|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The heavy 4.5 ton cargo truck L4500A, originally developed for civilian use, was widely in service with German army units during WW II. Serving on all fronts, a total of 9,500 were built between 1939 and 1944, the majority of these going to the army. The L4500 was powered by a 7.2 liter diesel engine producing 112 horsepower. There were two basic versions of this truck, the 4500S two wheel drive and 4500A four wheel drive version. (History section from kit instructions)
Molded in a nice dark tan plastic, Zvezda's kit come in three polybags, two of which are unsealed, the third being a small zip bag for the clear bits. As has been the case of newer Zvezda kits, the molding is first rate. Detailing is very good and the parts are devoid of flash, sink areas and in most cases, no ejector pin markings. Only a few of the latter on the inside of fenders and in areas where they won't be seen once the kit is built.
Due to the design of the truck, all the body and bed parts are pretty much flat or near flat panels. There are lots of opportunities to show off the details of this one. The kit has a full engine and transmission along with a completely detailed frame and suspension. Those concerned about vinyl tires have no worries here as the ones in the kit are plastic and well molded. The cab section has separate doors so can be posed open if one so wishes. A nice addition to the kit are a pair of figures. One is a driver and the other is either working on the engine or doing some sort of loading. The truck comes with an open bed and the wood detailing on it is very well done. There are also separate 'hoops' for the canvas top, though no top is provided. An enterprising modeler should be able to do one out of thin fabric or paper if so inclined.
Zvezda's instructions are well drawn and have small detail and subassembly drawings to help out. Painting information is provided throughout the build process using Model Master references. The person in charge of folding the instruction sheets needs re-educated as mine were all folded in reverse! Markings are basic license plates and unit badges. One truck in overall grey is from the 62nd Infantry Division at Kharkov in 1942 while the camouflaged version shown on the box art is from 24th Infantry Division in 1944 on the Western Front. The small decal sheet is well printed and should provide no surprises.
For those of us who like trucks, this is a must have for our collection. At over 250 parts, it may not be for the beginner, but even then, with careful construction, it should turn into a beauty.
My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the review kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer.
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