetate, and two frets of photo-etched parts.

So let's get to the features:

  • Nice armored enclosure with interior detailing
  • Detailed driver's station
  • Positionable driver's armored windshield cover
  • Detailed gunner's station/gun ring
  • Optional gunner figure
  • Positionable cabin entry door
  • Detailed suspension w/steering arms
  • Detailed skis (using many of the photo-etched parts)
  • Detailed five-cylinder radial engine
  • Choice of fuel tank fairings
  • Spare propeller with stowage

The kit provides two distinctive subjects:

  • Red 13
  • Red 5/"Za Rodinu"

Even with the photo-etched parts, this will be a simple build and these Aerosans came in a variety of colors (all white) which makes the base coat simple but opens up some interesting weathering to tell a story. Congratulations to Trumpeter for doing these Aerosan kits. Ray Mehlberger, our armor editor laid claim to this kit way back when it was first announced, but I've acquired my own copies of both Aerosans as they just look too cool to pass up!

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review copy!