Soviet Army Truck ZiL 131
ICM, No.35515, 1/35

Short History:

The ZIL-131 is a general purpose 3.5 tons 6×6 army truck designed in the Soviet Union by ZIL. The basic model is a general cargo truck. Variants include a tractor-trailer truck, a dump truck, a fuel truck, and a 6×6 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 6×6 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 Anur shut down and filed for bankruptcy.

What`s In The Box :

This is the first version of this model in 1/35 scale in plastic. ICM continues to make soft skin vehicles that were not offered on the market before. The ZiL kit is in a hard box packing, (kind of pizza box) with color art of this vehicle in a Russian green color. On the back of the box there are pictures in autocad how this model looks like with all its details. In the kit there are 6 sprues (over 182 parts)  in khaki color plastic, a small sprue with clear parts, 8 black vinyl tires and decals. All frames are packed in plastic bags.  Assembly instructions are printed in b/w and contain 98 steps on 18 pages. Instructions are easy to follow. No visible flash on the frames and a very small number of pin marks. There are interior details; vehicle/model has a fully detailed interior, detailed engine compartment and driving compartment. Interior of a engine is not necessary to be built, but this will give a pretty strong picture of the model.  By adding few wires – it will make the engine compartment eye-catching. The interior includes a structured bottom panel, valves, levers, pedals, seat, etc…Decals are provided for instrument panel. Option of the doors builds in open or closed position.  Hood can be also made open.

Back-transport part of the vehicle is nicely detailed. Assembly of the banches have the option to make them in a seating or closed position. Unfortunately there is no option to make it with canvas, so this is for the modeler to make it from after market parts or to use some of well known modellers techniques.

Wheels are made from 2 plastic parts and vinyl tyre. Manufacturer’s brand is not printed on rims. Tires are nicely molded. There is little flash visible around the tyre but this can be solved with sharp modeling knife. Tread on wheels are very good and give very impressive look to this truck.

Painting & Markings:

Marking are provided for four different vehicles:

1) Soviet Army, late 80s
2) UN Peace Forces, late 80s
3) Russian Army, late 2000s
4) Ukrainian Army, late 2000s

but there are also ablems for:

1) Guard`s unit
2) Group of Soviet Troops in Germany
3) GDR People`s Army
4) Czechoslovakian Army
5) Polish Army
6) Russian Army
7) Ukrainian Army

Painting instructions are provided in black and white pictures so you have to follow letter marks for right colors. Colour guide is provided only for Model Master, but it’s not difficult to find the right replacements for them if you like.

Conclusion:

Highly Recommended for all Soviet model fans. Can be made in various modification; I guess that there will be a lot of offers on the market by companies that make upgrade parts, or can be used by some existing upgrades that can be found on the market for all Soviet/Russian trucks. It can be made as Third World/Middle East truck, from very recent and current war zones. 

Highly Recommended

Review kit of this model was provided by Scale Model Kits
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