|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The NKL-16 was an 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 room on the inside for a driver and six passengers. Power was supplied by a five cylinder M-11G aircraft engine.
Each NKL-16 was unarmed and was basically a transport vehicle with seats on the inside for the troops. These vehicles relied on the combat aerosans, the very similar NKL-26 for protection. These were built in 1941 and 1942 by the GAZ and ZiS car companies as well as some other smaller works.
If you have read the build article for the NKL-26, you will notice that there is a great deal of similarity between this one and the previous kit. 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 the seats, 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 two doors can be posed open if one wishes. Clear bits for the windows are available as pre-cut acetate sections. You get an additional ski assembly to attach to the roof as apparently this and a replacement prop were pretty standard items for these vehicles.
Instructions are well done with Gunze paints are provided for the color references. There are no specific markings as apparently these vehicles carried no identification marks at all. The small sheet (not shown) provides instrument faces for the dash.
This now makes the third Aerosan that Trumpeter has released. One wonders if there are any more in store. They make for some quite interesting vehicles and something that is very much different from the norm. In all, a very nice and highly detailed kit.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview sample. Get this kit today at your local shop.
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