Zvezda 1/35 ZIS-5V
KIT #: 3529
PRICE: $39.95 MSRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


In 1931 Moscow Avtomobilnoe Moskovskoe Obshchestvo (AMO, Russian Автомобильное Московское Общество (АМО) Moscow Automotive Enterprise) truck plant was re-equipped and expanded with the help of the American A.J. Brandt Co., and began to produce a new truck with designation of AMO-2. AMO-2 was intended as a replacement of the previous AMO-F15, the first Soviet truck ever built (it was a copy of the Italian Fiat F-15).

Soon AMO-2 was improved, and new models AMO-3 and AMO-4 appeared. In 1933 AMO was rebuilt again and renamed into Factory No. 2 Zavod Imeni Stalina (or Plant of Stalin's Name, abbreviated in ZIS or ZiS) and in Summer first prototypes of the new ZIS-5 appeared.

Serial production of the new truck started on October 1, 1933. The truck was an instant success and, which together with GAZ AA, became the main Soviet truck of 1930-50's. It also evolved into the workhorse of the Soviet armed forces: at the beginning of Operation Barbarossa the Red Army could line up 104,200 of those trucks.

Facing the German invasion, in the autumn of 1941 the production line at Moscow plant was stopped and ZIS was moved to Ulianovsk (on the Volga river) and to Miass (in the Chelyabinsk region of the Urals). Production at Ulianovsk UASZIS lasted from February 1942 to 1944, while UralZIS at Ulianovsk it began in July 1944; UralZIS fitted the truck radiators with own label and produced it until 1955, well after the end of the war.

In the meantime Moscow ZIS plant had restarted production of these trucks in April 1942, and continued until 1948, when the new ZIS-50 (ZIS-5 with new engine) appeared.

In 1955 UralZIS also modified the ZIS-5: It got new engine and oval fenders, different from pre-war ones. This new model received the designation of UralZIS-355 or ZIS-355.


As many military builders know, Zvezda kits have become quite popular, especially as their quality has improved. Now their kits are up there with the best and they also provide quite a bit of detail. This latest kit of the ZIS-5V truck is such an example. This is a mid-war production vehicle where the metal parts of the cab were replaced with wood and the front fenders were re-tooled to be made from stamped steel without the complex curves of the older and later variants.

The wood grain on the various parts is really quite well done and convincing. One thing that I did note is that there were a considerable number of ejector pin marks on many of the new front end pieces. This includes the inside of all the cab walls and the underside of the fenders in the front. Zvezda managed to not have these on any of the bed pieces so I am not sure why this couldn't be true of the cab bits. I also found a few sink areas on some of the thicker pieces so be ready to do a bit of remedial repair on some pieces.

The kit comes with a complete engine and a well detailed frame and suspension. The cab area is well appointed for what is a pretty simple vehicle. The kit includes a driver for those who want a figure with their kit. Wheels are two piece and trap between them a tire of a very hard vinyl or perhaps a plastic. This will help with painting. The kit's hood can be posed open if one so wishes. The rear bed is a pretty straight-forward affair with wood cross members supporting a wooden bed. While the tail gate is shown closed, I see no reason why it could not be molded dropped down.

Instructions are well done though mostly in Russian. Paint references are in Model Master paints and there are two markings options. One is with a guards unit in what is shown as an overall dark green. The other is in a more complex camouflage scheme with slogans on the side. I have no idea what units are shown as I do not read Russian. An interesting omission is a parts diagram. There are a few detail drawings to help with parts placement. The decal sheet is well printed. Oddly, mine had a section cut from it. The sprues are loose in what is now becoming Zvezda's standard 'lunch box' type of box.  parts themselves are l


If you have built any of Zvezda's newer kits, you know that they are well engineered and nicely detailed. This one will make an excellent addition to your collection and is a must have for the truck fan.



January 2013

Thanks  towww.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours at your local retailer.

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

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Previews Index Page