The KRAZ-258Z BAUSTELLENZUGMITTEL is an interesting vehicle as it seems to be the vehicle that has been adapted to “do everything”. I’ve never heard of this vehicle until I saw the kit released by SMK. The company is based out of the Ukraine and has released several kits of this vehicle under different configurations, all in small scale 1/87. It comes packaged in a sturdy box with clear markings of the vehicle and pictures of the other kits on the back, just in case you would like to know what else they offer. The artwork is not bad at all, and gives a favorable impression of the vehicle and the company making the kit available to us.
In the box, the kit is neatly packaged in 2 separate bags, one bag for the bulk of the kit, and the 2nd bag for the really small parts. There are no sprues as is common with many small kits, and in this case everything is out in the open, so you will have to keep an eye out so as not to lose any of the parts. I suggest keeping the parts in the box or the bag until needed.
The kit is molded in green and black plastic, with the exception of the seats and translucent parts. The major parts consist of the cab, sleeper, chassis and the bed of the truck. Upon looking at the parts, they all have a sharp look to them with the plastic being semi-firm. There is a little flash on the major parts which should provide no problem when “cleaning” them up once you begin. Also, the molding lines or sink marks are either not very visible or not there at all, which is a plus, especially at this scale. The only place I found any molding lines that were semi apparent were on the wheels, and these appear very easy to cleanup without damaging the tire tread detail.
As I opened the 2nd bag which holds the tiniest of the kits pieces, I noticed that, as in the bigger pieces, the molding is quite good with little flash/sink marks as well. This is refreshing as I like to build the small scale, and noticing that a good portion of kits from East Europe tend to have an awful lot to cleanup. Packaged in the 2nd bag will be the rims, the interior to the cab, fuel tanks and translucent parts to mimic the trucks lights (which happen to be the smallest parts). I actually like the idea of providing the lenses as it gives the kit that much more personality, but you will need the utmost patience and care when adding these parts as they can be easily lost. Fortunately, these parts were molded on the same sprue, so when applying, just take the lenses off one at a time when assembling.
Also included are some long, but very thin parts, such as the crankshaft, muffler, gear shifters and steering wheel. These parts also will require care when working with them as they could snap when fixing into place. The sturdiness of the plastic will be forgiving when working with it, which I applaud SMK for not using brittle plastic.
The instructions are easy to read with every assembly sequence clearly printed out. It also provides a basic description and history of the vehicle. The paint chart is very basic and only gives painting instructions for one vehicle, which is unfortunate. The decal sheet gives you the option for a total of 7 vehicles, which I feel if you’re going to get that many options the paint chart should give you, if not the same amount, than something close to it.
Since this is a 1/87 scale kit, there are MANY small pieces to deal with. Tweezers and some type of magnification would be highly recommended when working with this kit. The one thing that is not provided, even though it is shown on the box art, is that there is no cargo bed canvas. But it should not be too hard to construct for those with scratch building experience if you so want it. Overall, this is a very nice looking vehicle for only being 1/87 scale and should be fun to put together. The detail is pretty much right on target when comparing to the real thing. The kit retails around $16.00, but you get a quality product.
Highs: Easy to read build instructions, straight forward build, interesting subject, decals give you options for different vehicles, very well molded parts.Lows: Not enough options on painting schemes, very small parts. No paint guide for interior of truck, some flash on parts.Verdict: I recommend this kit only to those with patience, great eye sight and those who love the small scale.The kit retails around $16.00, but you get a quality product.
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