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Trumpeter 1/35 scale BAZ-6403 with ChMZAP-9990-071 trailer plastic model kit review

A challenging Russian military vehicle for the experienced modeler, loaded with detail
Kit:01086 // Scale:1/35 // Price:$236.99
Trumpeter (Sample courtesy of Model Rectifier)
Well-engineered; clear instructions; good detail
Delicate parts and assemblies; disappointing painting guide
Injection-molded plastic (tan); 900+ (24 vinyl tires, 110 photo-etched metal parts, fine chain); 5 die-cut masks for the windows
Trumpeter has provided the first and only kit of the BAZ-6403, Russia’s newest tank transporter tractor to be deployed for its armed forces. It is part of a family of vehicles based on the BAZ-6909, including artillery vehicles and antiaircraft batteries. Its cab is big enough for five passengers and the driver, allowing it to carry a three-person tank crew.

The assembly of the Trumpeter 1/35 scale BAZ-6403 with ChMZAP-9990-071 trailer plastic model kit is a complicated build, with instructions consisting of 48 steps.

Rather than starting at the front end, like the instructions, I began with the trailer—to get a sense of accomplishment before tackling the more difficult tractor. Despite the long beams and its overall length, the kit’s engineering ensures a solid, square, and level trailer with an impressive amount of detail.

However, the trailer’s support legs confused me. The forward legs were just short of touching the ground when attached to the tractor, but there was no option to lengthen or shorten them. The rear legs have options to pose them up or down. You’ll have to decide whether to position the ramps up or down based on the assist springs you install. It is possible to install the “up” springs and leave the ramps posable because the springs are hidden from view with the ramps deployed. I chose to position the ramps and the rear support legs up.

Trumpeter provides a fine chain to replicate the retaining pins chains for the rear support legs, which is a nice touch. However, no cables are provided for the crane or winches.

Next, I jumped into the tractor assembly. The first two steps deal with building a detailed version of the YAZ-8424 diesel engine. Unfortunately, you’ll only see the oil pan after you add the cab.

In the following five steps, the instructions have you build the rest of the drivetrain and ladder frame. The ladder frame assembly was a little tricky, and the photo-etched metal (PE) braces for the ladder crossbeams have subtle marks that match their corresponding plastic parts, which are easy to miss. This assembly must be level and square for the rest of the build. I set weights on top of it and let it dry overnight before proceeding.

Be ready for lots of tedious time at the workbench building the suspension. I spread out this process over several days to ensure I didn’t let fatigue cause me to get sloppy. When done, I was rewarded with an incredibly detailed chassis. However, I skipped a step to build the wheels and tack them onto each drive shaft to ensure they all touched the ground. Phew! They did, and my biggest concern about the build was behind me.

Next, the cab! With a reasonable representation of the interior, the painting guide let me down, so I relied on the few photos I could find online. Trumpeter provides clear, die-cut PVC plastic for the door windows to maintain scale door thickness. The windshield and rear window are injected molded. A set of masks is provided for the clear parts when painting.

The mostly-PE running boards assemble easily. Oddly, the passenger-side extended step is missing. This was a mixed blessing as the driver-side instance broke off several times during the build. I would recommend adding it after painting.

The kit did not include the fenders for the rear set of tires, but my sources showed these were not always present.

There are no exterior decals, although photos showed both units usually had license plates. I only used the main dashboard decal for the speedometer and main gauges behind the steering wheel because the others had trouble laying down over raised detail, even with softener.

The Trumpeter 1/35 scale BAZ-6403 with ChMZAP-9990-071 trailer plastic model kit
was an enjoyable project that gobbled up 60 hours between building and painting. The engineering is good, but you must pay careful attention to detail to ensure everything is assembled cleanly. A complex kit, I would only recommend it for experienced modelers. With time and patience, it builds into a nice example of the large Russian vehicle. Now, I need to finish some modern Russian equipment to give it a load to carry!
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