APA-50M (ZiL-131)

Published on
January 31, 2023
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: ICM - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: ICM - Website: Visit Site
Cover Art

This is a great kit! If you typically model in 1/72nd scale this will make a fine addition to a diorama or vignette involving any mid 1950's to current scenes. Assembly is straight forward with minimal effort, paints up nice and more than looks the part of an airfield mobile electric truck. You may wish to buy several copies....

This release from ICM Holding of an airfield mobile electric truck, the APA-50M, is a welcome addition to their 1/72nd line of soft skinned vehicles. Detail has not been sacrificed but it has been simplified. (No complete engine, for instance.) The engine (lower portion only), air tanks, power take-off, drive shafts, suspension and axles are all individual parts. Which is where assembly begins.

In addition to those aforementioned parts are some in scale, exhausts pipes. Do use some caution when removing these parts from the sprue as they are a tad fragile. The six tires are provided as injected molded bits that have separate, outer wheels hubs. That feature will greatly enhance your painting experience with this kit.

Construction continues with three other subassemblies: the interior of the cab, the cab itself and the auxiliary electrical power unit. The cab interior is composed of individual parts for the dash, steering wheel and several shift levers. The gauges (speedometer, etc.) are depicted with a decal. Unfortunately this step isn't mentioned in the assembly instructions. Another good reason to acquaint oneself with the instructions BEFORE you begin....

The exterior portion of the cab has additional parts for outside mirrors, fire extinguisher and forward head light guards. There is some flash on the exterior cab (mainly the grill portion) but that was quickly dispatched with a hobby knife. Clear parts are included for the headlamp lenses and all cab windows. All of which can be added after assembly and painting. Yeah!

The electrical power unit is comprised of a floor, end caps, side panels with five parts that make-up the top of the unit. In-scale grab rods are provided and will require some caution when removing them from the plastic sprue. Once each sub-assembly is finished they are attached to the chassis along with some bits for the front safety bumper. Should you wish to feature your APA-50M in military colors it might be prudent to paint the front bumper before assembly. ICM does provide the warning/safety strips as a decal but the part (part # A3) will need to be painted yellow beforehand.

As for those markings, they are minimal with only registration numbers being provided for the two military applications, although there are some decals for the vehicles rear taillights. A real plus! ICM Holding typically includes decals that are thin and, if you aren't careful, will 'fold over' on you. But they go on the model beautifully. ICM does have some markings for a civilian version of this vehicle in Deep Yellow under White. Decals for this version are warning placards, registrations numbers, and what looks to be a unit insignia. Other marking options (not included) may be available on the 'inter-web'.

This kit is an adjunct to previous release (kit # 72811 [https://icm.com.ua/technique/zil-131/] from ICM Holding. As such you get a few extra parts (fuel tanks, etc.) included in the boxing which you would do well to toss into the spares box. This kit, with all the detail included, will make a welcome addition to your next project as well as being able to hold its own in a stand-alone presentation. There is an absence of soft-skinned vehicles on the market in this scale (1/72) and it is a pleasure to see ICM Holding continuing to 'fill the void'.

My thanks to ICM Holding and IPMS/USA for the review copy.

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