British Matador Truck

Published on
December 26, 2012
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Zvezda
Provided by: Dragon Models USA - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

Zvezda is one of the myriad of injection molding companies that emerged in Eastern Europe after the Soviet block fell apart. At first, they used old, re-cycled molds from other companies such as Frog, etc, but now they are doing their own molding and, at least in this instance, doing it very well.

A couple of years ago, Italeri introduced a line of simplified 1/72 scale kits to be used in a war game that they designed. Now, included in this box is a sample card used in the game. While in Cyrillic and, at least to me, un-readable, it appears to show the unit's movement abilities and limitations. It would be interesting to see the entire game. The models for Zvezda's game are in 1/100 scale and are of the no-glue variety. They are not really snap fit, but rather pressure fit, as there are no locking mechanisms. However, their system works quite well.

The subject of this review is the British Matador heavy lorry, as the Brits would call it. It was the prime mover of heavy artillery pieces, was the basis of many variants such as a fuel bowser, and was produced in single and dual axle variants. This kit is of the single axle, prime mover type.

The kit consists of 19 parts on two light tan sprues. Even though this kit is in 1/100 scale, the molding is incredibly fine – even the texture of the canvas (or hessian, as the Brits refer to it) side panels is there. Everything fits together very well with almost invisible seams, even without cement. However, cement will hold everything together better while finishing the model, so I suggest using it. The parts either have a sort of post on them or a socket. By pressing the posts into the sockets, the kit goes together in a matter of minutes. If you're going to build a real model, you will have to eliminate some sprue attachment points to assure a gapless fit, and there are some fine mold seam lines on the tires (or tyres) and on some parts of the frame that are easily removed. The windows in the cab are not open, but rather are just molded as recessed planes, but painting makes them look okay in this scale.

I painted my example in Tester's Green Drab, with a black wash and Field Drab dry brushing. I painted the canvas parts Field Drab just for variety. A quick going-over with some pastels and it was done. There are no decals provided.

To give you an idea of the size of this kit, I posed it in one of the pictures next to the Airfix 1/76 scale kit of the same vehicle. This should give you an idea of the size of this kit. This was a fun project. I may have to go out and see if I can find one of the tank kits they make for this series.

Thanks to Dragon Models for providing this sample kit and IPMS-USA for giving me the chance to review it.


Add new comment

All comments are moderated to prevent spam

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.