Saturday, 17 May 2014

PST ZIS-6 Truck - in-box review

It seems that if you are modelling WW2's Eastern Front sooner or later you will build a ZIS or GAZ truck. It's inevitable! And so the time has come for me to try my hand at one of these charming little vehicles in the form of PST's ZIS-6 medium truck...

The Soviet ZIS-6 was the 3-axle version of the ZIS-5 light truck (which I will be making at a later date) and was a 2.5 ton 6x4 transport which could haul up to 4 tons on a highway. Because of this heavier load capacity I have chosen this model as one of the trucks for my Finnish medium artillery formation.

Source: Wikipedia
In terms of war game modelling this heavier truck is not as familiar a build as it's smaller sibling - the ZIS-5 - or it's GAZ compatriot. But it is available in kit form in wide number of variants - mainly by PST - which range from this cargo version to an ambulance version, to self-propelled anti-aircraft truck, to mobile workshop to the famous (or infamous) "Katyusha" rocket launcher.

What's in the box?
As with my last PST model - thier 1943 Ford 6 Truck - there are a hotch-potch of coloured sprues in the box (which is a little bemusing at first). As usual PST seem to 'mix and match' a basic set of sprues with additional ones to make variants of the basic model - hence the different colours.

The amusing up-shot of this is that you tend to end up with additional parts that aren't meant for the model you have actually bought! With my PST Ford I ended up with several (useless) Studabaker parts, and with the ZIS-6 I have ended up with a superfluous wooden cab which I *think* is intended for the ZIS-5V light truck! :)

However, the reason you end up with these extra parts is because there are parts on this particular sprue that you do need...Bizzarre! Obviously PST are saving money and realised that the flat bed parts which come with the ZIS-5 kit also happen to be the the same size as the flat bed parts required for the ZIS-6.

Anyway, you can't really complain about extra parts, even if it makes things a little confusing at first.

The quality of the moulding is lovely, it's nice and sharp and detail is well defined and there is a complete absence of any flash (at least on my model). Nice!

The two other parts I do not mention here are the decal sheet and the windows. Well, I didn't mention the windscreen because the kid doesn't come with one! You will have to make your own glass out of some clear plastic...Luckily the shape of the windscreen is pretty much rectangular, so it's not a difficult job.

Then there are the instructions, which is one A4 double sided photocopied sheet. Now this isn't such a big deal, but with relation to the decals in particular the lack of a colour-scheme guide is a bit of a annoyance.

Now, sorry about my terrible photography but there isn't that much to see really. I *think* there are enough decals to make a choice of four different vehicles, but as there is no information about these decal choices I have no idea what machines these were, what regiments or where they served! (Just as well I am making a captured Finnish version of the truck isn't it!)

And that's about it really. It looks all pretty straight forward - even with the extra parts thrown in - and I have to say that it will be nice to make a simple model for a change (with none of my usual dodgy conversions or 'improvements'! :)

Looking at it now - before construction - it all looks very nice. So...Let's get ready to rumble!

Link: The ZIS-6 at Engines of the Red Army

Postscript: Curious about the extra parts - and what they were - I checked back to the 'in box' review I did when I bought my PST ZS-5V, and guess what? Exactly the same basic sprues appear in this kit!

In fact the only difference between the PST ZIS-5V and the ZIS-6 kit is - naturally - the smaller sprue which provides the rear axles and extra wheels that the ZIS-6 has and a tilt cover.

This makes me very tempted to make both related truck kits at the same time, or do the ZIS-5/V after I do the ZIS-6. Incidentally, you also get two kits in one in the PST ZIS-5/5V kit. It comes with all the parts to make the basic (earlier) metal cabbed ZIS-5 and then an extra sprue to make the (later) wooden cabbed ZIS-5V.

All this means that if you do buy a PST kit expect some bits and pieces that you can put in your spare parts box! :)


  1. What I find puzzling about the PST kits is that they give you no indication that there will be spare parts. I recently built the German version of the KV1, and found the same puzzling extra bits- spare barrels, turret alternative, etc, etc. Great for the bits box, but worrisome if you're trying to follow the instructions! Built a number for a large scale Kursk game:

    1. Exactly! You end up scratching your head...I mean it's ok once you figure out what's going on but if you aren't aware that this is what PST can be baffling.

      Wow! That IS a 'large scale' game! :) Fantastic stuff.

    2. Thanks Stephen, we did the Sword Beach Landings at DDay a few weeks ago!
      We do things big down here in little ol' New Zealand :)