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Crane Bleichert

ZZ Modell 1/35 Crane Bleichert Conversion First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2011 Manufacturer ZZ Modell
Subject Crane Bleichert Conversion Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35001 Primary Media Resin, Photo-etch
Pros Nicely detailed kit, transforms the ICM, Zvezda, or Italeri boxings of the ZiS-151 kit Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $99.90

First Look

Bleichert Company was a famous engineering powerhouse in the late 19th and early 20th centuries based in Leipzig, Germany. One of their key technologies was industrial tramways for mining as well as transportation with systems delivered all around the world. In 1935, the Bleichert Comany went bankrupt, but continued through the war producing industrial conveyors. During the cold war, Bleichert continued producing industrial systems for eastern block countries with its headquarters in Leipzig, East Germany. With the end of the cold war and the fall of the wall, Bleichert GmbH continues as a European powerhouse for industrial technologies.

Crane BleichertCrane Bleichert

One of the products of the cold war Bleichert was a flatbed conversion for the Soviet-built ZiS/ZiL-151 truck to add a crane that could be used for light/medium duty tasks for military and civilian applications. Mounting such a crane on an all-wheel-drive heavy duty truck made this system very versatile in a wide range of operating environments.

ZZ Modell produces an interesting range of kits and conversions in 1/72nd scale as well as HO (1/87) scale. These include a nice array of Soviet era radars which would be awesome to see in 1/35 scale as well! Here is their first conversion in 1/35 scale, the Bleichert Crane, which is a masterpiece of resin and photo-etch. Interestingly enough, this kit was first produced in HO scale along with a similar Bleichert crane designed for the ZiS-150 truck.

The kit is comprised of over 40 nicely cast resin parts for the crane cab and power unit, and two frets of photo-etched parts that make up the crane boom and mounting fixtures. The detailing on all of te parts are well done and there was good engineering done to make assembly of that boom very straightforward. In fact, I'm torn between using the standard cyano glue and solder to assemble that photo-etch. Either way, the results should be impressive.

This conversion was designed to work with the 1/35 ZiS-151 kit released in Zvezda, ICM, and Italeri boxings like this one.

If you're looking for a different kind of project or perhaps some nice diorama vignette possibilities, here is one worth building. You could pose this with a MiniArt building under construction similar to the box art, or use this to change engine packs in your T-54/55/62 tank. The possibilities are numerous with something as versatile as an army crane!

My sincere thanks to HobbyTerra for this review sample!