Zil-157 6x6 Military Truck
1/35 Kit No. 01001
Chinese Jiefang CA-30
Military Truck

1/35 Kit No. 01002
Zil-157K 6x6 Military Truck
1/35 Kit No. 01003
Reviews by Terry Ashley

The Vehicle:
The Russian ZIL-157 is a general purpose 6x6 cargo truck produced between 1958 and 1961 with the improved ZIL-157K (with winch) from 1961 to 1978 but remained in service for some time after that with many countries. As well as the basic cargo truck it also served as a basis for tankers, the tractor for the SA-2 missile and some special purpose vehicles.
It was also produced in China as the Jiefang CA-30 with minor modifications to the cab but the rear cargo tray remained basically the same.

The Kits:
Following on from their excellent SA-2/ZIL-157 missile trucks Trumpeter have now released three kits for the basic ZIL-157, the improved ZIL-157K and the Chinese CA-30.

The kits use the same cab and chassis parts from the SA-2 kits with additional parts for the rear cargo area and canvas tilt cover. As the three kits are basically the same with minor differences I will look at them together with comments made on the alternate parts.

The kits contain 343 parts (kit 01001), 336 parts (kit 01002) and 361 parts (kit 01003) in olive plastic and a further 11 in clear plastic, a short length of copper wire and fine chain plus a length of twine for the winch cable in kit 01003 and 7 vinyl tyres, small decal sheets and 16 page instruction sheets.

Note: Twine included in kit 01003 only

The quality of the mouldings is again excellent with crisp well defined details on the parts with pin ejector marks kept to a minimum. There are some pin marks of course on parts with detail on both sides such as the cab doors but overall the parts are very clean and you will only need to remove the small mould seam line from some of the parts.
The kits contain some very small and finely moulded parts which add to the final appearance of the kits but care will be needed when removing these from the sprues and during assembly. Most sprues are in their own plastic bag within the box and Trumpeter has included extra padding on the sprues with the finer parts for added protection and on my kits there was not one part broken or dislodged from the sprues despite being sent through the mail.
It would as is normal be advisable to give the parts a quick bath in warm detergent water to remove any traces of release agent before commencing assembly.

The main chassis is in multiple parts with cross members added between the two longitudinal chassis frames, the design of the cross members should ensure the chassis is all square when assembled but make sure this is aligned correctly as it will affect the rest of the assembly.
There is a complete engine with no less than 36 parts with all the major engine accessories included and the only thing needed would be the addition of some plumbing to finish off what is a very busy and well detailed assembly.
The front winch assembly in the ZIL-157K kit has another 15 parts to again build into an impressive little assembly. The radiator is made up of 5 parts and the faces with the grills are completely free of pin marks or other blemished and there is also the large top hose connecting to the engine block.
The suspension is also made of many small individual parts for a very detailed assembly; the front steering is fully workable with a ball and socket arrangement to allow movement without compromising the details.
The front leaf springs have good definition without any blemishes on the sides and also have separate large ‘U’ bolts holding them to the axles to add to the excellent detail definition.
The rear suspension unit is equally well detailed as are the central transfer case and multiple drive shafts and diff assemblies. There are also separate parts for the shock absorbers, steering rods, exhaust pipe (which will need drilling out of course) and the pressure regulator tanks for fitting to the chassis frame. The fuel tank assembly has a further 9 parts and again reflects the detail included in the kits.

On the upper body are the two side fenders with boarding steps that have tread pattern included. The two ZIL-157 kits have the typical Russian raised rib strengtheners while the CA-30 has the wider flatter type with separate fender supports for the undersides. The two headlights have separate clear lenses and separate headlight guards with fine grills included in plastic.

The rear wheels are very well detailed with each wheel made up of 9 parts, these are the two main rim halves with the small securing ring trapped between them, the centre hub and separate tyre pressure regulator on the outer rim and separate brake drum and arrestor cylinder on the inner hub. The bolt head detail on the outer rims is excellent as is the detail on the brake drums and arrestor cylinders.
The tread pattern on the vinyl tyres is also well done with the pattern well defined and also includes details on the sidewalls including data embossing.
The front wheel rims also have separate centre hubs and tyre pressure regulator while the two spare wheels just have the two part rims which also have nice bolt head details included.

The main cab is moulded in one piece with nice contours and also includes the engine hood frames; the engine hood itself is in two separate pieces and each half can be further cut in two to show open if you wish.
The cab also has separate doors with separate door handles and interior detail, but there are some pin ejector marks here that will require some effort to remove, the clear windscreen glass can also be shown open or closed as required and have separate wiper blades.
The engine hood and large front radiator grill are also different on the ZIL-157 kits and the CA-30 kit with the appropriate alternate parts included on sprue C. The radiator on each kit includes the manufacturer’s logo on the upper front and the side of the hood doors in the CA-30 kit has embossed Chinese writing included.

On the cab interior there is a full width dash board (again different styles between the ZIL-157 and CA-30 kits) with engraved details but no dial details and there is the three separate foot pedals, five separate gear levers and the seat cushions while the floor has ribbing detail included for quite a busy interior.

The Rear Cargo Tray:
The quality of the truck carries through into the new rear tray parts with separate floor panel, side panels with fold down troop seats and rear tailgate. The support beams under the floor section are also separate parts.
These parts have very nice wood grain texture moulded on both sides of the parts and I’m happy to say there are no pin ejector marks on any of the upper panels to spoil the effect although there are a few on the undersides but these probably won’t be seen anyway. This wood grain effect will look good when painted and weathered and the fine chain is used to secure the tailgate when lowered.

The large canvas tilt cover is very well done for a plastic item with subtle weave surface texture although there is a small seam line along the shoulders but this should be easy to remove without affecting the surface texture. The canvas folds and tie down cleats are nicely rendered and the whole covers will again look good when painted and weathered.

Decals and Painting guides:
The painting guide is fairly simple with each ZIL-157 truck being finished in overall Russian Green with and assortment of Russian markings and the Chinese CA-30 in overall Dark Green with assorted Chinese Army markings.

Note: parts of the sheets have been darkened to show the white markings

The Instructions:
The 16 page instruction booklet has very clear construction drawings which will make assembling the kits as easy as it can be.

These kits are excellent with details everywhere, the intricacy of the assemblies with the many fine parts will require additional assembly time but the end result will more than offset this.
The details included in the ZIL-157 Trucks would make them great kits on there own but will be perfect for inclusion in a diorama with the SA-2 kits as supply and crew trucks.

The Sprues:
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Kit 01001, 01003
Kit 01002
Trumpeter Trumpeter Trumpeter

Page created 2 October 2003

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