|Kit #: MkA-7204||
Edited by Al Magnus
Kit comes as 13 resin pieces consisting of five wheels, a one piece solid body, four machine guns and three lights. No decals were included and a simple 3-view drawing is all there is for a building guide, though with so few parts it shouldn't prove to be difficult to figure out where the parts go. Colour references appear to be for Humbrol paints.
My copy arrived with one of the machine guns missing. A quick email to Jadar Hobby requesting a replacement resulted in a stout package, about a 1,000 times larger than it needed to be for the part, arriving at my door only a few weeks later. This surprised me as I was expecting to have to manufature my own replacement.
Bubbles in the castings were few. In my copy they were found in some rather awkward places. One rather large bubble was located on the right side of the body adjacent to one of the rivets (see parts picture below) and a pair of smaller ones were found close to the edge of the front armoured flap.
As nice as the resin molding is there is one major problem with the kit. This is with the front and rear axles. There is a definite difference in height between them. I quickly checked whether or not this was going to produce a noticable slant to how it sits by temporarily attaching the wheels to the axles with some blue tack. With the wheels in place there was a definite nose up stance. So something will need to be done to level the sit of the vehicle. To me it appears that the easiest way would be to sand down some of the molded on front axle that extends past the body and add a new set of axle stubs just above the old ones. Unfortunately doing this will also lower the stance a bit but hopefully not enough to make the vehicle look odd.
There's not a lot of info that I could find on this vehicle. What I did find were some period photographs of Russo-Balts on the web, a site featuring a reproduction Russo-Balt probably used by some re-enactors and some info on the Wikepedia. What few pictures I was able to dig up show that there is a door on the right side that should not be present. Some serious sanding will need to be done to remove it. There are a also a few missing panels and vents as shown below, and some thin extensions on the engine bay panels that protrude beyond the front of the radiator.
Another thing I'm not sure about is exactly how the power was transmitted from the engine to the rear wheels. None of the period photos or the photos of the reproduction car reveal this and the Wikepedia has a paper model of a Russo-Balt with a chain drive to the rear axle. What Modelkrak did was mold on a rudimentary axle and a short stub for a drive shaft. If this is correct or not, I have no idea.
I must admit that when I ordered this kit I was hoping for a quick and relaxing build, one that required little effort to construct so that I could practice some painting techniques. After looking over what I received I think this one will go quite a ways down in my build queue to await its turn on the bench.