by: Adie Roberts [ ]
KAMAZ opened its doors in 1976. Today, heavy duty models are exported to many areas of the world including the CIS, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa. The trucks have won the Dakar Rally a record fourteen times. KAMAZ is the largest truck producer in Russia and the CIS. The factory produces 43,000 trucks a year (2014). Reinforced KAMAZ trucks are used by the Russian army.
This is another one of the open the box and just the amount of plastic in the box, 'your eyes widen' then you see the detail in the plastic. ICM have taken the rule book on how to manufacture plastic model kits ripped it up and thrown it away and written a new one. First impressions are amazing, let's see if I am still saying this after I have tried building it!
So the start of the build had me a little confused, and it was minor, it was part of the chassis that looked like it needed to go into a frame the wrong way around, but two steps further on you could see the way it needed to be fitted. The detail on these parts was good though not likely to be seen again. Next stage has you building the winch which had such detail as a chain driven motor with its own chain and two sprockets. All of these parts are for the main chassis with some steel supports that will connect to the other side of the chassis.
As the build of the chassis continues so far with the main part of the chassis done, I am very impressed with the detail, the steel plate that secures the rear of the chassis is exactly what you would expect shape and detail. Being a more modern truck and having driven articulated lorries and fire engines, I have been underneath enough trucks to know that this one is pretty much all together. There is a stage at the beginning where you have an angle bar that goes across the rear drive part of the chassis please beware that this part has to be put in correctly? The diagram does not show it that well.
With the main part of the chassis done it is now time to start on the build of the engine this is a full engine and again I am so impressed by the level of detail of this kit. Starting off with the head both sides separate the detail and design are very good to add to this the manifold for each side, the next part is the engine block which once glued together various other engine components are placed to it. ICM have left nothing out on this engine so far with parts for an alternator and oil filter being just some of the parts included in this kit. When assembling the air filter and then placing it on the top of the head I found that the instructions were not as clear as they could be reference page 9 instruction 26 part number 25 which did not fit on the back part like it said.
Once complete the engine is full of detail and is one of the best that I have seen in plastic model form. Fixing the engine to the chassis was easier than it looked and is quite stable considering there is only one brace that runs underneath the sump of the engine. The last part of the engine was the exhaust pipe which I did drill out the end of the pipe for added realism; I applied several washes to the exhaust and then applied some pigment to show the rust build up.
The sides of the chassis adding such things as fuel tanks and battery boxes come next, the fuel tanks are moulded in two halves and two ends the detail is very good on these parts. Once all the parts are on the chassis it is the turn of the wheels, I made the wheels but did not put them on as it said to do, as I wanted to weather the chassis and around the drives before putting them on.
The interior of the cab is the next build section starting with the floor and adding the foot pedals and gear stick. The seats were well detailed and quite easy to put together, once done you then place them into the cab followed by the sides of the truck. The detail was very good and I very much enjoyed the overall look and looked forward to the build, however as more of the cab was built I started to have some issues.
The side of the cab that I had already placed into position had two thin seals that ran out to the front of the cab for the roof to sit. These were fragile and I lost how many times I had to repair them as they would break at what I will describe as a weak point in the mould. Just where the seals join the back of the top of the side of the cab was the spot for them to break frequently. Once the back of the cab is completed you had a bit more of a sturdy cab, the interior of the cab that sits on the front of the cab included the dashboard and instrument panels and two glove boxes. Detail wise it is ok and I am sure some aftermarket or a bit of scratch building will make it better. The final parts of the build for the cab are the glazing for the front screen. The last part is the roof now this really can be an issue as I found out myself, in the end, the roof fits over the top of the cab and needs just a little pressure to push it into place now this is where my issues started! I used Tamiya extra thin cement after pushing the roof down this made the glue run down the inside of the front screen and also onto the back of the cab window. Making it that I had to change the way I was going to present the truck.
The two doors came next, you have the option for the doors to be open or closed I chose the closed door option the interior of the door fits very well just in the wrong place now when you go to fit them they basically donít fit under the seal of the top of the cab. This took me some time to get it sorted and when I did there is still some issues with the door, it does not sit flush.
The back of the truck is not only very nicely detailed it was a pleasure to build and went together just like most of the kit and really does finish it off as a great truck from ICM. Once the back is assembled and mounted into place the next option is for the cab to be tilted displaying the engine now this is one that I would recommend as the detail on the engine is very high considering it comes without any photo etch.
Despite the issues that I had experienced, this is such a great kit detail wise and is a good build apart from the three issues that I experienced. The quality of work to get such great detail from the moulds is amazing; the engine is one of the best I have seen from ICM.
I might be slightly biased here as the subjects from ICM are some of my favourite Russian soft skins and planes, especially cold war offerings. I have been watching the steady rise of ICM and the way they are tackling the market, I believe that straight out of a box builds of most of their kits are right up there with some of the bigger manufacturers offerings and I believe there is still much more to come from the ICM label, watch this space.