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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
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Zvezda L 4500 A cargo truck.
Henk
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: August 07, 2004
KitMaker: 6,391 posts
Armorama: 4,258 posts
Posted: Monday, March 09, 2009 - 12:53 PM UTC
Whilst I was aware of Zvezda as a brand, I was never tempted to buy any of their kits, because the reputation and subject matters did not inspire anything at all. That changed however, when I spotted the L4500 A kit at my LHS. The kit was send in an order by mistake, and was about to be returned to the supplier, but I thought it a nice subject, so I snapped it up instead. And I'm glad I did, so glad that I have already ordered another one, and will probably order a few more soon.

A review of the kit will be up soon, so I won't bore you with all the details from that, suffice to say that this is a very good kit. Quality, fit, and detail are all excellent, and this is one of those kits that has almost unlimited potential with regards to finishes, settings, or detailing. But more of that later.

anyway, in at the deep end....
Construction starts with what is arguably the finest sub assembly of the kit, the engine. Composed of some 20 parts, this is the best engine I have come across in a plastic kit. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, and there are no major problems to worry about. One issue to look out for is the position of the injection pump (C66), which needs to stand a little proud of the engine block. If you push the mounting lugs too far into the location holes in the engine casing, you won't be able to add the fuel lines, if you so wish.
I added the fuel lines from the pump, and will probably add a few more later, when it all get mounted together.
For the time being though, this is the time to paint the engine, now that you still have access to it.


The finished engine, note the dip stick for the engine oil, and the fine detailing on all the other parts.


Painted, I admit that the paint scheme owns as much to my artistic licence as too actual reference, but I wanted to use some different colours to add some dept to the engine, and to emphasise the detail.


The other side, you can just make out the fuel lines that I added, everything else is included in the kit. I am planning on adding some pipework from th air compressor, as well as some wiring from the generator on the other side. I still have not confirmed where the battery was fitted..


A better look at the fuel lines, air filters, and a look at the fan, pulleys and belt set up at the front. unfortunately very little of this will be visible in the end, even with the bonnet opened up...


Top view of the engine, this shows that it still needs some final work, in the shape of some washes, to make the detail 'pop'.

Next up, the cargo body. Or, Tamiya eat your heart out....

Eaglewatch
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United Kingdom
Joined: December 19, 2008
KitMaker: 560 posts
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Posted: Monday, March 09, 2009 - 01:09 PM UTC
Nice start to the L4500 Benz truck Henk i'll have to get myself one of these keep us posted with your progress
bill_c
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 09, 2008
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Posted: Monday, March 09, 2009 - 01:34 PM UTC
That IS a very nice engine, though the fan blades are a little thick. But correctable if needed, and very detailed. Nice work, Henk!
CMOT
Staff MemberEditor-in-Chief
ARMORAMA
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
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Posted: Monday, March 09, 2009 - 05:03 PM UTC
Henk I now see why you want the engine bay open, nice work so far bud.
tjkelly
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Maryland, United States
Joined: May 04, 2007
KitMaker: 1,132 posts
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Posted: Monday, March 09, 2009 - 09:26 PM UTC
Great start Henk, looking quite nice there. Agree with the option to leave the bonnet open, will show off your work and attention to details, even if it's just a little bit! Hope to see more soon!
Cheers -
Tim
koenele
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Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Joined: January 17, 2006
KitMaker: 4,194 posts
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Posted: Monday, March 09, 2009 - 09:50 PM UTC
what a start henk!!

love the detail in it!

looking forward to see more of this!

Koen
Henk
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Monday, March 09, 2009 - 11:52 PM UTC
Thanks guys, glad you like my handy work so far.

Zvezda follow a rather odd sequence of construction, whilst most companies will start with the wheels, and work kind of upwards from there, Zvezda go rather haphazard. Next stage of the construction is therefore the cargo bay.

The cargo bay is a wooden affair, which sits on it's own frame, which was then clamped to the chassis rails. This construction has been replicated by Zvezda in minute, and impressive, detail. The various wooden rails and cross members have full wood grain detail, and all joints are strenghtend with brackets which show good bolt detail.
The wooden deck is fully detailed on both sides, with nice wood grain on the upper side, and various brackets for the spare wheel 'cage' and jerry can holder, as well as wood grain underneath. Most impressive is the complete lack of knock out marks on any of these parts. There is a seam line to remove all along the edge of the bed, including the hinges, and from some of the cross members.
The jerry can holder needs a little bit of filler to smooth out the seams underneath, but other than that this stage of the cargo bay goes together easy and without a hitch.








The sides are equally well moulded, and fit tightly into the hinges. Detail is again impressive, with different wood grain patterns on different bits of wood.











You can fix the sides down, but that would hide all that beautiful detail underneath...

More later

Henk
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Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 02:19 PM UTC
After finishing the cargo body, the instructions move on to the chassis. The main chassis rails need a bit of clean up of the seam lines, and a few knock out marks on the inside of the rails. The cross members need very little clean up, and fit very positively in their positions. All the parts combine to create a straight chassis frame without any problems. Note that the third (from the rear) cross member is a sub assembly which contains the brake actuators. This is a small, but beautifully exercised part of the braking system, and also another part that will be all but invisible on the finished model.
The rear has a heavy duty tow hook, as these trucks would have routinely pulled heavy cargo trailers, and a very nice touch is the valve, plus some of the visible air pipes, for the air supply for such trailer. Details like this are not often found on plastic kits, especially in such fine detail.







Now you have to excuse me, because at this stage I got carried away, and proceeded to almost complete the chassis and drive train, with out taking pictures of the axles as sub assemblies. But I have some close-ups that show the detail...



More drive train detail tomorrow...

Alexziz
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Primorskiy, Russia
Joined: February 24, 2009
KitMaker: 238 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 02:49 PM UTC
Hi, Henk ! The excellent beginning, I like German track and I shall look at your construction
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 03:14 PM UTC
I can see that all I need do now is find someone to paint me some first class figures, and then with your truck and my Sturmtiger we are all set.
dispatcher
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Illinois, United States
Joined: November 04, 2007
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Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 03:38 PM UTC
Henk, looks like a real winner of a kit to me. I would like one of these but I'll have to wait for the maultier version. From what I see the towing pintle could made to be to work in the up & down position. Looks like this kit may rival some of the lizzard's work or possably better!
Zvezda needs to produce a trailer to tow behind this truck. The trailer is a missing link and would probably sell well, especially if it was the large 4 wheel version.
Keep up the good work Henk
Joe
padawan_82
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United Kingdom
Joined: December 10, 2008
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Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 04:06 PM UTC
nice work so far Henk, will be following the progress of this one. nice to see zavezda have changed the color of the plastic, much better than that gawdy green they usually use. Ant
Eaglewatch
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 04:07 PM UTC
Wow Henk that Benz is really taking shape now keep at it mate can't wait to see it all put together
Henk
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 10:38 PM UTC
Thanks for your comments, much appreciated guys.


Quoted Text

I would like one of these but I'll have to wait for the maultier version. From what I see the towing pintle could made to be to work in the up & down position. Looks like this kit may rival some of the lizzard's work or possably better!
Zvezda needs to produce a trailer to tow behind this truck. The trailer is a missing link and would probably sell well, especially if it was the large 4 wheel version.



A Maultier is on it's way Joe, and hopefully they will produce a large drawbar trailer to go with this one. You are correct, the tow hitch is movable in the up and down.
As for this kit being a rival to other manufacturers, it most certainly is. My friendly LHS let me kindly check in the box of the Tamiya Opel Blitz (which is a smaller vehicle, but comparable as a subject matter) to compare the detail. (Thank you Dave at The Gas Cupboard ). The Tamiya kit is riddled with huge knock out marks on the wood sections of the cargo bed. Whilst those underneath would not be the biggest problem, the ones on the inside of the drop sides are... Tamiya also don't include an engine, just the sump to fill the bottom. But you DO get a big set of fuel drum and cans. Presumably to cover up those huge knock out marks.. . Tamiya do have a better detail cabin interior though.

Henk
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Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 10:59 PM UTC
The instructions fit the cargo body to the basic chassis at this stage, because it gives the easiest access to attach the six clamps that hold the cargo deck frame to the chassis. I decided to leave them separate for now, to ease painting the nooks and corners. You will be able to install the clamps later.



Starting at the front, the engine goes into the chassis, and lines up perfectly with all four mounting points. Next is the exhaust, which is another finely detailed assembly, but you do need to hollow out the end of the pipe. Working back from the engine/gearbox, you then have to attach the transfer box (for the four wheel drive) to the third chassis cross member, inserting the drive shaft as you do so. This is a little bit fiddly, because the u-joints are 'workable', but the fit is very good.
Henk
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Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 11:14 PM UTC







After you fixed the transfer box, you attach the front and rear axle, again iserting the drive shafts as you go along. Whilst the mounting points on the springs are o.k., you do need a little bit of wriggling to get them to slot home on both sides.
CHESTERNIMITZ
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Vizcaya, Spain / España
Joined: March 01, 2009
KitMaker: 96 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 08:30 AM UTC
The engine you've done this very well
Valerka
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St. Petersburg, Russia
Joined: September 21, 2008
KitMaker: 47 posts
Armorama: 46 posts
Posted: Friday, March 13, 2009 - 09:33 PM UTC
Looks wonderful. I also have this model in box, but after seeing your log, I think I will not start it until you will finish. Are you going to make brake pipes to drums?
DaveDamerell
Joined: December 03, 2006
KitMaker: 3 posts
Armorama: 2 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 09:49 PM UTC
Henk

I bought two of these on a recent trip to the UK. In order to facilitate packing I put both kits in the same box and threw away a set of the instructions. No wait I threw away both sets. Back in SA and would like to build. Would you be able to oblige me with a scanned set. I read your review and saw you had some scanned images. if you could it would help a lot.

Regards

Dave Damerell
Henk
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 06:15 PM UTC
Dave,

if I had a scanner, I would be happy to do so. but unfortunately, my scanner has refused to co-operate with my computer since I bought this one..

still, if you PM me your adres, I'm sure that the postman can deliver the originals to your door as sson as I'm finished with them. As a matter of fact, I am finished with the instructions, I just need a moment to update this blog... .

DaveDamerell
Joined: December 03, 2006
KitMaker: 3 posts
Armorama: 2 posts
Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 08:51 PM UTC
Thanks Henk. I was actually inspired by your build to start on my own when I discovered that I had no instructions. I am actually in South Africa and notwithstanding your generous offer I will see if I can get hold of the instructions without putting you to too much effort.

Thanks again.

Dave Damerell

PS look forward to the rest of your build. The inspiration of fellow modelers is a great motivater.
The_Fox
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: January 12, 2010
KitMaker: 2 posts
Armorama: 1 posts
Posted: Monday, January 11, 2010 - 11:36 PM UTC
Hi,This being my first post here on Armorama and got from the IPMS(UK) site, after asking about this kit.

Having just purchased this kit but not yet building it( other projects onstream).

I am watching with interest and so far an excellent build.

Looking forward to more info on this build.
bill_c
Staff MemberCampaigns Administrator
MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 09, 2008
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Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 - 02:41 AM UTC
Coming along nicely, Henk. I noticed you painted the engine but not the chassis. Any insight there?
mzaborsk
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Rhode Island, United States
Joined: June 21, 2008
KitMaker: 116 posts
Armorama: 78 posts
Posted: Friday, February 12, 2010 - 02:04 PM UTC
I have watched your build and I am at the same point you are now....The cab is giving me a hard time...I can't get the interior of the flor to align with firewall and allowing the roof to fit correctly. The model, up to this point went together flawlessly. Great detail every where.... the corect position of the cab has to be perfect to allow the fenders to fit corectly...along with the hood. Does the cab attach to bed of the truck? I want to crate the engine and put it in the back of the truck... to much detail to cover up.

It's getting ugly...
EStrongblade
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Virginia, United States
Joined: November 21, 2010
KitMaker: 4 posts
Armorama: 3 posts
Posted: Saturday, March 05, 2011 - 11:22 PM UTC
Old thread, but here goes:

@mzaborsk - did this vehicle turn out as ugly as the old Italieri Opel Blitz cab? That cab is a bloody nightmare...

@henk - looking for more photos - did you ever finish this?

Just askin'.