Hobbyboss has produced a model of an unusual subject: a Soviet armored draisine (a draisine is a light self-motorized train vehicle). I must confess that I have never heard of this vehicle before, nor it is easy to find references online.
The box comes with 41 parts in a sturdy box. All sprues are molded in light tan and bagged independently, to prevent scuffing and scratches during transportation. There is no flash on the parts and the connector gates are small.
Construction of this kit is straightforward, with good engineering and excellent fit. Something to be noted is that the bogies could be easily replaced by HO scale ones, if anyone would like to convert it and add it to their HO layout. While on the same topic, the bogies are wider than the standard gauge. They are about 5 scale feet, which is close to the Russian gauge.
The main body is molded as a single piece, where a few parts need to be attached. The other main subassemblies are the bogies, the KV-1 turret, the coupling gear and the base.
Probably the base is the only part of the kit that gave me a bit of trouble. I needed a bit of clamping and liquid glue to get the two pieces to match each other. Still some of the ballast does not match each other, but it is hardly noticeable. The fit is so tight that installing the rails with a coat of paint proved to be difficult. I had some scratches on the paint that needed touch up, but it was easy to do.
It took me about 3 hours to reach the point of having the model ready for painting. There is no need for filler at all on this model, if you clean up the parts from their attachment gates.
Painting was simple, as there is just one color option (green), even when the art box also shows a winter camouflaged draisine. I’ve attempted the “color modulation” painting technique, using darker shades in lower areas and lighter shades on the top and horizontal areas. I’ve liberally applied washes on the model and the base, so as to blend in all the parts together.
This kit is a lot of fun and it can be put together in a weekend, which is very rewarding considering that most projects are months long. The only drawback I see is the MSRP, which I think is a bit high for a kit with so few parts. At the same time, the surface detail and overall building experience are of such high standards, that partially offsets the price concern.
Recommended to modelers of all experience levels.
I would like to thank Squadron Products, Hobbyboss and IPMS/USA for the review sample.