by: Jean-Luc Formery [ ]
HistoryTo cope with the growing and huge requirements of the Red Army, a medium and lightweight truck was needed. As providing large quantities of vehicles was vital, the newly designed ZiS-5 V had to enable mass-production and maximize the use of non-strategic material such as wood. The new design with simplified engineering was reliable and led to a great success. Thousands of units of the original basic design and other specific variants were produced from 1942 to 1946 in the factories of Moscow and Myass.
The ZiS-5 truck had a maximum range of 200 km and its 73 hp engine allowed it to reach a top speed of 60 km/h. The tanker version carried a 3,000 liters capacity cistern.
The kitThe kit comes in a small top opening cardboard box with a picture of a finished model on it (picture 1). The bigger resin pieces are all protected in plastic bubble-wrap and the smaller ones are located in a zip bag (picture 2). An instruction sheet is also provided as well as decals. I didn't noticed any damaged parts and once aligned on the table (picture 3), the parts made a good first impression on me. But let's take a closer look!
The biggest part is the chassis (picture 4). It as crisply molded details on the top as well as on the bottom. Considering the complexity of this resin cast piece, it is a amazing to see that only small pouring blocks are present. Cleaning this part won't be too difficult and obviously the guys at Tarmac tried to make things as easy as possible for the modeler. This is a good thing for sure!
The second important resin part is the cab (picture 5). The quality of the moulding, here also, is excellent apart from a small molding line in one of the corners which will have to be filled and sanded smooth. Obviously this problem occured because the mold had to be cut to free the hardened resin piece. It is almost not noticable on the picture but the frontal radiator is finely detailed and as a nice mesh stucture. As you can see, there is some flash but here also, cleaning will be done within a couple of minutes. No clear parts are provided for the windows so you will have to make you own out of transparent plastic.
Not the biggest, but the heaviest part is the cistern (picture 6) which is composed of two parts: the top and the bottom. The latter allows the sub-assembly to fit to the chassis. A small arrow is engraved on the bottom part so to ease construction. Here also, cleaning will be straightforward.
The wheels (picture 7) have different designs depending on their locations on the truck. There are two forward wheels (top left on the picture), two sets of back double wheels (only one shown at the bottom of the picture) and one spare (top left). The tyres are well done with precise structures and the hubcaps have nicely done details such as bolts.
The detail parts (picture 8), some of which some are very small, will allow you do build the truck's cab interior as well as improve the overall look of the outside. For the inner area, you will find a steering wheel and seats. If you wonder (like me) why there is no instrument panel, it is because there is one already molded in the interior of the cab! For the outside, a muffler, two fuel pumps, hooks etc... are provided. Some of the parts will have to be made out of various sized brass wires or vinyl tubes (picture 9). It's the case of the transmission axle, some handles and the flexible fuel pipe. Three small etched parts and two small beads can also be found in the plastic bag. Two PE pieces are nicely done windshield wipers but I couldn't identify the part located between them, but I guess it's a rear view mirror. The two tiny beads are obviously meant to reproduce the truck's lights.
The intructions (picture 10) are printed on both sides of an A4 paper sheet and there are some basic paint references on the first page. A decal sheet (picture 11) is present in this kit but half the markings (red crosses) are meant to be used for a forthcoming ambulance version.
I assembled, without cleaning them, the main parts of the truck and placed it aside a Polikarpov I-153 model (Classic Airframes). This will give you an idea of the size of the resin model compared to an 1/48 scale aircraft (picture 12).
ConclusionSoviet 1/48 airfield vehicles kits are not common so it's nice to see that a manufacturer produces one, albeit in resin. I think the ZiS-5 V truck will look awsome next to models of soviet planes such as Eduard's I-16, South Front's LaGG-3 or Vector's La-5 to name the latest ones. Of course, to make a small diorama, the figures of the Soviet Ground Personnel set of ICM could be useful too.
Tarmac's kit is well designed and shouldn't be difficult to build, even for a beginner. Cleaning the parts won't represent a big challenge and there are not that many detail parts. So I recommend this kit to everyone with some interest in 1/48 scale Soviet WW2 planes... and vehicles!
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