Russian Zil-131V Tractor Truck
Bronco, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Brett Green
|Stock Number and Description||Bronco Kit No. CB35194 - Russian Zil-131V Tractor Truck|
|Media and Contents:||519 parts in grey plastic; 24 parts in clear plastic; eight vinyl tyres; markings for five options.|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||High level of detail; excellent moulding quality.|
|Recommendation:||This is a highly detailed model of a widely used Cold War and modern era Russian truck that will be an interesting project for experienced modellers.|
The ZIL-131 is a general purpose 3.5 tons 6x6 army truck designed in the Soviet Union by ZIL.
The basic model being a general cargo truck. Variants include a tractor-trailer truck, a dump truck, a fuel truck, and a 6x6 for towing a 4-wheeled powered trailer. The ZIL-131 also serves as a platform for the 9P138 rocket launcher, a 30-tube variant of the BM-21 "Grad".
The ZIL-131 has a civilian version the ZIL-130. Both were introduced in 1967 as a family of two trucks sharing identical components.
The ZIL-131 6x6 has the same equipment as the GAZ-66 and Ural-375D.
The ZIL-130/131 was in production at the "AMUR" truck plant (as the AMUR 531340), with both gasoline and diesel engines, until 2012 when AMUR shut down and filed for bankruptcy.*
Hot on the heels of their 1/35 scale Zil-131 cargo truck, Bronco has released the Tractor Truck version.
The truck is made up from 519 parts in grey plastic, 24 parts in clear plastic, one photo-etched fret and markings for five vehicles.
The model is very well detailed.
The front of the body is moulded as a single parts as a perfect example of the benefits of modern slide moulding technology.
It is packed into its own stout cardboard box - a thoghtful touch to protect this delicate part.
Apart from this, the truck is broken down into what appears to be as many parts as possible. The rest of the cab is provided as separate parts - sides, rear, windscreen, roof and doors.
Full chassis detail is included, once again broken down into its major and minor components including separate rails, exhausts, suspension and detail parts. Transmission, differentials and associated parts are also multi-part sub-assemblies.
An incredibly detailed engine compartment is offered, and this may be shown off thanks to the separate hood.
Tyres are vinyl. They are nicely enough detailed but there is a slight raised centreline seam on each of the eight tyres that will be tricky to clean up. I really would prefer if manufacturers provided injection moulded plastic tyres, even as an option. I'm sure the after-market resin accessory industry is pleased about the vinyl tyres though!
The cab is well fitted out, and the doors may be posed open or closed. Clear parts are provided for the winscreen and windows. Optional parts are supplied for fully open or fully closed driver's and passenger's windows. The open option is essentially just the closed front quarter window. Poseable photo-etched sun shields are included too.
The cab roof is moulded with two small separate hatches that may also be posed open or closed.
The trailer hitch system and skids are well represented on the rear of the truck too. I wonder if we'll see a separate trailer at some stage?
Photo-etched parts are supplied for fine details.
Markings are offered for five vehicles - Russia, Ukraine, GDR, Soviet Troops in Germany and Czechoslovakia - in any colour you like as long as it is Russian Green.
Decals are in register and colours look good.
This is a highly detailed model of a widely used Cold War and modern era Russian truck. The high parts count and the tiny pieces will make this most appropriate for experienced (and patient) modellers.
*Historical summary adapted from Wikipedia.