ZiL-131 Armed Forces of Ukraine

Published on
Review Author(s)
Scale
1/72
MSRP
$14.99
Product / Stock #
72816
Company: ICM - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: ICM - Website: Visit Site
Box front

To begin, I am not a model builder who focuses on vehicles or on 1/72 scale. This project was a bit of a challenge to me personally. While building it, I discovered some surprising drawbacks, which I believe would be a bigger challenge to less experienced builders.

Box and Contents

Packed in the typical side-opening white box, the box features eye-catching artwork of the ZiL-131. The ZiL is a general 3.5 ton 6x6 army truck produced in the Soviet Union / Russia between 1964 – 2012. This kit depicts a Ukraine Army version.

Contained in the box are three sprues of soft gray styrene, one clear parts, one tree of rubber tires, a fully-molded cab, and a cab interior piece. There is one decal sheet for two camo schemes. The instructional guide is three pages and has no numbering or call-out errors. They are very easy to follow. The last page shows two full-color illustrations of the camo options.

Construction

Building the kit is very compartmentalized. First the wheels, then the cab, undercarriage and trailer.

Wheels

There were no problems with wheel assembly. There is one extra wheel in the kit, which could be used perhaps as second spare sitting in the trailer.

Cab

Building the cab was mostly problem free. As I said in the beginning, there were some surprising drawbacks. The biggest was the amount of flash. The cab, for example, had significant flash inside of the grille and window openings. At 1/72 scale, the space is very tight and removing flash was a challenge. The tail gate has a lot of flash as did some of the delicate undercarriage parts. After cleaning up the flash, the remainder of the assembly was fine. Per the instructions, in Step 02, you are to attach parts B2, A16 and A17. These are the side mirrors. I would highly recommend leaving this for the very end. These parts are very fragile and their attachment points on the cab body are nearly non-existent.

The cab interior is very basic and plain. There are no instrumentation details. This is because at 1/72 scale and with the cab closed up, it would be nearly impossible to see this detail.

Undercarriage

Building the undercarriage goes quickly. Again, there are challenges. Parts placement for certain parts (B15 for example) are not very clear. Next, other parts such as the exhaust lines and tie rod are extremely thin and delicate. I broke them multiple times, and I was trying to be very careful. The attachment points for the wheels are also quite small. Make sure to allow the wheels to set up after gluing them in place.

Putting it All Together

After I completed all of the subassemblies, I primed them with Tamiya gray primer. Next, I used AK Interactive Black Semi-Glass for the undercarriage and wheels. I used Russian Green for the trailer and cab. After painting, I sprayed a Future clear coat. After the clear coat cured, I added the clear parts.

Decals

Although there are two schemes provided, the instructional sheet does not provide much information as to the difference between them. Placement is somewhat indicated. The decal elements are not numbered. Therefore, you have to more or less figure it out on your own. I found myself turning the decals in various orientations to see how they matched up to the illustrations. In some cases, you have to use half of a decal. I used MicroSet to place them and MicroSol to get them to conform. I got as close as I could to the illustration with going crazy over it.

Conclusion

For 1/72 scale fans, this is a nice kit. It builds into a nice-looking vehicle. There are, however, drawbacks which detracted from the build. I was really surprised with how much flash I had to remove. I was also surprised with how delicate many of the undercarriage parts are. I was very cautious with removing them from the tree and they still broke!Lastly, the decal process is a bit tricky since you have to match to the illustration with no help from numbered decals.

Thank you to ICM for the review sample and thank you to IPMS for the opportunity.

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