In this review we get to take a look at an all brand new release from Zvezda., of a K-4350 military truck in 1/35th scale. This release is a prime example of how good Zvezda is when releasing a model of their own making, rather than re-releasing some body else's product under the Zvezda label. The level of detail and content, is exceptionally good and proves to me what Zvezda can do when they set their minds to it. The following portion of the review is as provided by Zvezda:
The K-4350 truck was designed at the Kama automobile plant as part of the Mustang family of trucks commissioned by the Russian Army. Production of the K-4350 and service in Russia began in 1995 and continues today. It is a two axel, 4x4 all terrain vehicle, with suspension designed for comfortable transportation of a platoon of soldiers (30-40people), in rough terrain conditions. Instead of personnel up to four tonnes of cargo can be carried. A 240 horsepower diesel engine, gives the vehicle a speed of up to 100KMH on good roads, 295 litre fuel capacity provides a range of1,100KM. Consumption is 27 litres of diesel fuel per 100KM.
This model is provided in a flip top cardboard tray, with a slip on end opening carton with all the artwork printed on it. The contents are provided in two plastic bags, and this offers the model a very good level of protection. An examination of the mouldings, reveals no serious areas of concern other than ejector pin marks. This particularly applies to the underside of the cargo bed, and the rest of the cargo bed more generally, but for the most part these are in areas that would not normally be displayed.
Zvezda in this release, has provided a very good rendition of the engine and gearbox with a great degree of detail being added to it and moulded on parts of it. The only thing the modeller will need to look into, is adding some wiring - so far as I can see. Looking closely at the mouldings, this really is a very well done portion of the model, and I am also very pleased that Zvezda has offered the option of displaying the engine and gearbox naturally, without the need for surgery or after market parts.
The chassis of the model is a multi part affair, which to ensure it is assembled squarely I advise using a cutting mat with squares printed on it, as if the chassis is assembled askew, you will be in a world of pain. Zvezda by tackling the chassis in this manner, have provided the modeller with an especially pleasing level of detail. The twine provided in the model has been provided to represent the cable on the winch, and while the twine is conceivably suitable for the purpose, I do feel that replacing it with an actual cable will be far more realistic, which due to the wonderful detail provided will be well worth the effort and cost.
The suspension of this vehicle is provided via leaf springs, unusually the leaf springs are split in two halves, which means there will be the potential for a seam line that will need some work. The axles of the model have not been skimped upon, with a good number of parts coming together to provide a detailed aspect. Studying the assembly I believe that the front wheels can be displayed in any orientation of choice. Anyone who has read my reviews on trucks, knows how much I dislike the inability to show wheels turned, and so I am a happy modeller. Zvezda has not skimped on detail where hydraulic systems and fuel tank are concerned either, with the modeller only needing to provide air lines and fuel lines for this to potentially be a stunning area of the model.
The cargo bed of the truck as stated earlier, has some ejector pins marks that will need to be tackled, but otherwise detail such as wooden slats, and support bracketry on the underside of the truck bed has been very well done. Zvezda has provided the modeller with some options as regards the truck bed, in that it could be built uncovered, with bench seats for troops, or filled with cargo. Alternatively, a moulded canvas has been provided to enclose the cargo bed. A little bit of work on the part of the modeller does mean that the rear canvas can be opened up, and so a third options becomes available.
The cab of the truck model, has seating for three with all relevant details provided. However, I would have liked the seating to show some signs of wear and tear. The dashboard is logically laid out, with decals provided for the instrument panel. Door cards are separate parts, as is all the door furniture. The clear mouldings present no issues I can see, and so will enable a good view of the work the modeller puts in here. The one complaint I would make reference the cab, is that no effort has been made to allow the doors to be shown in the open position, this is not a major issue for many, but it would have been nice to have it as an option. A particularly nice touch by Zvezda is the inclusion of self adhesive metallic stickers to replicate mirror detail.
The detail on the wheels, has good detail on both faces, with well defined bolt detail. The tyres are unfortunately solid vinyl rubber, which I know will not meet with approval from all. However, the tread detail is of a very good standard, and as long as the vinyl rubber is sealed correctly none of the issues of breakdown should be encountered.
Zvezda has offered four finishing options for the model, none of them are particularly stunning, but once weathered will have the potential to look very good. One of the vehicle finishing options represents a truck fresh from the production factory, and displays no military designation. The other three finishing options, shows a truck that can be serving in any of the military units of the Russian Federation. A vehicle of the armoured university of the ministry of defence, and one that took part in the 2019 victory parade.
Why do I feel this model to be of such a high quality? Put simply, Zvezda has added an extremely high quality and quantity of detail, with the modeller only really needing to add wiring and the like. I would possibly liked to have seen the wheels in plastic rather than vinyl rubber, but where it really shines is that the cab of the model can be tilted forwards, exposing the oily area in all it glory, perhaps to have somebody working on the engine, and the cargo area has been provided with and without a canvas cover.