The following introduction is as provided by Zvezda:
Kamaz-65115 is one of the best selling dump trucks produced by the Kama Auto plant. The 3-axledump truck with two driving rear axles with double tyres has been in production since 1998. Its payload is 15 tonnes. This dump truck is designed for transporting loose goods, mainly construction materials, and to perform routine daily tasks on construction sites, including in cramped conditions of the city. Kamaz-65115 is a reliable, cost-effective dump truck with optimal characteristics in operation in Russia CIS countries.
This new offering from Zvezda is listed as all new mouldings, it is packaged in a flip top cardboard tray which is further protected inside a card sleeve with the artwork for the model printed on it. Inside the box are two sealed plastic bags containing the sprues. Also present are two Ziploc bag, one containing the decals and clear parts and the other containing the tyres. The instructions are produced in a booklet form and a single finishing option is provided in the box. An examination of the parts reveals no obvious issues, other than the body parts of the truck in an awful tangerine orange colour!!
This release from Zvezda is provided with a fairly complete set of oily and greasy parts. These pieces are all moulded in black plastic, which makes it difficult to appreciate the level of detail present. The engine itself and the transmission build up into a pleasing unit for the out of the box modeller, and the super detailer has the option to add detail such as wiring to a level at which they are comfortable. The biggest issue here will be getting a good look at the engine and transmission after the cab is plonked on top. I cannot be sure from what is covered by my looking at the model how easy or difficult it would be to tilt the cab.
The chassis of the model is a multi part assembly, which could prove problematic due to there not being any structure joining both main rails together that will start you in a perfect configuration. What I suggest you do is use a gridded cutting mat set up as a stop on one of the lines and use that to get the two main rails correctly positioned and the cross members added, which the girds on the cutting mat will enable you to verify that the chassis rails are in the correct position. While this method of assembly is more difficult than a pre-formed chassis, it does provided the modeller with a much higher level of detail, and while these detailed areas are rarely seen this being a dump truck means you can have the bucket raised allowing a very good view of this nicely detailed area.
The axles and drive shafts are well detailed, with my only critique being the leaf spring suspension units which are moulded in two halves and so gives you a seam that will be difficult to clean up. It has made it easier for Zvezda to get a crisp level of detail on the leaf springs. Fuel tanks have a good number of parts, including separate hangers and so should be pleasing on the model. Moving to the front and the front wheel steering mechanisms, I do not believe that the wheels can be shown in a turned orientation. But I am not 100% on that, due to the high level of detail in the area making it difficult for me to get my head around. Despite this - which is one of my pet hate, if it is locked in the dead ahead position, the details provided here including items such as the air-brake cylinders which will need you to add the cabling, the detail itself is very pleasing. One area of contention will be the tyres which are vinyl rubber, they have a good road tread pattern with some nice detailing on the side walls covering details of the tyres manufacturer. However very close inspection under magnification shows that many of the tyres have moulding cracks in them which I believe will allow penetration of chemicals used in the painting and weathering process, and may result in breakdown of the tyres themselves and so I would look to replace with resin offerings as soon as they are available. Those modellers that enjoy their weathering can really go to work on the lower portion of the model, showing the muck and dirt, the various levels of wear and tear and the fluids that have escaped and left their mark. I do not believe that any modeller, regardless of their ability will have a negative thought about the detail present.
The cab of the vehicle is the first release that I can recall, seeing the rails that support the floor of the cab separately moulded and added to the model. One issue you will encounter are ejector pin marks, that will need some of the modellers loving attention. It should be said that ejector pin marks are not exactly one of the issues which will deter the modeller, and for the most parts these are on the interior surfaces of the model and so for the most part hidden. The seats inside the cab are made up from a number of pieces and so are nicely detailed. The dashboard of the cab and roof lining details will benefit from careful painting and weathering, as you are provided with the bare details, but it is going to be up to you to make them pop. A particularly nice touch is that the interior panel linings around the doors have been included and so add a nice level of detail. The doors have separate door cards, and door furniture, including a pocket for the modeller to add one of his own personal touches, such as a map, newspaper or even a lunch box. Moving on to the exterior, the clear parts of the model are nicely thin and so will not distort the view. The door windows, with some careful cutting could be shown partially wound down. Attaching the doors in an open position is not covered in the instructions, but I do not foresee any major issues in attaching thus. The wing mirrors are a well replicated portion of the model, and it is also pleasing to find that Zvezda has provided metallic stickers to replicate the mirrors.
Moving to the bucket and Zvezda has not skipped on the detail here, with a well designed chassis rail system to support the bucket and also a chassis rails system for attaching to the bed of the truck, which will allow the bucket to be shown raised or lowered with an anywhere in between if you take a cutter to the hydraulic piston. One thing you will need to replicate here, are the hydraulic lines as I believe they would be very visible, but I cannot see any of that detail in the mouldings. The bucket itself, has the smooth interior side panels and rear panel with the reinforcement added to that, and so again a nice touch and level of detail. The tail of the bucket can be shown open or closed depending on the orientation that you have the bucket, and all of the details in this area look to have been well covered. When it comes to finishing the model, you have just been provided with the one bright orange finishing option.
As a lad, models coming out of the former USSR were something you quickly learnt to avoid. The fall of the former Soviet Union and transition to the Russian Federation saw services, goods and products from Russia more readily available, and the quality of the products produced began a steady progression to where we are today with Zvezda. The release from Zvezda is easily the equal of any all plastic model you see released today. One area of concern is the vinyl rubber tyres and their production cracks that could cause problem with their break down if they are affected by chemicals that are used by the modeller. The only major improvement would be the addition of photo etch details and possibly some directions for adding details such as hydraulic lines, and so in this case I highly recommend consideration of this model, for both the civilian vehicle modeller or the military modeller who wants to add something civilian in a modern setting.