Zvezda 1/35 German Heavy Halftrack L4500R Maultier

KIT #: 3603
PRICE: $41.00 MSRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


t.For most of the war, the German army had relied on standard trucks to move men and equipment over the roads of western Europe. However, when they invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, it was found that the road soon became impassable in anything other than the best weather. It was decided to develop a group of half-track trucks. These were called Maultiers and though most were Opel Blitz chassis, several Mercedes-Benz L4500 heavy trucks were developed using the tracks and running gear of the Panzer II in place of the rear wheels. Nearly 1500 were produced during the war.


As most of ;you know, Zvezda has really come along to make quality kits that have great detail and build fairly easily. This is the first time I've seen a model of the Mercedes-Benz Mauiltier version of their L4500A heavy cargo truck. I have to say that it is quite impressive. Upon opening the box, one finds it crammed full of sprues. Apparently Zvezda doesn't believe in bagging their sprues as all were open in the box. I didn't see any problems with scratching, ejector pin marks or sink areas during the somewhat brief look at the sprues.

If you look at the scan of the parts layout, you'll see that there are a considerable number of unused bits in this. Those are basically all the pieces needed for the standard truck. Zvezda has added two large sprues to take care of the various rear suspension parts that are required for the panzer II running gear that was used on this vehicle.

This is not a curbside as it comes with a complete engine, complete suspension and frame. I have to assume that the front wheels can be turned as the instructions show the old heated screwdriver to melt pins thing that I've not seen in kit instructions in many, many years. If one wishes, the side engine panels can be removed to show the engine. One can also leave off the canvas top if this is wanted. There is no separate framework for the top; the frame members being molded into the top sections themselves. For those who don't like vinyl wheels or tracks, those items are injected plastic with the tracks being the link and run type. The only other option are in the headlights where one can run them full or with the slit covers on them. The kit comes with two figures. One shown working on the engine and the other a driver figure.

Instructions are superbly drawn with several smaller detail sections to show how some of the more complex items are assembled.  Color information is provided during the construction phase and Model Master paint references are provided. This one is in Panzer Yellow with Brown and Green camouflaged stripes. The small decal sheet provides data markings (license plates).


I think you will be quite pleased with this kit. From what I've seen, it is selling very well, as it should be considering its most reasonable retail price. Another interesting vehicle for the military moldeler.


Kit instructions

February 2010

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer.

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