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In-Box Review
135
Soviet Earthmover BELORUS
Soviet earthmover BELORUS, the most famous earthmover of the former eastern block
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by: Jim Starkweather [ STAFF_JIM ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

This 1/35 scale resin kit is obviously custom-tailored to those modelers who enjoy building in the post-WWII Soviet-era of the 60's and 70's. The "Belorus" (or Belarus) is named for region/country of Belorussia (which is now present-day Belarus) where it was made at the Minsk Tractor Works. As some modelers in North America may note this type of tractor over here is usually referred to as a 'back-hoe' because of its rear mounted bucket and front mounted dozer/grader. The tractor itself is much like a heavy duty farm tractor vs. the type of Caterpillar 'earth' movers we are used to. When I took a loot at the BELARUS web site in Minsk I could not find this model (listed as the ЮM3-6M in the instructions) which was a bit odd as they had other 5 and 7 series models listed from the 50's, 60's, and 70's. However I am sure the folks at Plus Model know their stuff and had on-hand resources for this kit. In fact they include a Photo CD with 38 images of an actual tractor in functional (but weathered) condition. The CD also includes 80 images of model construction in several stages.

The Kit

As this is a resin kit of a very rare subject I am not going to even try to address the issues of accuracy or to some degree resin quality. I think for those experienced with Plus Model kits, this kit will certainly meet your expectations for both. I will instead direct readers to the photos provided as to the detail and accuracy of the model. Looking at the 38 reference photos provided on the CD it does seem like a great amount of attention to detail was given to the mold creation process and I don't think judging from the completed photos of the kit that any experienced resin builder will be disappointed.

Special Note: There apparently was a missing steering wheel in my kit which Plus Model sent me in a later shipment. So make sure when you buy the kit from local stores or other online stores (who may have gotten the earlier issues) that the steering wheel is in the kit. Of course getting the steering wheel from Plus Model shouldn't be a problem.

Some of the included bits were in fact very impressive. The photo-etch (produced for Plus Models by Eduard) was extremely well done and detailed. As was the inclusion of a wafer-thin clear (plexiglass?) sheet for the windows. A generous amount of wire and tubing is also provided to detail the engine and hydraulic systems.

Decals for us to 4 different versions are also provided. Two are models during the early eighties and the other I believe are meant to depict units still in use (in the Czech Republic) today. Obviously if you need Soviet or other Eastern block country uses you make need to research your own markings or get them aftermarket.

The instructions are well done for a limited resin release and printed in color (colour for you guys on the other side of the pond).

Conclusions

As with most limited-run resin kits this one is not for the faint-of-heart. That said if the challenge and the price don't throw you off this kit looks to make a very well done piece of heavy equipment for the right builder. It will certainly look great in any number of late cold-war or modern dioramas. I look forward to seeing somebody build it on our site (and yes if you think you have the chops we might send it to you for just that purpose).
SUMMARY
Highs: A highly detailed and unique resin release. Including the photo CD is a nice touch.
Lows: Complexity and cost may deter some modelers.
Verdict: If you need a Soviet earth mover of this era this is the only game in town.
Percentage Rating
93%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 338
  Suggested Retail: 122
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Sep 01, 2011
  NATIONALITY: Russia
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 89.91%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 85.48%

Our Thanks to Plus Model!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Jim Starkweather (staff_Jim)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

I started building models in 1971 when I was 6. My first model was a 1/32 P-40 Warhawk. Revell I believe. From there I moved onto the standard cars, Apollo spacecraft, and other kid orientated kits. I don't know what got me started on Armor. I must have seen a Monogram tank kit one day and said "Mom...

Copyright 2017 text by Jim Starkweather [ STAFF_JIM ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Very nice review,thank you Jim. I love the kit but it's just too much for my budget.
AUG 31, 2011 - 05:05 PM
On Farmerforum.nl there is a very detailed building review of the Belarus UMZ-M6. It's writing in dutch, but at the footer you can use google translate in your own languages.
JUL 01, 2012 - 03:58 AM
The Belarus is finnaly ready! More pictures you will find [url=http://www.farmerforum.nl/viewtopic.php?f=113&t=3010&start=149]here[/url
AUG 13, 2012 - 11:29 AM
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