Hobby Boss 1/35 ZSL-92 IFV

KIT #: 82454
PRICE: $38.99 MSRP
DECALS: Many options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes photo etch fret and rubber tires.


   The WZ551 is a Chinese wheeled armored personnel carrier. It is actually consisted of two families of vehicles with official designations in the People's Liberation Army as Type 90 and Type 92. Roughly 600 WZ551s are in service with the PLA, where they are used by light mechanized infantry units. WZ551s have been exported to Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan but also to Algeria and Bosnia in small numbers.

The redesigned Type 92 solved the problems of its predecessor Type 90 (lack of power and poor cross country capabilities at higher altitudes) and was first revealed to the public in 1986, and entered Chinese service on larger scale than its predecessor. Just like Type 90, Type 92 is also used as a common chassis for many different weaponry platforms, such as command vehicle, ATGW carrier, self-propelled AAA, and ambulance. Additionally, the canceled 4 x 4 and 8 x 8 versions were realized in Type 92 program. The industrial designation ZSL-92 is also used for the export version of Type 92, following earlier practice. The chassis of Type 92 comes in three variations:

This particular kit is of the baseline 6x6.  


Molded in a tan plastic, the detailing and quality of the parts is excellent. Each of the sprues is individually packaged (aside from the one for the wheels and suspension which has three of the same sprue in the bag), and this helps to prevent damage during shipment. Included in the kit are six rubber or vinyl tires, a photo etch fret and a clear PVC section. This latter piece has been pre-cut and provided the clear vision bits.

The photo etch fret has pieces for engine grilles, exhaust shield, and the framework around the head lights. The kit has no interior so all the doors and hatches should be cemented shut. There are the usual bits and pieces for the outside, making it all look quite busy. The main gun and coaxial machine gun is well done and can be moved in both elevation and azimuth. It seems to me that perhaps the most difficult part of the build will be to get all six wheels properly aligned. It seems from looking at the instructions, that there is wiggle room regarding this, but building will be the real test. For sure, the suspension section is well detailed and looks to be quite sturdy.

Instructions are superbly drawn and have small detail sections within the six major construction steps. Some minor modifications will need to be made (as there are two other Type 92 variants being kitted) and those are clearly shown.  Markings are provided for a wide variety of vehicles that differ only in the numbers on the side and back of the vehicle. All are painted in a Sand, Medium Green, and Dark Green camouflage scheme that seems to be identical in all vehicles. There is a full color painting and markings guide with a variety of color references. There is no 'in work' color information provided in the instructions so one must rely on either the box art or provided color guide to interpolate those colors. Included in the bottom of the box is a full size sheet of the box artwork without any logos or other info. A  nice touch.


Now I realize that Chinese military equipment is not everyone's cup of tea, but this kit is so very nicely done that it would be a shame to overlook it just because of the subject. It promises to be a very nice build and will add some spice to your APC or IFV collection.



May 2010 

Thanks to Squadron Products for the review sample. Get yours at your favorite shop or on-line retailer.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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