Armada Hobby: MAZ 537G late

Yeah… this one is a BIG truck. Eight wheels and all. Designed to work in mud, frost, quite possibly under the sea as well… One of the coolest looking truck I’ve ever seen -although this is highly subjective, of course. Others might like the angular shapes of the Western-made trucks. They are wrong, of course, but who am I to judge? To me it looks like it has character – like something out of a hauler version of Thomas the Tank Engine. Ivan the Eight Wheeler, perhaps? (Apologies for the bad joke.)

The model is made by Armada, and I have to say, it’s one of the best 1/72 resin model (possibly one of the best 1/72 in any medium) I’ve ever seen. The instructions are clear (which is something of a novelty when it comes to resin models from any model maker), the parts are well-cast, delicate and well-detailed.

Assembly is straightforward. The wheel hubs fit into the suspension parts like a glove – very well designed parts. I had my worries when I saw how they are supposed to be put together, as I have some experience with resin kits, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The cab is dressed up by the PE quite nicely. The mudguards are well-done, but are made of two segments, which make the assembly a bit awkward. This is only the first part attached. The second one is an overhang, which has to be attached to the front parts, and to the chassis using PE brackets at the same time. This makes alignment really difficult.

I really am sorry that the engine compartment is closed… An engine would have been an amazing addition to this kit.

Dryfitting. The cab and the superstructure behind it are only placed onto the chassis to check the fit. They were only glued on after the painting process was complete.

The cockpit is painted (it’s not very detailed, but not much can be seen through the windows), the cab is closed, all is glued on. The second part of the mudguards finally fixed onto the model… it was probably the most difficult part of the built. First layer of paint. Not very convincing.

I tried to mix that brownish color the Hungarian vehicles were painted in, instead of the typical T-34 Russian green color, which was the first attempt.

I have to say, after some trial and error, the mixture looks good. You can also see the brackets holding the second parts of the mudguards.

Another view.

All glued on, wheels added. The back ones are not completely aligned. I think the wheel hubs should be glued on with the wheels already on; this would make the alignment easier.

The windscreen was cut out from the provided transparent sheet, and all the tiny PE added. I printed out some decals using an ink-jet printer. I wanted to depict a Hungarian vehicle, with relatively little wear and tear. (Not many muddy roads to go around.) I mounted the model onto the base of an old car-display case; I will have to work on the surface a bit more.

As an ex-soldier friend immediately pointed out the license plate is wrong; the military uses their own numbering systems. Oh well.

I really was worried about this build, and kept putting it off; the number of parts, the complexity, and the worries about accuracy made me anxious to start it. But the thing is, this was the best braille model I’ve ever built. I think. I certainly enjoyed building it the most.

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