During WWII, under the terms of the Lend-Lease agreement, apart from thousands of the well-known Studebaker US6s, a limited number of Diamond and White heavy ballast tractors appeared in the USSR. These trucks made a great impression on the Soviet military, because the ZIS-5 and GAZ-AA, which Soviet industry had been producing since the pre-war period, could not compare with the American vehicles, which were able to haul a trailer loaded even with heavy tanks.
Immediately after the end of the war, Russia began developing a new truck based on the successes of the American trucks used in WWII. In 1951, the YAZ-214, (later reorganized into the KrAZ Company), a 6x6 truck which could carry 7 tons, and had unusual single 15.00”x 20” wheels was fielded. The truck differed from its predecessors in featuring a new style of cab, which clearly showed the influence of the designs of the American motor industry of the 1940's. This truck very quickly became irreplaceable in the Soviet Army, and the KrAZ-214's entire production run of 1,265 went straight into military service.
In 1963, the KrAZ-214 was upgraded to the KrAZ-214B with an improved electrical system and a stronger hanger bracket. The production of this model lasted almost 5 years more, and in 1967 the KrAZ-214 was replaced on the assembly line by the next generation truck, the KrAZ-255. Overall, between 1959 and 1967 over 32,000 of the KrAZ-214 were produced.
The KrAZ-214 had many different versions to include engineering truck, PMP pontoon truck, TMM bridge layer, E-305 power-shovel, and the FM truck-mounted crane. Various containers could also be fitted to the KrAZ-214 as well.
Apart from the USSR, the KrAZ-214 was widely exported to other socialist countries including East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Vietnam, Egypt and Algeria. Some KrAZ-214 trucks are around 50 years old, and they are still operated in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Bulgaria and Germany.
is a Ukrainian manufacturer who has mostly been known for their WWII aircraft. Their aircraft have been very good quality and are well regarded by modelers. The KrAZ-214B is only their second 1/35 armor oriented model, the first being their series of WWI armored cars based on the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost chassis. On initial inspection, the KrAZ-214B looks to be every bit as good as their aircraft kits.
Roden packs the kit in a sturdy cardboard box which contains 10 sprues in black and green plastic containing the main parts of the truck. Also included are eight rubber tires, a clear parts sprue that includes windows and headlights, a vac-formed cover for the bed, and a decal sheet for 7 different vehicle options. The sprues are well molded with minimal flash and parts layout looks good. The sprues containing the chassis parts are molded in black with the cab and bed parts molded in green. I assume this is done if you do not want to paint the model since that is how Russian trucks are painted; chassis black and the cab and bed (everything above the chassis line) green. The clear parts are fog and blemish free and should look nice once added to the model. The decal sheet is clearly printed and the carrier film appears very thin. They should snug down and disappear on the model once applied.
A unique feature not usually seen in modern kits is the vac-formed canvas top for the rear bed. The piece looks very nice and is formed in clear plastic so the window sections can be masked off and left clear once painted. The directions show how to cut and mask the canvas to fit the truck. It should look nice once built and painted.
The rubber tires are well-molded and have a very fine mold seam around their center which should not be noticeable once lightly sanded. The rubber captures the fine details of the tread very well and the tires look accurate compared to photos of the actual tires. One mounted on the separate wheels, they should look very nice.
The instruction sheet is very detailed and breaks down assembly well. The assembly drawings are clear and show where everything goes. Sub-assemblies are shown separately and added at later steps. They also have a nice decal guide that shows the placement of the decals for seven versions to include: West Group of the Soviet Army (year unknown), Soviet Union 1957, Vietnamese People's Army (year unknown), NVA, East Germany (year unknown), Hungarian Army (year unknown), Polish People’s Army (year unknown), and Czechoslovakian Army (year unknown).
The chassis is very detailed with separate parts for the front steering arms that allow the front wheels to be positioned at any angle to mimic steering. The chassis also includes air tanks, air brake cylinders, and fine bolt details. Also included is a complete in-line 6-cylinder diesel engine which is very detailed. The cab also includes nice features such as separate inside door panels with separate handles and window cranks; it also includes separate pedals for the gas, brake and clutch.
Another hidden feature on the sprues is the inclusion of parts that would allow the building of the later KrAZ-255B. These include the new front light boxes that go on the front fenders and new mirrors and their mounts. These pieces are grayed-out on the instruction sheet as "not used parts". Also, the extra clear lenses are included on the clear parts sprue. It looks like Roden may offer the KrAZ-255B in the future as well.
Overall, the kit looks to be very good. It is a little thick on some parts molding, but not overly so to be clunky. The parts are adequately detailed to allow you to build a very nice truck that was used by many Eastern Bloc and Soviet Satellite states over the past 50 years. This truck should have many applications as it was so widely used around the world.
Review of KrAZ 214B Lenses and Taillight set from SKP Model