|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New Tool Kit|
The NKL-26 was an armoured aerosan introduced by the Soviet Union during the Second World War, based on the earlier NKL-6 (OSGA-6). It was made of plywood and had a ten-millimetre armour plate on the front only, and was armed with a 7.62mm DT machine gun in a ring mount. It was powered by an M-11G aircraft engine.
Each NKL-26 was operated by two crewmen. NKL-26s were organized into battalions of 30 NKL-16s with a transport company of NKL-16s - each with three companies of 10. Each company was organized as three platoons of three vehicles, and a commanders vehicle.
Combat Aerosans often worked with ski infantry battalions, and could carry four ski troops riding outside the vehicle on its skis or towed behind.
This is the first kit I have seen of these vehicles in 1/35 and it is a most welcome deviation from the usual armor fare. Trumpeter has done a find job molding this one with all the parts being crisply done and with good detail. As is typical of some Chinese kit makers, some fragile parts are wrapped in bubble wrap or foam sheeting. Of course, we cannot have a kit without its photo etch, and Trumpeter provides two frets. These parts are used in most part for the ski assemblies. The hull attachment points are photo etch as are the braces for the skis. Since each of these braces has two folds and they are rather small, I would highly recommend a folding tool.
There is not much to the interior aside from a seat, instrument panel, steering gear, and a fuel tank. The engine is quite complex as you are going to not only build up the housing, but also the engine itself with the block consisting of several parts onto which separate cylinders will be attached. Each cylinder has a pair of exhaust pipes and the cam actuating rods. A generator is attached using photo etch belts. ONe has a pair of props; one to attach to the engine while the other is carried as a spare Both the driver's window and the door can be posed open if one wishes. A nicely molded turret with machine gun is also included. The figure that comes with the kit is manning this gun. Clear bits for the windows are available as pre-cut acetate sections.
Instructions are well done providing a few options (such as a alternate aerodynamic forms to place in front of the engine), and these are clearly shown. It would be a good idea to read through these instructions prior to the build for that reason. Gunze paints are provided for the color references. Markings are for two all white vehicles, differing only in numbers and slogans. The small sheet (not shown) looks to be well printed. No unit information is provided.
One of the more unusual vehicles to be kitted and should make for an interesting change of pace from the norm for most builders. I'm sure that those not normally attracted to military vehicles will find this one will pique their curiosity. In all, a very nice and highly detailed kit.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NKL-26 September 2011
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview sample. Get this kit today at your local shop. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contactme or see other details in the Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
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