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Zvezda 1/35 ZIS-151 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2011 Manufacturer Zvezda
Subject ZIS-151 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 3541 Primary Media Styrene and vinyl tires
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $28.95

First Look


The ZiS-151 is a general-purpose all-wheel-drive (6x6) truck with roughly a 2.5 ton cargo capacity. The ZiS-151 was the post-war development of the lend-lease Studebaker US6 cargo truck which was also produced as the ZiS-6.

The ZiS designator is an acronym of the factory that produced these vehicles, which at the time was Automotive Factory Number 2 that was also called Factory in the name of Stalin (Zavod imeni Stalina, or ZiS). After Stalin fell out of favor after the war, the factory became the Factory in the name of Likhachev (Zavod imeni Likhacheva, or ZiL) and the ZiS-151 became the familiar ZiL-151.

The ZiS-151 chassis was also adopted for special purposes such as the transport for the BM-13 Katyusha rocket launchers as well as the frame for the BTR-152 armored personnel carrier (APC).

Here is a nice kit that has appeared in numerous boxings so far including under the Zvezda, ICM, and Italeri labels. This is the ZiS-151 utility truck that was built by the thousands. Trumpeter produced the later ZiL-157 truck in this scale

Molded in olive green styrene, this kit is presented on three parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and a set of 12 vinyl tires. In addition to the truck, the kit also includes three crew figures (all standing).

Construction starts with the chassis and and the kit really does a detailed replication of the 6x6 power train. Only the engine is done as a bottom-only view so you won't be able to look under the hood for the engine. Aside from that, the detailed frame, transfer case, driveline, suspension, brake drums, etc., are all nicely done. The behind-the-cab dual spare tire rack is also there.

Next comes the cab and this includes all of the pedals, shift levers, and steering system. The doors are separately molded so that means you can pose the doors open on your cab, and the windows are also separate should you want to pose the doors with the windows down.

The wooden cargo bed is nicely done and begs for some wear and weather in its assembly. The kit provides the parts for a standard cargo configuration or with the seats down for troop transport.

The kit comes with basic markings including Soviet Guards Army shields that were more for parade vehicles than utility trucks. The vehicle comes in a wide range of colors as long as they are all olive drab.

Utility vehicles are becoming more popular for armor modelers as they provide some variety in subject as well as painting weathering techniques. For those who like to build dioramas/vignettes, this is also just the truck to have backed up to your favorite T-54/55/62 and passing ammunition to the crew.

My sincere thanks to HobbyTerra for this review sample!