The KrAZ 214 /255 (an acronym for Кременчуцький автомобільний завод or Kremenchutsky Avtomobilny Zavod) (literally... Kremenchuk Automobile Factory) series has been around for a long time now, heavily influenced by US heavy trucks from WW2 lend lease programs (and the lineage is obvious when you look at the beast) it was the heavy transport workhorse of the Soviet army and many are still in service today. built in both 6 X 6 formats for the military and 6 X 4 for the civilian market the trucks have a solid and well deserved reputation for being reliable and virtually indestructible, even today they are still widely sought after on the secondhand market. The truck is truly a monster in real life, seriously it is hard to judge the size of this vehicle from photos but trust me it is a behemoth in the best of Russian traditions
While this is not exactly a new release, (the kit came out last month) it seems to have slipped under the radar somewhat, but I have had a chance to examine the kit and peruse the comments on the Russian forums to see how it compares to the earlier release of the KrAZ 214 and how it stacks up for accuracy.
Firstly it is not simply a reboxing of the 214, the 225 used a V8 engine instead of the inline 6 fitted to the 214, and this has been correctly depicted, moreover and to Roden's credit they have reworked a number of parts that were heavily criticised (on the Russian forums) in the 214. the springs which had some awful sink marks have been revised, as have the rear cargo deck and the front fenders have been reworked to improve the accuracy.. great stuff. the odd patterned tyres of the 214 (which although unusual were in fact an accurate if uncommon type) have been replaced by the more common patterned balloon types more typically seen (I don't know if this has been retrofitted to the earlier 214 kit) molding on these parts is excellent with sidewall inscriptions (in cyrillic of course) delicately added. also included are the more modern round fuel tanks to replace the suitcase types of the earlier model. additionally Roden have reworked the wheel hubs to improve accuracy (one of the biggest criticisms launched at the previous release)
it isn't all good news though... there are still a good number of sink marks to deal with, most noticeably in the wood parts of the cargo area... and they are not going to be an easy fix. also gone is the vacu-formed canvas tilt for the cargo area... while the part itself was unconvincing it did provide a nice form over which to construct your own canvas out of tissue or other material... useful animal which you'll have to buy the older kit to obtain (assuming it hasn't been deleted from them to)
so the upshot is this... it is a much improved release of the later version of the mighty KrAZ. moreover it is possible (if you button up the engine compartment) to build the earlier 214 from this kit as all the relevant parts are still included in the box, it is also possible as a result to build any of the multitude of hybrid mismatching of body parts that commonly occurred with this truck especially in foreign service. it is not however a kit for the inexperienced and there is a lot of reworking of parts needed to build a good model from this kit, curiously some parts like the mud flap and various body parts are beautifully molded, other parts are a bit on the chunky side it's an odd mish mash of standards, overall though it is worth the effort.
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Join date : 2009-07-03
Age : 56
Location : Melbourne
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