The MAZ 537 vehicle has been well documented over the past months …enough to say that its origins are from the 1950’s and in service from 1960 in various forms to the present. This particular vehicle ,the MAZ 537 tank transporter version , has been enthusiastically awaited from Trumpeter by many in the modelling community.
The box art jumps out and hits the senses and is nicely done. The box is substantial with 7 packets containing 12 sprues and another small box of hidden delights for a total of 551 parts. Also included is a colour chart and, I must say, a very well-presented and spacious 28-page build instruction booklet reminiscent of the older Airfix style.
The small box contains and protects the cab, engine cover which is nice and crisp with fine molded ‘louvers’ , a pack of ‘wishbones’ for the suspension, 9 large tractor tyres, and 9 small trailer tyres, 2 brass photo etched frets, and a packet of masks for the windows. The tyres are nicely molded in a soft ‘rubber’, I wonder if they will ‘bulge’ when loaded?
The parts are molded with neat spurs from sprue to the parts which should make separation easy. Ejection pin marks are few that I see at first look being mainly on the sprue-ribs and those seen will be hidden inside parts.
The Traction Unit consists of 3 packets containing 6 sprues. No ‘flash noticed but care will need to be taken mating up the long hull as this will be the back-bone that everything hangs on ,especially with 8 chunky clearly defined tyres to line up. The ‘clear’ pack contains the window and light lenses----even the reflection lines are on the headlights, and the brass etch then finishes off the parts.
The Trailer Unit consists of 5 sprues in another 3 packs and no warping noticed . First dry-fit of top and bottom of the ‘bed ‘ is good and sharp. Brass guides for the deck are provided on the second brass fret with 8 smaller tyres to round it off. I did notice large ‘pin marks’ on ‘goose-neck ‘and bed but these will not be seen as they are under the main frame of the bed and on the inner sides of the ‘neck’ and may or may not be worth the effort to fill and sand.
The instruction booklet is spacious and very clear with a page showing all the part on their relative sprues-- we will see how accurate it is later - and the color chart is concise with the basics. I know that already some comments have been made, elsewhere ,of discrepancies in the length of the trailer and the size of the tyres but I dug out my drawings and compared it with a scratch build I have done and they look well within acceptable dimensions. This is something that I will not be able to answer definitively until it is built but I do not have an issue with it personally.
Overall the kit is one that has been long awaited and I'm enthusiastic about building it to more closely evaluate the fit and dimensions. At first glance it appears to be a well thought-out kit even though the cab itself lacks some detail and there may be paint issues with the tyres. It is a pricey kit but given it's size, within reasonable limits.
A Build Log
is available via the Forums to evaluate the kit parts and assembly.