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Zvezda 1/35 L4500A German Heavy 4WD Cargo Truck Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review February 2009 Manufacturer Zvezda
Subject L4500A German Heavy 4WD Cargo Truck Scale 1/35
Kit Number 3596 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Neat WWII German cargo truck, Complete engine detail, Cab doors can be posed open or shut.  Nice 2 man crew Cons No cargo load provided. No canvas cargo bed roof
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $39.95

First Look


The Mercedes-Benz heavy 4.5t cargo truck L 4500 A, originally developed for civilian use, was widely used in service with all German military units during WWII. It was used on both the Western and Eastern fronts. A total of 9,500 trucks were manufactured from 1939-1944. Most of these for the Wehrmacht. The L 4500 A had a 7.2 litre diesel engine with 112 hp and existed in 2 basic versions: 2-wheel drive “S” and 4-wheel drive “A” versions.

Also, from late 1943 to late 1944, 1,480 were produced by Daimler-Benz as halftracked trucks…Maultier (Mule). The reason for their production was delays in development and then production of the Schwerer Wehrmachtsschlepper s.W.S

Zvezda is a model company based in Moscow Russia.

This new kit comes in sturdy tray and lid type box. The box art shows a L 4500 A driving down a dirt road in a forest, leading a halftrack full of troops behind it. It is shown with the canvas roof supports folded behind the cab. It is in a base of sand yellow with green and red brown wave pattern camouflage. It carries a load stencil on the cab doors, the license number WH-341286 and a white tactical sign on the driver’s side front fender for trucks. The wording on the box art is in Russian and English and mentions that there are 2 figures included in the kit.

One side panel has a one paragraph history of the L 4500 A in 6 languages, including English. These paragraphs are each marked with a full color flag of the country that speaks the languages.

The other side panel gives the address of Zvezda in Russia and Austria. We are told that the kit is not suitable for children 3 and under due to small parts. There is a Model Master brand pain listing and mention that the kit is aimed at modelers 10 and older and that there are 256 parts in the kit, which will make up into a model 22.6 cm long.

Inside the box are 6 light tan trees of parts. The 2 largest trees are in a unsealed cello bag and they fit the tray tight in all directions. A second unsealed cello bag holds the other 4 smaller light tan trees. A zip-lock type cello bag holds the clear parts tree. The decal sheet, instructions and a small sheet of IMPORTANT INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS KIT (in no less than 20 languages) completes the kit’s contents.

The instructions consist of an unstapled booklet of 8 pages in 11 ¾” x 8 ½” format.

Page one of the instructions begins with a black and white repeat of the boxart. This is followed by repeats of the one paragraph histories, again in the 6 languages. The bottom of the page has ATTENTION – USEFUL ADVICE in the same 6 languages.

Page two is the parts tree illustrations.

Page three has illustrations of 3 hobby tools, with kit numbers next to them. I assume that Zvezda markets these tools? There is a pair of sprue cutters (kit no. 1101), a hobby knife (kit no. 1103) and a pair of pointy tweezers (kit no. 1105) Next are two illustrations of 2 versions that the truck can be built up into. One has the cargo bed canvas roof support bows folded behind the cab and shows part of the side of the engine hood folded to allow the mechanic figure in the kit access with his tool in his hand. The other version shows the hood buttoned up tight and the support bows rose. However, there is no canvas part provided in the kit. Those of us with AMS will probably fabricate this canvas with tissue soaked in Elmer’s white glue. Below this are explanations for 3 international assembly symbols and the first 6 assembly step drawings.

Page four through the top of page eight gives a balance of a total of 21 assembly step drawings. These steps have numbers inside of star symbols, at times, which indicate that a part should be painted at that time with the color of paint associated with the number given.

The bottom of page eight gives a paint color listing of Model Master brand paints suggested to use to finish the truck. This is followed by two 2-views for two schemes to paint and mark the truck with.

  • A truck with the 62nd Infantry Division, 1942 Kharkov. It is in overall Model Master no. 1721 medium gray. It carries white division markings and tactical mark on it’s front fenders and the loading stencil on the cab doors. License number is WH-142893
  • A truck with the 24th Infantry Division. This is the one on the boxart, already described above

The bottom of the page has 4 illustrations to use as decal application instructions.

The letter A parts tree holds: the folded and individual canvas roof support bows, turn signals and foot steps (11 parts).

Letter B parts tree holds: cab and engine hood parts, steering wheel, dashboard, radiator, figures (divided into separate bodies, arms and heads), rear-view mirrors, cabin seat, foot pedals, gear shift levers, wheels and tires etc. (63 parts)

Letter C tree is shown in the parts illustration as being one large tree. However, it is actually separated into two medium sized trees in the kit. The first half holds: engine parts, drive train parts, the exhaust system, brake drums etc. (65 parts). The second half holds: more wheels and tires, frame members etc. (50 parts)

Letter D tree is the clear parts. This tree holds the cab windows and headlight lenses (6 parts)

Letter E tree holds: leaf strings, axles, suspension parts, more brake drums etc. (27 parts)

Large letter F parts tree holds: the cargo bed floor and wood stake-side walls and the spare tire rack etc. (37 parts)

The decal sheet, already described above, completes the kits contents.

This is one neat German truck, with a nice engine and other fine details. A great companion kit to Italeri’s kits of the Opel German WWII trucks. The 2 figures are a nice inclusion, however I would have liked to have seen some cargo in the kit to go in the bed. Not to worry though, as there are after-market kits to take care of that.