Russian Zil-131V Tractor Truck in 1/35...
...new from Bronco Models
A Russian truck , the Zil 131 was manufactured between 1967 and 1994 with over 1 million having been built. and Bronco have now done the Tractor Unit version in this, one of their latest kit releases. Used as a tractor unit particularly with the SA-2 Guideline SAM, it has been used to haul a variety of other types of trailer for the many users around the world. The seating in the all-metal cab is basic, band a great deal different to the well sprung, adjustable and comfortable seating we find in modern commercial trucks, and many modern military trucks as well. They were built not for the luxuries, but to be robust, to operate in all sorts of climates and conditions, The fact they still remain in service with militaries around the world, including the Russians themselves. What we have in the kit is just the tractor unit itself.
As we have come to expect from Bronco, this one has a lot of detail included. You need to build up the chassis from the two side members and fit all the elements of the drive train, suspension, cross members, air and fuel tanks etc. It might give you an idea if I mention that the first 15 stages of the instruction booklet involve the building of the chassis with its' wheels. In stages 16 to 20 to build and add the engine, radiator and battery box to the chassis. Lovely detail in it all though. With stage 21 you start on the cab, including the engine firewall. The detail of the engine cries out to be left on view, so also good to see that the interior detail of the bonnet is moulded in place so it begs to be fitted in the open position so that lovely engine can be seen. In a similar way, the glazing for the windows in the cab doors can be fitted closed or left open, which would improve the ability to see the detail inside the cab as well. The finishing stages to the cab are to add the front mudguards, bumper and you have an option to use a plastic moulded headlight guard frame or make up one from etch brass parts. Etch is used for a number of other little details throughout the build. Behind the cab there is a frame to take two spare wheels, then fit the stowage box, floor plates, fuel tanks and a couple of jerry cans in racks. Stages 38 and 39 see the completion of the model, adding the rear mudguards and the fifth wheel unit all onto the completed chassis.
The colour scheme is simple for whichever marking set you choose, a black chassis and wheel hubs, while the cab, mudguards and fifth wheel unit are all Russian Green. Markings allow for one in the Russian Army in the late 2000's, a second for the Ukrainian Army of the same period, or if you want to go a bit earlier, then there are also East German, Czechoslovakian Armies, or the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany.
While it lacks a trailer, the fine detail in this truck would be ideal to build in a maintenance scene, or perhaps an old, rusting example that has long worn out, while keeping the focus on the truck itself.
Thanks to Bronco Models for the news.