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ZIL-131 KShM with Soviet Drivers - ICM 1:35


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ZIL-131 KShM with Soviet Drivers

ICM 1:35




The ZIL-131 is a general purpose utility truck 6x6, one of the mainstays of the many Eastern Block armies along with the Ural-375. The basic model is a general utility tuck powered by both petrol and diesel engines. Like most armies the chassis for a general truck has been used for a multitude of different versions from a fuel truck to in the case of the ZIL a base for the BM-21 rocket launcher.  


The Kit

The kit is a reboxing of ICM's 2014 new tool ZIL-131. This kit comes with the standard command body. 




Construction starts with the chassis. Please note the chassis rails for this kit are the ones on the sprues for the command[ body, not the ones on the spure with the rest of the chassis parts. Air tanks are added to both sides and they are then joined by 5 cross members. The mounts for the front and rear suspension units are moulded into the chassis rails.The main gear box is then added. The side mounted fuel tanks are then made up and added. Next at the front of the truck the engine and its drive shaft are made up, this drive shaft then mounts to the gearbox. The engine intake filter and exhaust are then added as well, finished off by the radiator.






Next up are the main rear wheels and associated parts. The two axles are built up and their leaf springs added, the tyres are fitted to the hubs and then onto the axles. The drive shaft assembly for the main wheels is then built up and added linking to the main gearbox. These are then added to the chassis and the rest of the main suspension parts added. The front axle is then built up, its tyres added along with its drive shaft which links to the main gear box. Once the axle is mounted to the built in leaf springs the dampers can also be added. This now completes the chassis.




Construction now moves to the drivers cab. This is built from quite a number of parts and care will be needed to align them correctly. The lower sides are added to the floor along with the are in front of the dash. The dash can then be added along with the steering wheel and other driver controls. The drivers seat and passenger seats are then built up and added. The rear of the cab can then be fixed in, followed by the roof. Once the cab is then together the doors can be built up and added. The front wheel arches with their light cluster added can then be added to the chassis and the cab placed on top of them. The front grill is added then along with the bonnet. Finishing touches are three lights on top of the cab , the rear view mirrors and front light guards. 




Now that the cab is finished construction moves onto the rear mounted body The body is fairly bare giving the modeller the opportunity to do whatever they wish with the interior. The sides, front & back bulkheads and the roof are added to make the box. Windows are added to the side panels before these are attached to the floor and the front/rear. 






The on the underside the mounting rails to the chassis are added. These are followed by mud guards and rear under mounted storage lockers. A great deal of external equipment, mounts etc are then added to the rear body along with a spare wheel carrier, and full length roof rails with a walkway area. Once complete the body can be added to the chassis. The exhaust can now be added under the rear.  Equipment and the top rack for the body is added.




The small decal sheet provides markings for 3 Soviet/Russian,  one GDR, one Polish, and one Ukrainian Army vehicle. Any colour you want as long as its Russian Army Green!





The kit comes with ICM figure set 35641 "Soviet Drivers".  There are two figures in the box, one sitting on a higher type seat and one on a lower type. They are well sculpted.





It is good to see many more of these support vehicles being produced. As well as making a a good looking stand alone kit, there are many diorama possibilities available. The inclusion of the figures makes it a much better package. Highly recommended. 






Review sample courtesy of


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